The helicopter-launched version of the Nag anti-tank guided missile, ‘Helina’, and its Air Force variant ‘Dhruvastra’ underwent a joint user trial in the desert ranges recently, the Ministry of Defence said on Friday. The missile systems have been designed and developed indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
DRDO officials said a total of five missions were conducted over the last one week to test these two systems and were carried out from an indigenously-developed Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) platform.
“Five missions were carried out for evaluating the missile capabilities in minimum and maximum range. The missiles were fired in hover and max forward flight against realistic static and moving targets. Some missions were carried out with warheads against derelict tanks. A mission was carried out against a moving target from a forward-flying helicopter,” read a press statement from the MoD.
Helina, which is the helicopter-launched version of the Nag missile system, is a third-generation fire and forget class anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system mounted on the ALH. The system has all- weather day and night operational capabilities and can defeat battle tanks with conventional armour as well as explosive reactive armour (ERA). The Helina missile can engage targets both in direct hit mode as well as top attack mode.
While the Helina weapon systems has been developed for the Indian Army, its IAF variant Dhruvastra has also been developed by the DRDO and now both variants are ready for induction into services.
“Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO, the Army and the Air Force for the achievements. Secretary, Department of Defence R&D, and Chairman of DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy appreciated the efforts of teams involved in the successful trials.” the statement added.
In October last year, the long-awaited third generation Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM), Nag, successfully underwent its final user trial in Pokhran range in Thar desert and became ready to be inducted into the Army following its successful winter and summer user trials in 2019.
The Helina has also undergone successful trials in 2018. Both Nag and Helina were part of the DRDO’s Republic Day display, which showcased its entire anti-tank missile family
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