The trial, conducted from an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), successfully engaged a simulated tank target. The DRDO has called the Helina one of the most advanced anti-tank weapons in the world

The Helina is a third generation fire and forget class anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system mounted on the Advanced Light Helicopter.

The Indian defence arsenal just got more firepower after it successfully completed its flight test of an anti-tank guided missile — Helina — from an advanced light helicopter (ALH) at high altitude.

The trial, carried out jointly by a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) team, along with the Indian Army and Air Force, was conducted from an advanced light helicopter and the missile was fired successfully at a simulated tank target.

News agency PTI reported that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the DRDO and the Indian Army for the achievement.

Here’s a look at the capabilities of the Helina missile and why it will be a boost to the Armed Forces.

All About Helina

The Helina is a third generation fire and forget class anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system mounted on the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). It has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad under the Missiles and Strategic Systems (MSS) cluster of the DRDO.

According to DRDO scientists, the Helina has an operational range of 500 m to 20 km and can engage targets both in direct hit mode as well as top attack mode.

Additionally, the system has all weather day and night capability and can defeat battle tanks with conventional armour as well as explosive reactive armour.

The missile is guided by an Infrared Imaging Seeker (IIR), which makes it one of the most advanced Anti-Tank Weapons in the world.

According to reports, the cost of the missiles hasn’t been finalised. However, the expected cost of a single missile is to be under Rs 1 crore. While the Helina is being inducted into the Indian Army, its variant, called Dhruvastra, is being inducted into the Air Force.

Atmanirbhar Defence

The successful flight test of Helina gains more significance, as India continues its push to self-reliance in the defence manufacturing sector.

In the recent past, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has released multiple lists of military systems and weapons that will come under an import ban over the next five years and be developed indigenously.

Helicopter launched anti-tank guided missiles figure on the import ban list, making this test all the more important for the Indian Armed Forces.

Earlier on 8 April, Rajnath Singh had placed 101 major pieces of defence equipment on the import ban list. This list came after the previous two were declared on 21 August 2020, and 31 May 2021.

The government had said in December that the ban on the imports of these weapons would help save up to Rs 3,000 crore each year.

India continues to be on the world’s largest arms importers; in its latest report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) showed that 11 per cent of all global arms sales were carried out by India in 2021. The report, however, also revealed that India’s total volume of imports fell by 21 per cent from 2012-16.