BALASORE: India conducted two-round trials of helicopter launched Nag (HeliNa), DRDO’s anti-tank guided missile from a defence base off the Odisha coast on Friday. While one reportedly failed to give expected results, the other was successful.
Defence sources said the air-to-ground variant short range weapons were test fired from an Indian air force helicopter near the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-sea at about 11.45 am and 4 pm.
HeliNa is air-to-land version of Nag missile, which is one of the five missile systems developed by DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).
This was fourth and fifth trial of the upgraded missile Nag. Earlier three trials of this third generation ‘fire and forget’ missile was conducted from both the Pokhran firing range and ITR and dubbed as successful.
Sources said the trial conducted during the noon was unsuccessful as the missile failed to hit the target as expected. However, the second test carried out in the afternoon was successful.
Once inducted in the Armed Forces, the HeliNa missile will be integrated with the weaponised version of the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv and the light combat helicopter produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
It can be launched from twin-tube stub wing-mounted launchers on board the armed light combat helicopters and advanced light helicopters. This missile is airborne and has a lock-on-after system which helps in extending its range up to nearly eight kms.
While Nag missile has a maximum range of four kms, the HeliNa has an extended strike range of about eight kms. The Nag missile can strike its targets up to four kms but in extreme heat conditions, the missile fails to reach beyond three kms. The DRDO is, however, working on it to fix the problems in the system.
The Indian Army has been awaiting the induction of the Nag missile since long. The missile, which is under development since 80s, had failed during user trials by the Army personnel from Mahajan firing range in Rajasthan in 2012. The missile was then fired with a modified carrier NAMICA.