On 20 Feburary 2021, India has successfully test-fired anti-tank guided missile systems ‘Helina’ and ‘Dhruvastra. The indigenously-developed missilelaunched from Pokhran range, Thar desert (Rajasthan).

The Missile

  • The Helina (Army version) and Dhruvastra ( Airforce version) are helicopter-launched versions of 3rd-generation anti-tank guided missiles (Nag missile system).
    • This missile system has all-weather day-and-night capability and can defeat battle tanks with conventional armor and explosive reactive armor.
  • Indigenous
    • This missile systems have been designed and developed indigenously by the DRDO.
  • Operations
    • ‘Helina’ and ‘Dhruvastra’ can engage targets both in direct hit mode as well as top attack mode.
      • Top Attack Mode: Missile is required to climb sharply after launch and travel at a certain altitude, then plunge on top of the target.
      • Direct Attack Mode: Missile travels at a lower altitude, directly striking the target.

About Nag Missile

  • Nag Missile is a 3rd-generation, fire-and-forget, anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation to support both mechanized infantry and airborne forces of the Indian Army.
  • It is an all-weather condition with day and night capabilities and with a minimum range of 500 m and a maximum range of 4 kilometer.
  • The Missile can be launched from land and air-based platforms. The land version is currently available for integration on the Nag missile carrier.
  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation has developed nag Missiles under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).

Integrated Guided Missile Development Program

  • The Integrated Guided Missile Development Program was conceived by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam to enable India to attain self-sufficiency in the field of missile technology. IGMDP was approved by the GoI in the year 1983 and completed by March 2012.
  • The 5 missiles (P-A-T-N-A) developed under this program are:
    • Prithvi: The Short-range surface to surface ballistic missile.
    • Agni: The Ballistic missiles with different ranges, i.e., Agni (I, II, III, IV, V).
    • Trishul: The Short-range low-level surface to air missile.
    • Nag: The 3rd generation anti-tank missile.
    • Akash: The Medium range surface to air missile.

India successfully test Helina & Dhruvastra Missile