India successfully test-fired Helina, the indigenously developed anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), from a rotary wing platform.
Launched from the Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH) at high-altitude ranges, the fire-and-forget Helina, or helicopter-based Nag missile, successfully engaged the simulated tank target.
Guided by an infrared imaging seeker (IIR) operating in the lock-on-before-launch mode, the Helina is one of the most advanced anti-tank weapon systems in the world. It can strike targets up to seven km away and has been designed and developed for integration on the weaponised version of the Dhruv ALH.
The third generation Nag and the Helina are two of the anti-tank missile systems designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). While the Helina is launched from a rotary platform, the Nag missile is fired from a modified infantry combat vehicle, or Namica.
The Helina’s high altitude flight-test, a part of the user validation trials, was jointly conducted by scientists from the DRDO, and personnel from the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The successful flight-testing of the ATGM at high altitudes now paves the way for the Helina to be integrated on the Dhruv.
Incidentally, helicopter-launched ATGMs figure in the “second positive indigenisation” list of weapons and systems that the government has put on the import ban list. The import of helicopter based ATGMs has been banned from December 2021.