indian armed forces

In this article, we will explore the role of combat helicopters in the Indian Armed Forces and the recent developments in the Army Aviation Corps. Focusing on the nine helicopters currently in service with the Indian Army, we will delve into their features, capabilities, and significance in tactical combat situations. From advanced attack helicopters to versatile utility helicopters, the Indian Armed Forces are equipped with a diverse fleet that plays a crucial role in safeguarding the nation’s security.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Hal Prachand – The Indian Light Attack Helicopter
  3. AH-64 Apache – The World’s Most Advanced Combat Helicopter
  4. The ALH Dhruv – A Multi-Role Utility Helicopter
  5. MIL MI-24/25/35 – A Versatile Helicopter Gunship
  6. HAL Chetak – India’s Oldest Helicopter in Service
  7. CH-47 Chinook – A Powerful Vertical Lift Platform
  8. HAL Cheetah – A High-Performance Helicopter
  9. MIL MI-17 – A Medium Twin Turbine Transport Helicopter
  10. HAL Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) – The Next Generation

Hal Prachand

indian armed forces

Hal Prachand is an indigenous Indian light attack helicopter with various capabilities. It has the distinction of having the highest flight ceiling among attack helicopters worldwide and a significant load-carrying capacity for weapons and fuel. The helicopter utilizes radar-absorbing material to reduce its radar signature, ensuring enhanced stealth capabilities. Equipped with a crash-proof structure, landing gear, and a countermeasure dispensing system, Hal Prachand is designed to withstand enemy radars and infrared seekers of enemy missiles.

AH-64 Apache


The AH-64 Apache is renowned as the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter, extensively utilized by the US Army and several international defense forces. As the 16th nation to select the Apache, India has a fleet of 22 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, with more on the way. The AH-64E Apache stands out for its cutting-edge technology, ensuring its position as the premier attack helicopter globally. With diverse capabilities, it is adaptable to virtually any mission requirement.

The ALH Dhruv

indian armed forces

The ALH Dhruv, developed by HAL, is a twin-engine, multi-role utility helicopter that has been a part of the Indian Armed Forces since 1992. This New Generation helicopter underwent an extended development period due to various factors, including design changes and budget restrictions. The ALH Dhruv serves as a reliable platform for multiple missions and has gained international recognition, with over 335 units produced and sold to five countries. It plays a crucial role in reaching remote areas and supporting military operations.

MIL MI-24/25/35

indian armed forces

The MIL MI-24/25/35 is a large helicopter gunship and low-capacity troop transport that has found service in 58 countries, with India owning 15 of these formidable aircraft. Designed to withstand heavy firepower, the MI-24 features armor plating that can endure direct hits from 50-caliber rounds. Powered by two turboshaft engines and equipped with advanced rotor systems, the MI-24 has been a staple in military conflicts worldwide for over 40 years, serving over 60 militaries.

HAL Chetak

indian armed forces

The HAL Chetak, a French-origin two-ton class helicopter, holds a special place in India’s aviation history. Serving the Indian Armed Forces for over 60 years, this versatile and spacious helicopter has been extensively used for training pilots and fulfilling various rotary wing requirements. With a top speed of 185 kilometers per hour and a range of 500 kilometers, the Chetak has proven its reliability and utility over the years.

CH-47 Chinook

indian armed forces


The CH-47 Chinook, with 15 units acquired by the Indian Air Force, plays a crucial role in transporting personnel and cargo, particularly in challenging terrains and humanitarian operations. Known for its vertical lift capabilities, the Chinook can carry around 11 tons of cargo or 45 fully armed troops. Its ability to transport heavy payloads, such as artillery guns, strengthens India’s military capabilities, especially in border regions.

HAL Cheetah

indian armed forces

The HAL Cheetah, renowned for its high-altitude flying capabilities, is a versatile and highly maneuverable helicopter designed for diverse weights, center of gravity, and altitude conditions. This five-seater helicopter holds a world record for high-altitude flying and is particularly suitable for operations in hot tropical weather and high-altitude missions. With an excellent power-to-weight ratio, the Cheetah has been a valuable asset for the Indian Armed Forces.



The MIL MI-17, widely utilized as a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter, plays a crucial role in troop transportation and combat operations. With a capacity of carrying up to 24 passengers or 36 troops, the MI-17 contributes significantly to the mobility of the Indian Armed Forces. Ongoing indigenous enhancements, including the use of lightweight armor, ensure improved protection and increased payload capacity.

HAL Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)

indian armed forces

The Next Generation Designed as a replacement for the Chetak and Cheetah helicopters, the HAL Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) represents the next generation of helicopters in the three-ton class. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology features such as a glass cockpit and multi-function displays, the LUH offers enhanced operational capabilities. With its single turboshaft engine, the LUH can meet demanding high-altitude missions while maintaining an impressive speed, service ceiling, and range.


Combat helicopters play a vital role in the Indian Armed Forces, contributing to tactical combat operations, transportation, and disaster relief efforts. The nine different helicopters discussed in this article showcase India’s commitment to maintaining a diverse and advanced fleet to ensure national security. From indigenous creations to globally renowned platforms, these helicopters represent the cutting-edge capabilities of the Indian Armed Forces.