Indigenously developed helicopter launched Anti-Tank Guided Missile ‘HELINA’ was successfully flight tested at high-altitude ranges as part of user validation trials.
- The flight-test was jointly conducted by the teams of scientists from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Indian Army and Indian Air Force (IAF).
- The flight trials were conducted from an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and the missile was fired successfully engaging simulated tank target.
- The missile is guided by an Imaging Infra-Red (IIR) Seeker operating in the Lock on Before Launch mode. It is one of the most advanced anti-tank weapons in the world.
What is ‘Helina’ ATGM?
- Helina is a third-generation fire-and-forget class ATGM mounted on an indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), and has a minimum range of 500 metres and a maximum range of 7 kilometres.
- The missile system has all-weather day and night capability. It can penetrate through the conventional armour and can also destroy the explosive reactive armour.
- The missile can engage targets both in direct hit mode as well as top attack mode.
- The development of ammunition that can pierce the armours of tanks and the material that can withstand such ammo has been an ongoing race since World War I. But it wasn’t until the next World War that armies across the world began to use the ATGMs, missile systems that can strike and neutralise armoured vehicles such as tanks.
- While Indian Army mainly uses various imported anti-tank guided missiles, the DRDO has been working on ATGMs that can be launched from different platforms as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.
- The indigenously developed low weight, fire and forget Man Portable Anti Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) was successfully tested in September 2019.
- In February 2018, ATGM Nag was successfully tested in desert conditions. In the meantime, the government said in December 2019 that it has procured Anti-Tank Spike Missiles from Israel along with the allied systems to meet operational requirements of the Indian Army.
Importance in armoured warfare –
- The role of armoured and mechanised vehicles has remained decisive even in modern day warfare because of their ability to go past conventional defences.
- Tank battles are generally fought in a close range of under five kilometres. The objective is to hit the enemy tank before they can take a clear shot. Development of missile systems that can defeat tanks built using modern armour act as a deterrent against enemy tanks from advancing.
- The operability of the missile from a tank is a key feature in armoured warfare. The missile has the capability of engaging with the target even if it is not in the line of sight, thus further enhancing its capability.