Dhruvastra, an advanced variant of the Helina anti-tank guided missile that has been designed and developed indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), will be tested from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) manufactured Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) sometime in the next year as HAL starts preparation in adding much awaited and most critical missile system that is desired in any attack helicopter that is ATGM.

Dhruvastra anti-tank guided missile was last tested from Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH)-Rudra platform in desert ranges earlier this year successfully. Post trials, DRDO had said that Dhruvastra is cleared for induction after it successfully demonstrated the missile capabilities in minimum and maximum range, indirect hit mode as well as top attack mode against a static and moving target that was observed by Army and Air force officials.

Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH)-Rudra which is a weaponized variant of the ALH-Dhruv Helicopter that already has been inducted into the Indian Army but remains void of the crucial helicopter-launched version of the third-generation fire and forget class anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system in its arsenal due to which Army and Air force were not keen on placing orders for Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) without an air-launched anti-tank guided missile in its arsenal.

Industrial sources close to have told us that it will be a critical milestone for both Dhruvastra and LCH programs if trials are successful and cleared for production and induction by Army and Air force and come as a major boost to the Made in India platforms. Army and Air force are jointly looking to procure 160 Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) from HAL and many countries are keenly observing the LCH program to meet their demands for Low-cost multi-role attack helicopters in its class.

DRDO also has developed Standoff Anti-tank Guided Missile (SANT) that has been tested from IAF’s Mi-35 Attack Helicopters. SANT is equipped with an electro-optical imager (IIR) and a new nose-mounted active radar homing seeker with an extended range of up to 15 km to 20 km. Both Dhruvastra and SANT will be the main helicopter-launched anti-tank guided missile systems on Light Combat Helicopter and ALH-Rudra in near future.

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