The helicopter-launched Nag Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM), Helina, being developed indigenously, has completed all trials and the process for issuing of Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) by the Army has started, said 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 Organisation (DRDO).
“The launcher and missile are ready. There are some Human Machine Interface (HMI) to be realised which are going on now,” Dr. Sood told The Hindu. While the cost estimate is yet to be done, each missile is expected to cost under ₹1 crore and initially around 500 missiles and 40 launchers will be required, he says.
Once the AoN is issued, the Request for Proposal (RFP) will be issued. Some firing trials will be done from the first production lot by the Army at a later stage.
Helina is a third generation fire and forget class ATGM mounted on an indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and has a minimum range of 500 m and a maximum range of 7 km. All issues with the minimum range have been sorted out and the integration with other weapons on the platform is over, according to Dr. Sood.
Stating that the Air Force had asked for feasibility of integrating the Helina on the soon-to-be inducted Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), Dr. Sood said this would be done and would bring in economies of scale in the production of the missile. “There is also very good export potential,” he said.
For that the platforms on which it can be integrated have to be identified. The possibilities of exports were discussed with the Secretary, Defence Production as well when he visited the India pavilion at the Army-2021 expo in Moscow last month.
Talking of the trials in February during which live firing was carried out, Dr. Sood said that for the first time firing from maximum forward speed from a moving target, an ALH