India’s first indigenous attack helicopter, the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) developed by HAL and due for induction into the Indian Air Force by 2012-13 , will make its first flight during Aero India from February 9 to 13. Its first test flight was in March last year.
The second and third flights were in April and May 2010 and as of now, over 20 test flights have checked various parameters. These have paved the way for testing with weapons.
While the first prototype could fly at the air show, the second prototype, which will be weaponized, is expected to be unveiled too. Two more prototypes are under construction. HAL commenced work on the LCH in 2006.
The copter is an attack variant of the HAL Dhruv, which has been inducted into the armed forces. The copter was designed using a successful and proven helicopter as the base platform. HAL has tentative orders to deliver 65 LCHs to the IAF and over 100 to the Army.
HAL will also showcase the mockup of the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) which is being developed indigenously and the Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA) being done in collaboration with Russia
Two Chetak helicopters are expected to be handed over to a Third World country. While export orders are nothing to write home about, there have been occasional purchases by other countries. Chile signed a contract with HAL for about seven Dhruv ALHs.