- The friction with PLA in east Ladakh has dawned an era of long-range standoff weapons like HELINA missile as conventional warfighting has reached another level.
- HELINA anti-tank missile strikes 5 out 5, and the missile is ready for induction
According to South Block sources, the solid propelled anti-tank weapon with a range of over seven kilometres was tested for the past five days.
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 per cent 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 kilometres 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 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 with over 10 kilometres range, the Helina is the Indian answer to a helicopter launched anti-armour 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 armour and rocket regiments in the battle theatre. HELINA provides an option of taking down enemy tank beyond its 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 armour. The missile can engage targets both in direct hit mode as well as the top attack mode. The IAF version of the missile is called Dhruvastra.