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HAL completes hot, high altitude trials of LCH at Leh

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on January 24, 2018

The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) undergoing the hot and high altitude trials at Leh recently.

The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) undergoing the hot and high altitude trials at Leh recently.

Attack helicopter lands in forward base at Siachen

HAL has successfully carried out the hot and high altitude trials of the indigenously designed and developed attack chopper, the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), at Leh.

 

“These seasonal trials — including cold weather trials carried out at Leh in February this year — have been completed as part of the certification process. The flight trials at Leh have established hover performance and low-speed handling characteristics of the helicopter under extreme weather conditions at different altitudes (3200 to 4800 metres),” said T Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL.

 

“During the trials, the helicopter and systems performed satisfactorily. LCH has also proven its capability to land and take off at the forward landing base in Siachen. LCH is the first attack helicopter to land in the forward bases at Siachen,” he added.

 

The trials were carried out on the third prototype of LCH (TD3) at Leh at temperatures ranging from 13 to 27 degree centigrade with the participation of user pilots from the Air Force, Army and representatives from CEMILAC and DGAQA.  The tests included assessment and validation of flight envelope in ‘hot-and-high’ conditions, culminating in landing at forward bases at geographic elevations of 13,600 feet to 15,800 feet. These landings and take-offs were demonstrated with reasonable weapon load and fuel.

 

Challenges at Leh

 

The upper reaches of the Indus river and its tributaries, Nubra and Shyok, are home to the Ladakh and Eastern Karakorum Ranges, with multiple lofty peaks of over 25,000 feet and an average ridgeline elevation of 20,000 feet.

 

It is also home to the largest glaciated area outside the Polar regions and is sometimes called the ‘Third Pole’. Siachen is the largest glacier here and is central to this region. The area experiences summer during July-August, during which time temperatures soar to above 30 degrees in standard atmosphere conditions.

 

This mix of extreme altitudes and relatively high temperatures (‘Hot-and-High’) sap helicopter performance and as such few helicopters are able to operate effectively all year.

 

Published on September 03, 2015

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