New Delhi: Indian armed forces will be soon getting HELINA, a tank-busting missile, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
It is intended to be launched from helicopters and aeroplanes to obliterate enemy tanks. Four of the five recent experiments for this anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) were successful. Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) and Bharat Dynamics (BDL) are working on it as it must now be ‘integrated’ into helicopters. The evaluation suggests that ‘integration’ will be finished by 2025.
The origin of the missile is indicated by its name, HELINA. It is a combination of two words. Helicopter is abbreviated as ‘Heli’. ‘ Na’ is derived from ‘NAG,’ an anti-tank guided missile that the DRDO worked on for many years. After successful testing in September 2022, the HELINA was decided to outfit a helicopter with. Work on the HELINA started roughly ten years ago. Only the ‘seeker’ is imported, while the missile itself is primarily domestic.
In addition to efforts to speed up ‘human-machine interaction’ time, development is currently underway to outfit helicopters with the HELINA. Simply said, the missile must be launched as rapidly as possible to give the opponent no chance to respond. The ‘acquisition’ which now takes 50–60 seconds, is being sped up to 30 seconds. This will give the helicopter a greater chance to take down enemy tanks that are on the ground.
The HELINA should be ready in two to three years, but until then, a stop-gap solution is needed. Investing in a foreign anti-tank missile that can be launched from a helicopter is one option. Although Spike and Hellfire missiles are widely accessible, there aren’t many cases involving the procurement of foreign weapons that come before the Defence Acquisition Council, which is presided over by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and comprises the Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan and the three chiefs. The alternative is to work with a foreign manufacturer while assuring that it is made in India.