New Delhi: The Indian Army is planning to acquire more than 500 helicopter-launched Nag (HELINA) anti-tank missiles for Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)-manufactured Rudra and LCH Prachand attack helicopters, media reports said.
The army is in the process of integrating HELINA missiles on the weaponised variant of the advanced light helicopter (ALH) Rudra, the report said. Once the integration is complete, production will commence. The integration of this eight-kilometre range missile is expected to begin next year.
Earlier, in August, HELINA and its air force variant, Dhruvastra, successfully completed all the trials. Both missiles are guided by an advanced imaging infra-red seeker, operating in both the ‘lock-on before launch’ and ‘lock-on-after-launch’ modes, making them some of the world’s most advanced anti-tank weapons. They are capable of defeating armoured targets, including tanks, at ranges of 7-8 kilometres.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation, in 2022, conducted successful flight tests at Pokhran weapon testing range, as part of user validation trials. Both the missiles were also tested from a high altitude range in eastern Ladakh, where the missile successfully demonstrated its capability to destroy simulated tank targets.
The HELINA and Dhruvastra missiles are helicopter-launched variants of Nag missile, which is a fire-and-forget, third-generation ATGM, with an operational range of up to 4 km, equipped with a tandem high-explosive anti-tank warhead.