Home Defence India’s Defense Arsenal Strengthened with Tejas and Prachand LCH

India’s Defense Arsenal Strengthened with Tejas and Prachand LCH

by Nita Mishra

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has allocated Rs 2.23 lakh crore to acquire 97 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (Mark 1A) and 156 Prachand Light Combat Helicopters (LCH). This underscores India’s commitment to strengthening its armed forces’ capabilities.

Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (Mark 1A)

The procurement plan aims to fulfill 98% of its requirements from domestic industries, a significant push towards self-reliance in the defense sector. The DAC also greenlit the Indian Air Force’s proposal to upgrade its Su-30 fighter fleet by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

What is Tejas Light Combat Aircraft?

Introduction: The Tejas program started in 1984 with the establishment of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) by the Indian Government.


  • Designed for various missions, including air-to-air and air-to-surface precision-guided weapons.
  • Air-to-air refueling capability.
  • Variants include Tejas Trainer, LCA Navy, LCA Tejas Navy MK2, and LCA Tejas Mk-1A (an upgraded version with a higher thrust engine).

Prachand Light Combat Helicopter (LCH)

What is a Light Combat Helicopter?

Introduction: The LCH is the world’s only attack helicopter capable of landing and taking off at an altitude of 5,000 meters with a significant weapons and fuel load.


  • Uses radar-absorbing material to reduce radar signature.
  • Crash-proof structure and landing gear.
  • Pressurized cabin for protection from Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) contingencies.
  • Equipped with a countermeasure dispensing system for protection against enemy radars and infrared seekers.

Genesis: The need for a lightweight assault helicopter was felt during the 1999 Kargil war, leading to the LCH project’s sanction in October 2006.

Significance: The LCH plays a crucial role in combat, including destruction of enemy air defense, counter-insurgency warfare, combat search and rescue, anti-tank, and counter surface force operations.

India’s Diverse Aircraft Fleet

Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA)

Definition: Designed for various missions like air-to-air combat, air-to-ground attack, and electronic warfare.


  • Supersonic jet fighter and interceptor aircraft.
  • IAF plans to phase out the MiG-21 by 2024 and replace it with modern fighters.

Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)

Overview: An Indian program to develop a 5th generation stealth, multirole combat aircraft.

Sukhoi Su-30MKI:

  • Twin-engine, multirole fighter aircraft deployed by the IAF since 2002.

Twin-Engine Deck-Based Fighter (TEDBF)

Details: A twin-engine aircraft project for dedicated carrier-based operations.


Introduction: French twin-engine and multirole fighter aircraft.


  • India procured 36 Rafale jets in 2016 for Rs 59,000 crore.
  • Equipped for air supremacy, interdiction, reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike, and nuclear deterrence missions.
  • Weapons package includes Meteor, Scalp Cruise Missile, and MICA Missile System.

In conclusion, India’s strategic investment in these advanced aircraft showcases its commitment to a robust defense system, ensuring readiness for a spectrum of military operations.

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