India on Friday successfully test fired indigenously-developed anti-tank guided missile systems ‘Helina’ and ‘Dhruvastra’, paving their induction into the Army and the Indian Air Force respectively, officials said. The defence ministry described the missiles as one of the most-advanced anti-tank weapons in the world. The missiles were test fired at Pokhran deserts in Rajasthan.
“The system has all-weather day-and-night capability and can defeat battle tanks with conventional armour as well as with explosive reactive armour. It is one of the most-advanced anti-tank weapons in the world,” the ministry said. It said five missions were carried out for evaluating the capabilities of the missiles in minimum and maximum range. “The missiles were fired in hover and max forward flight against realistic static and moving targets. Some missions were carried out with warheads against derelict tanks. A mission was carried out against a moving target from a forward flying helicopter,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ‘Helina’ and ‘Dhruvastra’ are third generation anti-tank guided missiles that can engage targets both in direct hit mode as well as top attack mode. The ministry said the joint user trials of Helina (the Army version) and Dhruvastra (IAF version) have been carried out from Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) platform. The missile systems have been designed and developed indigenously by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO, the Army and Indian Air Force on successful conduct of the user trials. DRDO Chairman G Satheesh Reddy appreciated the efforts of teams involved in the successful trials.