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Update: India's Helina ATGM tested at high altitudes

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 altitudes.

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. A second test was conducted at different ranges and altitudes on 12 April.

The missile is said to have successfully engaged a simulated tank target on both occasions.

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 conducted 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 the members of the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF).

“With the flight test, consistent performance of the complete system, including Imaging Infra-Red (IIR) Seeker, has been established, which will enable the induction of the ‘Helina' into the armed forces,” PIB said.

The latest tests come a year after the 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.

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