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EXPLAINED: All You Need To Know About Anti-Tank Guided Missile - Helina That Can Destroy Targets Miles Away

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New Delhi, Apr 12: India on Monday successfully test-fired a locally developed anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), Helina, at a high-altitude range on Monday as part of user validation trials. The latest test came on the back of a series of trials conducted at the Pokhran firing range in Rajathan.

EXPLAINED: All You Need To Know About Anti-Tank Guided Missile - Helina That Can Destroy Targets Miles Away

"The flight test was jointly conducted by teams of scientists from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Indian Army and Indian Air Force," the ministry said in a statement.

All you need to know about anti-tank guided missile Helina

The Helina (the Army version) is the helicopter-launched versions of third-generation anti-tank guided missiles (the Nag missile system).

The missile system has all-weather day-and-night capability and can defeat battle tanks with conventional armor and explosive reactive armor.

It is launched from twin-tube stub wing-mounted launchers on board HAL Rudra helicopters and HAL Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

It is structurally different from Nag and is guided by an infrared imaging seeker (IIR) operating in the lock-on-before-launch mode for target engagement.

The first ground launch of the missile to check lock-on after launch (LOAL) capability were conducted in 2011 during which the missile was locked onto a target and launched.

While the missile was in flight, a second target was chosen for the missile to hit, which the missile destroyed. This demonstrated the capability of the missile to lock onto and hit a target while in mid-flight.

In the ground-launched LOAL test, the missile was launched in the general direction of the target.

On approaching the target, images of the area ahead were sent from the missile to the operator via a two-way, radio frequency, command-video data link. The operator identified the target in the images and updated the new target location into the seeker, after which the missile homed in on the target and destroyed it.

It supports both top attack and direct attack functionality.

On 13 July 2015, three trials of HELINA were conducted by HAL at the Chandhan firing range in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. The missiles were test-fired from a HAL Rudra; two missiles succeeded in hitting the targets at a range of 7 km, while one reportedly missed the target.

After successful image capturing trials in Bangalore, DRDO planned to test HELINA with an updated 640x512-pixel resolution IIR seeker instead of the original 128x128-pixel resolution seeker in September 2016 for the Army Aviation Corps under hot desert conditions, with moving and static targets, for different range parameters.

On 19 August 2018, HELINA was successfully test-fired from a HAL LCH at the Pokhran test range.

DRDO and the Indian Army tested HELINA with a range of 7-8 km from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, Odisha, on 8 February 2019 to check the maximum missile range and accuracy.

The HELINA user trial was expected to be completed by 2020. The Indian armed forces successfully test fired the helicopter-launched Nag Missile (HELINA), now named Dhruvastra anti-tank guided missile in direct and top attack mode that is upgraded with new features.

Three developmental flight trials were conducted from 15 to 16 July (2020) at ITR Balasore (Odisha) from a ground based launcher.

On 19 February 2021, Army variant HELINA and Air Force version Dhruvastra have successfully demonstrated their capabilities in a series of multi-mission user trials from HAL Rudra and is ready for induction into the Indian Armed Forces.

HELINA completed all kind of user trials as of 20 September 2021. The Indian Army is ready for the missile acquisition which is expected to cost under ₹1 crore. The initial demand is of 500 missiles and 40 launching tubes.

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