In the wake of ongoing border tensions between India and China, Defence Research and Development Organisation conducts flight trials of the anti-tank guided Nag Missile (HELINA), which has been named now as Dhruvastra. The trials were carried out in direct and top attack mode on July 15-16. Trials were done without helicopter at Interim Test Range, Balasore, Odisha.

This is categorized as the third-generation, fire-and-forget, anti-tank guided missile. And is meant to support both the air borne forces of the Indian Army as well as the Mechanised infantry.

It has been designed such that it can be launched from land and air-based platforms.

According to informed sources the land version of this missile is already available for integration the Nag missile carrier (NAMICA). This has been derived from a BMP-2 infantry combat vehicle, which is currently deployed in Ladakh region.

The missile in the helicopter-launched configuration has been designated as Helicopter-launched NAG (HELINA). Once the trials are over successfully, this can be fired from the indigenous `Dhruv’ Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), as well as Rudra (ALH WSI) attack helicopter. Both these helicopters are made in India by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
What Is There In This Missile?

Possessing high single-shot hit probability, the missile has an advanced passive homing guidance system.

It has been designed such that it has the capability to destroy the new age Main Battle Tanks and other heavy armoured vehicles.

DRDO has developed this missile under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP). Under IGMDP other missiles which have been developed include — Agni, Akash, Trishul and Prithvi.

Bharat Dynamics (BDL) has produced imaging infrared seekers for the weapon.

When The NAG Was First Tested?

While the very first test of NAG was done in 1990, the launch of the missile from a tube in programmed control mode was performed at the ITR in 2001.

In 2015, tests on the HELINA were carried out at the Chandan Firing Range located in Rajasthan. This was followed up by a successful test with a modified seeker which destroyed a thermal target system (TTS) at a range of 4km, in 2016.

It has top attack capability and is immune to countermeasures and the airframe has been built with lightweight and high-strength composite materials. It comes equipped with four wings which are foldable and have a length of 1.85m, with a diameter of 0.20m.

The wing span is 0.4m and weighs 43kg.

There is a real time image processor and has fast and efficient algorithms which provide automatic target detection and tracking capabilities.

While the range of the land version is 4km, the HELINA can reach up to 7km in Lock On Before Launch (LOBL) mode. Eight missiles can be attached to the Helicopter with the help of 4 twin launchers.

HELINA can be fired in two modes i.e. Direct and Top attack. With a warhead penetration capability of 800 mm, the missile can defeat futuristic armour as well, thereby inflicting maximum damage to the tank and crippling its crew. The fire and forget capability has been imparted by an indigenously developed Imaging Infra Red seeker.

The project is currently in advanced development stage. Safe separation, full range controllability & LOBL guidance performance have been successfully proven from ALH platform in standalone mode configuration.

Missile Specifications

Length : 1.9 m
Weight : 45 kg
Diameter : 0.16 m
Missile Speed : 240 m/s
Range : 500 m to 7 km
SSKP : >80%