What Are HELINA And VSHORADS?
HELINA (Helicopter-based NAG) is a third-generation fire-and-forget class anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system.
VSHORADS, which stands for Very Short Range Air Defence System, is a missile system which incorporates many novel technologies including a miniaturized Reaction Control System (RCS) and integrated avionics.
- The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on January 10, 2022 accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for three capital acquisition proposals amounting to ₹4,276 crore.
- The AoN accorded by the DAC includes the procurement of HELINA Anti-Tank Guided Missiles, VSHORAD (IR Homing) Missile System, Brahmos Launcher and Fire Control System (FCS) for the Shivalik class of ships & Next Generation Missile Vessels (NGMVs) for Indian Navy.
- All three defence capital acquisition proposals are under the Buy (Indian-IDDM) category.
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What Is HELINA?
- HELINA (Helicopter based NAG) is a third generation fire and forget class anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system mounted on the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH).
- The system has all weather day and night capability and can defeat battle tanks with conventional armour as well as explosive reactive armour.
- The HELINA missile can engage targets both in direct hit mode as well as top attack mode.
- HELINA Weapon Systems is being inducted into the Indian Army (IA).
- A variant of HELINA Weapon System called DHRUVASTRA is being inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF).
- The indigenously developed missile system sees its usage by being mounted on Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH).
- HELINA Missile system can defeat battle tanks with conventional and explosive reactive armour in all weather conditions, day and night. It is also capable of engaging targets in both direct hit and top attack mode.
Note: The recent approval of AoN for HELINA ATGM, its launchers and associated support equipment comes as a vital decision as the missile is an essential part of the weaponisation of ALH to counter enemy threats.
What Is VSHORADS?
- VSHORADS, which stands for Very Short Range Air Defence System, is a missile system which incorporates many novel technologies including a miniaturized Reaction Control System (RCS) and integrated avionics.
- Designed and developed indigenously by DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad in collaboration with other DRDO laboratories and Indian Industry Partners, VSHORADS is a Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPAD).
- The VSHORADS missile, which is designed to counter low-altitude aerial threats at short ranges, is propelled by dual thrust solid motor. The missile’s design, including the launcher, has been highly optimised for portability.
- The missile system saw two successful test launches in September last year from a ground-based portable launcher at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha.
- This man-portable weapon system is the need of the hour in view of the recent development along the Northern International borders of India.
- It is a robust system that can be quickly deployed in difficult terrain, and its acquisition will tighten the country’s air defence.
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What Are NGMVs and FCS?
- Additionally, the DAC has also approved the purchase of Next Generation Missile Vessels (NGMVs) for the Indian Navy as well as Brahmos Launcher and Fire Control System (FCS) for the Shivalik class of ships. With these procurements, the ships would have enhanced abilities to conduct maritime strike operations, interdicting and destroying enemy warships and merchant vessels.
- The main capabilities that NGMVs are envisaged to possess are Surface warfare capabilities, low RADAR, acoustic, magnetic and IR signature, high endurance and credible AMD/AA capability.
- The Land based Weapon Complex of BRAHMOS comprises of four to six Mobile Autonomous Launchers (MAL). The launcher control system (LCS) functions in coordination with fire control system (FCS) and communication system.
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- The AoN is the first step in the long capital procurement process in defence. Not all AoNs accorded necessarily culminate into a final order.
- However, with flight tests having taken place, defence officials estimate the missile systems can be delivered to the forces in another three to four years with industry support if the orders are placed on time.
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