In a boost to the government’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat campaign, the helicopter launched Nag anti-tank guided missile or HELINA is ready for induction into the armed forces with the infra-red missile striking 100 percent success at test-firing trials at Pokhran ranges in Rajasthan.
According to South Block sources, the solid propelled anti-tank weapon with a range of over seven kilometers was tested for the past five days. It hit the target five out of five times at the range and now is ready for induction on HAL Rudra and light combat helicopters. The final test was conducted on Friday morning.
The HELINA missile is a third-generation anti-tank weapon with the infra-red seeker, fire-and-forget features. It is comparable with the wire-guided HJ-8 or Hongjian-8 system with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and BARQ laser-guided missile developed by Pakistan.
While the Indian Apache Longbow helicopters are fitted with Hellfire missiles over 10 kilometers range, the Helina is the Indian answer to a helicopter launched anti-armor missile. The significance of helicopter launched missile has assumed significance after the stand-off with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in east Ladakh with the China deploying a large number of armor and rocket regiments in the battle theatre. HELINA provides an option of taking down enemy tanks beyond their range by using the fire and forget mode. The HELINA system has an all-weather day and night capability and can take out enemy tanks with conventional and explosive reactive armor. The missile can engage targets in both indirect hit mode as well as the top attack mode. The IAF version of the missile is called Dhruvastra.