JODHPUR, India --- For the first time, an indigenously developed anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) has been successfully test-fired from a helicopter platform.
The anti-tank guided missile 'HeliNa', which is a helicopter-launched version of Nag, has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Three 'HeliNa' missiles were fired during the guided flight trials at Chandan firing range in Jaisalmer.
Vara Prasad, project director for HeliNa, said that out of the three test-fires, HeliNas hit the target twice.
"The observations are yet to be evaluated," said Prasad, adding that these development trials would pave the way for the 'deliverable stage' in the near future. These missiles were fired from HAL Rudra, also known as ALH WSI, the armed version of HAL Dhruv.
Officials said the trials were conducted for a range of seven kilometres this time.
It may be mentioned here that in a hot fire trial, a missile is actually fired against a real target unlike in a captive trial.
The HeliNa is handled by the missile handling unit of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The earlier trials of this third generation 'fire and forget' missile, though lagging behind its schedule, were conducted from the Pokhran firing range. It is one of the five missile systems developed by DRDO under the integrated guided missile development programme (IGMDP).
"The previous trials were conducted for a strike range of four kilometres. The evaluation trials were carried out for the anti-tank missile in the hot desert conditions. The trials were against both moving and static targets for different ranges till seven kilometres to evaluate the performance of an improved version of 'IIR seeker' for engaging and striking the target. The HeliNa has an extended strike range of about eight kilometres," said an official.
These trials have been conducted for a range of seven kilometres and the data collected during these test-fires is being analysed and evaluated.