IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


3rd October, 2023 Security

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  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to place orders for 156 'Made-in-India' Prachand attack helicopters from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).


  • The IAF has proposed a joint acquisition case to the government for purchasing 156 more Prachand choppers. Of these, 66 will be inducted by the Indian Air Force, and the remaining 90 will be acquired by the Indian Army.

Prachand (Light Combat Helicopter)

  • Prachand, also known as the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), is designed for deployment on both the China and Pakistan fronts by the IAF and the Indian Army.

High-Altitude Capabilities

  • The Prachand helicopter is designed to meet the requirements of the Indian military in high-altitude areas such as Kashmir, Ladakh, and Arunachal Pradesh.

Roles and Missions

  • It primarily functions as a close air support (CAS) aircraft in high-altitude terrain.
  • Its roles include destruction of enemy air defense (DEAD) missions, destroying enemy tanks, executing high-altitude bunker-busting operations, and intercepting slow-moving remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs).

Shakti Engine

  • The helicopter is equipped with HAL's new-generation Shakti engine, co-developed with French engine-maker Safran.
  • It can operate at altitudes of up to 20,000 feet.

High-Altitude Operation

  • Prachand is the only helicopter in the world with the capability to operate at altitudes above 5,000 to 6,000 meters while carrying a substantial offensive payload.

Siachen Landings

  • The helicopter has successfully executed landings at forward camps situated at Siachen, an altitude of 4,700 meters above sea level, while carrying a 500 kg payload.


  • Prachand is armed with a 20-millimeter (mm) cannon mounted below its nose, capable of piercing light armor with a fire rate of one thousand bullets per minute. It also carries 70-mm rockets on pods on either side.
  • Additionally, Prachand will be armed with advanced Dhruvastra air-to-ground missiles, designed to target hardened enemy shelters in high-altitude and diverse terrains.


The acquisition of Prachand attack helicopters represents a significant enhancement of the Indian military's capabilities in high-altitude regions, particularly along the borders with China and Pakistan. These helicopters are designed to excel in challenging terrain and contribute to India's strategic defense capabilities.


Q.   Which of the following statements about the Indian Air Force's acquisition of Prachand attack helicopters are true?

  1. The Prachand helicopters are primarily intended for deployment in high-altitude regions.
  2. Prachand is armed with a 20-millimeter cannon mounted below its nose for piercing light armor.
  3. Prachand helicopters will be allocated solely to the Indian Air Force.


a. 1 and 2

b. 2 and 3

c. 1 and 3

d. 1, 2, and 3

Answer: a.