DRDO’s 3rd generation Helina ATGM ‘ready for production’

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admin November 8, 2021
Updated 2021/11/08 at 9:57 AM

Dr. Sachin Sood, Project Director of Helina and Dhruvastra at the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) Hyderabad, a laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Orga, said the helicopter-launched Nag Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) Helina has completed all trials and the process for issuing an Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) by the Army has begun (DRDO).

“Both the launcher and the missile are ready to go. “Some Human Machine Interface (HMI) is being realised right now,” Dr. Sood told The Hindu. While a cost estimate has yet to be completed, each missile is estimated to cost less than one crore, with 500 missiles and 40 launchers initially required, he says.

The Request for Proposal (RFP) will be released once the AoN has been issued. The Army will conduct some shooting testing from the initial production lot at a later date.

Helina is a third-generation fire-and-forget ATGM that may be installed on an indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and has a range of 500 metres to 7 kilometres. According to Dr. Sood, all difficulties with the minimum range have been resolved, and the platform’s interoperability with other weapons has been completed.

Dr. Sood stated that the Air Force had requested the possibility of integrating the Helina on the soon-to-be-inducted Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), and that this would be done, resulting in cost savings in the missile’s manufacture. “There is also a lot of potential for export,” he added.

It is necessary to identify the platforms on which it may be incorporated in order to do so. When the Secretary of Defence Production visited the India exhibit at the Army-2021 expo in Moscow last month, he also discussed export opportunities.

Dr. Sood added that during the live shooting experiments in February, firing from maximum forward speed from a moving target, an ALH, was shown for the first time as also targeting from a top angle. “The final warhead design exhibited excellent penetration into the target. Other operational tasks, such as minimum range, were also proven during the testing, according to him.

The seeker, a crucial component of the missile, had all of its capabilities verified and certified. According to him, the target was acquired at a range of 7 km and fired on at a range of 6 km in one operation. The platform’s stability and the missile’s detachment from it had also been tested during these trials.

Dr. Sood explained the differences between the Army’s Nag ATGM and the air-launched Helina, saying that the latter had a longer range and had distinct firing mechanisms. “It’s a launch-and-forget missile,” he explained.  ALH’s Electro-Optic (EO) system immediately transfers the target over to the missile once it has been identified. He said, “It’s a lock-on before launch.”

The missile was designed by the DRDO, while the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was in charge of the integration, and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) was in charge of manufacture. BDL teams were part of the last experiment, and Dr. Sood indicated that their teams are now being trained.

The missile is largely made in the United States, with certain components sourced from the commercial sector. The missile’s launcher, rocket motors, and onboard power supply are all made in Hyderabad, while the propulsion system is made by the Ordnance Factory Bhandara, the control system by the Research Centre Imarat, the warhead is made jointly by the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and the Ordnance Factory Board, and the seeker is made by the Bharat Electronics Limited, Machilipatnam, and the Bharat Electronics Limited, Machili Dr. Sood stated, “The supply chain has been created.”

Simultaneously, an Air Force version of the Dhruvastra was being developed, with some trials already completed. Dr. Sood stated that it would have an Air to Ground capability in addition to an anti-tank one.

 

Source: The Hindu

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