Anti-tank missiles Helina and Dhruvastra successfully tested, ready for induction in armed forces

Express News Service
BHUBANESWAR: India on Friday successfully test-fired the Army and Air Force versions of Anti Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) from desert ranges indicating the readiness of the weapon systems for an early induction in the armed forces.

Defence sources said joint user trials of Army version Helina and Air Force version Dhruvastra missile systems were carried out from the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) platform. Five missions were carried out for evaluating the capabilities of the missiles in minimum and maximum range.

Indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the missiles were fired in hover and max forward flight against realistic static and moving targets.

“A couple of missions were carried out with warheads against derelict tanks. A mission was also carried out against a moving target from a forward flying helicopter,” sources said.

The helicopter launched Nag (Helina) is a third generation ATGM that can engage targets both in direct hit mode as well as top attack mode. The system, which operates on fire and forget mode, has all weather day and night capability.

The weapon system can defeat battle tanks with conventional armour as well as with explosive reactive armour. The missile will equip the weaponised version of the ALH Dhruv, HAL built combat helicopter Rudra and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH).

While the Nag missile has a maximum range of 4 km, the Helina has an extended strike range of about 8 km. Guided by imaging infrared seeker, the missile operates on lock-on-before launch mode, which helps extend its strike range.

Secretary of Department of Defence Research and Development and DRDO Chairman Dr G Satheesh Reddy said Helina is one of the most-advanced anti-tank weapons in the world. Now the missile systems are ready for induction, he said.

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO, the Indian Army and Indian Air Force for the successful trials.