LCA AND LCH (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     23rd December 2023        

Context: Indigenous aerospace platforms such as the Light Combat Aircraft, Light Combat Helicopter, Akash Missile systems and radars offer competitive and reliable options for air forces of the Global South, boosting India’s economic and technological clout

Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)

  • About: It is a light, multirole jet/turboprop military aircraft, commonly derived from advanced trainer designs, designed for engaging in light combat.
  • Origins of the LCA: The Government of India initiated the LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) program in 1984, establishing the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to oversee its management.
  • Features: The LCA is meticulously designed to accommodate a variety of weapons, including air-to-air, air-to-surface, and precision-guided munitions.
  • Air-to-Air Refueling Capability: An integral feature of the LCA is its capability for air-to-air refueling, enhancing its operational flexibility and endurance.
  • Example: LCA Tejas.

Light Combat Helicopter

  • About: The LCH, recently integrated into Hindustan Aeronautics Limited's (HAL) helicopter division, stands as a twin-engine combat helicopter within the 5 to 8-tonne class.
  • Advanced Capabilities: Equipped with cutting-edge technologies and stealth features, the LCH is specifically designed for efficient combat roles.

oIts functionalities encompass diverse missions, including the destruction of enemy air defense, counterinsurgency, search and rescue, anti-tank operations, and Counter Surface Force Operations.

  • Unique Altitude Performance: Notably, the LCH distinguishes itself as the world's only attack helicopter capable of both landing and taking off at an altitude of 5,000 meters. 
  • This capability holds, even when carrying a substantial payload of weapons and fuel.