Hindustan Aeronautics has confirmed that it plans to carry out the first flight of its Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) in mid-August, a six-month delay from the original schedule.
"We have completed the design. However, there was a problem with one of the vendors who was supposed to provide the tooling for the LCH, and so we have no choice but to push the first flight to August," says Ashok Baweja, HAL's chairman.
The LCH has been mooted as a light attack helicopter for the Indian armed forces and to supplement the 22 attack helicopters that India is seeking as part of an international tender. HAL is also developing a weaponised version of its Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter.
The company is also working with Israel to convert its Chetak helicopter into an unmanned air vehicle for an Indian armed forces requirment for eight aircraft.