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 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 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.