India - Successful test for new HeliNa anti-armor missile from helicopter

India has performed a test of its HeliNa antitank missile from a helicopter. The test took place from the Odisha coast on February 8 and was declared successful.

India Successful test for new helina anti armor missile from helicopter Nag missile and carrier Vehicle (NAMICA) (Picture source: Ajai Shukla )

HeliNa (Helicopter-launched Nag) is the helicopter-launched version of the Nag anti-armor missile, which is an Indian third generation "fire-and-forget" anti-tank guided missile. HeliNa launched from twin-tube stub wing-mounted launchers on board the armed HAL Dhruv and HAL Light Combat Helicopter produced by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). The missile uses an imaging infrared seeker and has a range of 7-8 kilometers.

The NAMICA version of the missile is a 'lock-on before launch' system, where the target is identified and designated before the missile is launched. As the targeting system is based on visual identification, the range is limited. The HELINA version on the other hand will use a 'lock-on after launch' system extending its range to 7 km. In this scenario, the missile is launched in the general direction of the target. As it approaches the target, images of the area ahead are sent back to the operator who will be able to identify enemy tanks. The command to lock on to a tank is then passed onto the seeker through an uplink mid-flight. After that, the missile homes in onto the target and destroys it. It has a top attack functionality.