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HELINA missile: Nag ATGM system completed all trials, ready to be inducted in the Indian Army

Arfa Javaid

Developed indigenously by DRDO, Nag anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), HELINA, has completed all the trials and the process for issuing of Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) by the Army has been initiated. Soon after its completion, a process for the Request for Proposal (RFP) will start off, according to Dr. Sachin Sood, Project Director of HELINA and DHRUVASTRA at DRDL Hyderabad.

He further stated that the launcher and missile are ready, but some Human Machine Interface (HMI) needs to be realised, which is underway. 

The cost of each missile is yet to be finalized, however, the cost of a missile is expected to be under Rs. 1 crore. Initially, 500 missiles and 40 launchers will be needed. 

About Nag ATGM, HELINA

1- It is a third-generation fire-and-forget class anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system mounted on the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). 

2- The anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system has a minimum range of 500 m and a maximum range of 7 km. 

3- Guided by an Infrared Imaging Seeker (IIR), HELINA is one of the world’s most advanced weapons. 

4- With an all-weather day and night capability, the system can beat the enemy tanks through the conventional armour and can also destroy the explosive reactive armour. 

5- The missile is capable of engaging the targets both in the direct hit mode and top attack mode. 

6- Indian Air Force (IAF) has asked for the feasibility of integrating the HELINA on the soon-to-be inducted Light Combat Helicopter (LCH).

Background

In February 2021, joint trials for HELINA (Army Version) and DHRUVASTRA (Air Force Version) missile systems were carried out aboard Advanced Light Helicopter (AHL) platform in Rajasthan. Check the video of the trials through this link-- https://m.facebook.com/watch/?extid=SEO----&v=2863522073932457&_rdr

Joint User Trials for Helina (Army Version) and Dhruvastra (Air Force Version) Missile Systems designed and developed by DRDO were carried out from Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) platform in desert ranges. pic.twitter.com/3o8q34Y223

— DRDO (@DRDO_India) February 19, 2021

In a bid to evaluate the mission capabilities in their minimum and maximum range, live firing of five missions was carried out. These were for the first time fired from a maximum forward speed and top angle against realistic static and moving targets.

While some of the missions were carried out with warheads against derelict tanks, others were against a moving target from a forward flying helicopter. 

While the missile was developed by DRDO, the integration was done by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) is the production agency of the missile. 

An Air Force version, DHRUVASTRA, is currently under development will have an Air to Ground role other than an anti-tank role. Some of its trials have already been conducted. 

Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP)

The Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) was dreamed up by former President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, to help India attain self-sufficiency in the missile technology sector. The Government of India gave approval to the program in 1983 and it was completed in March 2012. 

The missiles developed under this program are as follows:

1- Prithvi: It is a short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile. 

2- Agni: It has ballistic missiles with different ranges-- Agni-I, Agni-II, Agni-III, Agni-IV, Agni-V.

3- Trishul: It is a short-range low-level surface-to-air missile. 

4- Nag: It is a third-generation anti-tank missile. 

5- Akash: It is a medium-range surface-to-air missile. 

Also Read | SANT missile successfully test-fired off the coast of Odisha: Here's what you must know

Anti-Tank Guided Missiles: All you need to know

FAQ

What is HELINA?

HELINA is a third-generation fire-and-forget class anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system mounted on the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). It has all-weather day and night capability and can defeat battle tanks with conventional armour as well as explosive reactive armour and is one of the world's most advanced weapons.

What is DHRUVASTRA?

DHRUVASTRA is the Air Force version of the HELINA Weapon System. It has a Air to Ground role rather than an anti-tank role.

What is Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP)?

Dreamed up by former President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) came into being to help India attain self-sufficiency in the missile technology sector. At present, five missiles are being developed under this program-- Prithvi, Agni, Trishul, Nag, and Akash.

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