India successfully test fires HeliNa Anti-Tank Guided Missile

What in news:

India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed HeliNa anti-tank missile at the Pokhran Range in Rajasthan.

About news:

The HeliNa stands for Helicopter-launched Nag, and is a variant of the land-launched Nag anti-tank guided missile.

"The weapon system has been tested for its full range.

The 'HELINA' weapon system released smoothly from the launch platform has tracked the target all through its course and hit the target with high precision.

All the parameters have been monitored by the telemetry stations, tracking systems and the Helicopters," read a statement from the Ministry of Defence on the tests.

The HeliNa is designed to be launched from the helicopters operated by the Indian Army Aviation Corps. It has been designed to be launched from the HAL Light Combat Helicopter, the HAL Dhruv and its armed variant, HAL Rudra.

The Nag missile, and subsequently HeliNa, are 'fire-and-forget' missiles.

That means once locked on to a target before their launch, they have onboard systems that would help track the target's movements and make changes to their trajectory to ensure a hit.

While Sunday's tests of the HeliNa were for the 'lock-before-launch' function, the Nag is also capable of being programmed for a different target after it has been launched towards a previously locked-on target.

Nag and HeliNa are top-attack missiles, meaning they will fly over the target and make contact from above.

This is an especially key functionality for anti-tank weapons, considering most tanks and armoured vehicles are heavily armoured on all sides, and feature relatively shielding on their tops.

The Nag, the land-operated system from which HeliNa is derived, is also undergoing trials, and is yet to be inducted into the Indian Army. The weapon system has been in development since the 1980s.

Anti-tank guided missile (ATGM)

Anti-tank missile, anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) or anti-armor guided weapon is a guided missile primarily designed to hit and destroy heavily armored military vehicles.

ATGMs range in size from shoulder-launched weapons, which can be transported by a single soldier, to larger tripod-mounted weapons, which require a squad or team to transport and fire, to vehicle and aircraft mounted missile systems.

The introduction to the modern battlefield of smaller, man-portable ATGMs with larger warheads has given infantry the ability to defeat light and medium tanks at great ranges; though main battle tanks (MBTs) using composite and reactive armors have proven to be resistant to smaller ATGMs.


Expected prelims question

HeliNa is in news recently. It is related to

a)    Torpedo

b)    Anti-tank guided missile

c)     Canister ballistic submarine

d)    None of above

Ans - b

Expected mains question

Describe about Anti Tank Guided Missiles? Add a note on features of indigenously developed HeliNa an Anti-tank missile.