Aviation

Attack Helicopter Comparison : HAL LCH vs AW/TAI T-129 ATAK

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Background :

  • Both helicopters belongs to the Light Attack Helicopter category .
  • Both aircrafts are Twin-engine , Tandem-seat , all-weather Multi-role helicopters .
  • Both helicopters can carry a wide range of weapons including A2A ( Air-to-Air )A2G (Air-to-Ground) missiles , rockets & a 20 mm gun .
  • HAL LCH is a unique light helicopter design developed by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) while the T-129 ATAK is jointly developed by Italy’s AgustaWestland and Turkey’s TAI . T-129’s design is derived from Italian AW A-129 helicopter.
  • HAL LCH’s first flight was conducted on 29 March 2010 by LCH TD-1 prototype while T129’s maiden flight took place on 28 September 2009 when T-129’s P1 prototype flew at AgustaWestland’s facilities in Vergiate, Italy.
  • HAL LCH has total order of 179 units ( 114 for Indian Army & 65 for Indian Air Force ) while T-129 ATAK has total order of 89 units ( 59 for Turkey & 30 for Pakistan ) .

So lets begin the comparison with the help of various evaluation benchmarks !

Crew 

HAL LCH : 2 (tandem)

T-129 ATAK : 2 (tandem)

Unit Price 

HAL LCH :  20.2 million USD   ( Cheaper compared to T-129 ATAK )

T-129 ATAK :  23-24 million USD

Empty weight 

HAL LCH  :  2,250 kg       ( Lighter )

T-129 ATAK : 2,350 kg

Max. takeoff weight 

HAL LCH  :  5,800 kg      ( Better )

T-129 ATAK : 5,065 kg

Useful Load Carrying Capacity :  ( Max Take Off Weight – Empty Weight ) 

HAL LCH  :  (5800-2250) = 3,550 kg      ( Better )

T-129 ATAK : (5065 – 2350) = 2,715 kg

Powerplant 

HAL LCH  :   2 × HAL/Turbomeca Shakti turboshaft, 1032 kW (1,384 shp) each   ( Slightly Better )

T-129 ATAK : 2 × LHTEC CTS800-4A turboshaft, 1,024 kW ( 1373 shp ) each

Comments –

T-129 uses American-British engine LHTEC CTS800-4N which gives the United States power to veto over any prospective export sales. This engine also makes T-129 very susceptible to US sanctions .

Maximum Speed 

HAL LCH  :  268 km / hr

T-129 ATAK : 281 km / hr     (Slightly Better)

Range 

HAL LCH  :  550 km       (Slightly Better)

T-129 ATAK : 537 km

Service ceiling 

HAL LCH  :  6,500 meters       ( Much Better )

T-129 ATAK : 4,572 meters

Comments –

The difference between service ceilings is significant (almost 2 km) which means T-129 ATAK cant be as effective for High Altitude warfare as the LCH .

Endurance 

HAL LCH  :  190 mins       ( Slightly Better )

T-129 ATAK : 180 mins

Total No. of Hardpoints 

HAL LCH  :  4

T-129 ATAK : 4

Capacity to carry Air-to-Air & Air-to-Ground Missiles 

HAL LCH  :   Yes

T-129 ATAK : Yes

Main Gun 

HAL LCH  : 1 × 20 mm M-621 cannon  with total 800 rounds

T-129 ATAK :  1× 20 mm M-197 cannon with total 500 rounds

Helmet Mounted Sight 

HAL LCH : Yes

T-129 ATAK : Yes

Electronic Warfare ( EW) Suite &  EO Pod 

HAL LCH : Yes

T-129 ATAK : Yes

Accidents 

HAL LCH : None

T-129 ATAK :  Two accidents till date .

1. On 19 March 2010, during the hover test, T129 prototype P1 lost its tail rotor at 15,000 feet. Test pilot Cassioli regained enough control to steer away from residential area before crashing; the crew escaped without serious injuries.

2. On 10 February, 2018, during the Turkish military operation in Afrin, a T129 of the Turkish Army was shot down by Kurdish YPG anti-aircraft firing .

 

CONCLUSION 

From the above comparison , It is clear that HAL LCH has an edge over the T-129 ATAK in most of the specs in their present configurations , however future upgrades and variants can change the situation in favor of any of these two capable light attack helicopters .

 

Please Note :

This was a basic specification comparison between the HAL LCH  &  T-129 ATAK .

In case of any question/suggestion  , please drop us a comment down below .

* The data has been derived from the manufacturer websites of HAL LCH & TAI/AW T-129 ATAK  .

 

Written By :   Aniket Singh  ( Guest Writer )

 


Disclaimer : This is an Article written by a Guest writer and opinions expressed within this article are personal opinions of the author. thedefnestar.com is not responsible for the accuracy , suitability , completeness or validity of any information in this article .All information is provided on an as-is basis . The information ,facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of thedefenstar.com and thedefenstar.com does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same. Article is for information purpose only and not intended to constitute professional advice. 
Article By Aniket Singh , can not be re-published partially or fully without consent from writer or thedefenstar.com

 

 

 

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