The Army forms its first squadron of light combat helicopters

The Army established its first Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) squadron at Bangalore on June 1, 2022. After completion, it will transfer to Eastern Command, the official said, noting that a total of seven LCH units with ten helicopters each are planned for use in mountainous fighting.

Three Aviation Brigades are located by the Army in Leh, Missamari, and Jodhpur. 75 of its 145 locally produced Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) are Rudra weaponized variants. According to another official, 25 more DHRUV MK-III vehicles are on order and will be delivered within two years.

The purchase of 39 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from the United States had received approval from the Cabinet Committee. Following that, a contract inked in September 2015 saw the IAF purchase 22 Apaches. The administration has decided that the Army will receive any additional Apache purchases. In keeping with this, India agreed to purchase six additional Apache helicopters in February 2020 for about $800 million. “Due to the COVID epidemic, there is a delay in the supply of these. Deliveries will now start in the early months of 2024, according to the first official.

Army Aviation took up command of the Army’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in August 2021; the Artillery had previously been in charge of them. According to officials, a significant upgrade plan for the weaponization and facilitation of satellite communication for the Army’s more than 30 Herons UAVs, with an estimated cost of more than 6,000 crore, has been postponed.

According to officials, this is a component of a total upgrading of all Israeli drones used by the three Services that is currently under construction and is expected to cost $21,000 crore.

Additionally, the Army is considering purchasing long-range Hermes 900 UAVs from Israel, which are produced in India by Adani Group, as a result of the agreement for armed Predator drones from the United States being blocked.

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