Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bangalore: With the Indian indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv putting up a sterling display at the ongoing Aero India air show at Yelahanka Airforce Base in Bangalore, many eyes are now starting to look at the ALH’s more warlike cousin, the Light Combat Helicopter, which is at present just a mock-up in the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) pavilion at the show.
The Indian Army needs a helicopter gunship capable of operating at high–altitude.
Now HAL is poised to fill this gap. The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) is designed to carry a 1,500 kilo weapon load even at very high altitudes. Armed with cluster bombs and air-to-surface missiles, one of the two-man crew will be solely in charge of targeting and firing the weaponry. It has a narrow airframe for stealth and will complement the IAF’s Russian-made Mi–35 gunship, which cannot operate at altitudes.
A mean looking machine, the LCH looks like any advanced chopper gunship.
The LCH weighs 5. 5 tonnes, with a narrow fuselage accommodating a pilot and a gunner/co-pilot in tandem, in an armoured cockpit. It incorporates a number of stealth features such as low visual signature, a low radar cross section and a low IR signature. It has crash-resistant landing gear for better survivability. The Dhruv's current external structure, comprising 67 per cent composites, has been significantly improved.
10/02/07 domain-B

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

In the run-up to the upcoming international air show next week, the Indian Air Force (IAF) suffered a setback Friday when one of its choppers crashed, killing its co-pilot and injuring the pilot commanding it during an aerobatic rehearsal near here.
An IAF spokesman said that co-pilot Squadron Leader Priye Sharma succumbed to severe injuries at the air force command hospital in the city, while lead pilot Wing Commander V. Jetley is still in the hospital under observation for head injuries.
The tragic incident took place at Yelahanka base, about 20km from here, around 10 am, when an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), constituting the Sarang team, crashed while on an exercise over the western part of the runaway with the other three in a formation.
According to eye witnesses in the vicinity, the incident occurred when the ill-fated copter veered off its course while performing a 'scissors' exercise, which involves two aircraft crossing over each other at a close distance from the opposite direction.
The Sarang team, which participates in major air shows held in India and overseas, showcases the prowess of Dhruv, designed, developed and manufactured by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
02/02/07 India

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