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India's Helina ATGM tested at high altitude

The Helina‘s successful flight trials at high altitudes pave the way for its integration on the Advanced Light Helicopter. (Janes/Jayesh Dhingra)

India's Helina fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) has been successfully flight tested at high altitude.

According to the Indian government's Press Information Bureau (PIB), an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) fired the missile on 11 April at a high-altitude range. The missile is said to have successfully engaged a simulated tank target.

The “proof of efficacy at high altitudes paves the way for its integration on [the] ALH”, the PIB said.

High-altitude tests involving the ALH are carried out at altitudes of 6 km or higher.

According to the bureau, the latest testing is part of “user validation trials”. The tests were jointly conducted by teams of scientists from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), along with members of the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The latest test comes a year after state-owned media announced in February 2021 that the ATGM system was ready to enter service with the Indian Army and the IAF.

In February 2021, “joint-user trials” of the third-generation ATGM were completed in desert conditions at Pokhran using an ALH. Janes reported that during the course of five missions, the system was tested for its ability to engage static and moving targets at minimum and maximum ranges.

The Helina is a helicopter variant of the third‐generation Nag anti‐tank missile. A portmanteau of ‘helicopter-launched Nag', the missile is a heavier and longer-range version of the vehicle-mounted Nag ATGM.

The 43 kg Helina has a maximum range of 7 km. With imaging infrared guidance, and armed with a tandem high-explosive warhead, the warhead is credited with a penetration capability of 800 mm.

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