Army looks to fast track process of acquiring anti-tank missiles for Rudra helicopter

Seeking to provide more firepower to its aviation fleet, the Indian Army is on a hunt for missiles which can be fired from the indigenous ALH Rudra chopper to destroy enemy tanks under the fast track procedure for urgent acquisition.

The Army is moving a proposal worth over Rs 1,300 crore before the crucial meeting of the defence acquisition council to buy a limited number of anti-tank guided missiles from global vendors for its Rudra helicopter, which is a weaponised version of the ALH Dhruv manufactured by the HAL, sources told Mail Today.

The Army is moving a proposal worth over Rs 1,300 crore before the crucial meeting of the defence acquisition council to buy a limited number of anti-tank guided missiles from global vendors for its Rudra helicopter, which is a weaponised version of the ALH Dhruv manufactured by the HAL, sources told Mail Today.

The ATGMs would be fired from helicopters which would be used by both the Army and Air Force and would also be equipped with the indigenous HELINA missiles when they are ready for operational deployment in future.

Sources in the Defence Ministry said the Army needs missiles which can hit enemy tanks at a distance of seven kilometers in all conditions claiming that the indigenous HELINA can’t do so but there is doubt whether any foreign-origin missile can achieve the strike distances from a helicopter.

PREVIOUS TENDER SCRAPPED ::

The programme to utilise the weaponised version of the ALH was started over five years ago by the HAL and it handed over the first chopper to the Army in 2013. The force had initiated a tender to procure helicopter-fired ATGMs earlier also in which private firms from Israel, Sweden and France had participated and their trials were also held at foreign locations.

READ  Centre gives DRDO 18 months to fix Nirbhay Cruise Missile

However, none of the vendors could meet the Indian requirement of providing twin-tube missile launchers as world-over the attack helicopters fire from fourtube launchers.

“The previous tender had to be scrapped in 2015 as the twin-tube solutions could not be found and having a four-tube launcher would have resulted in the boom touching the ground while landing as the Rudra is not a genuine attack machine,” sources in the Army said.

However, the continuous delays in the project also have resulted in the Army postponing its plans to utilise the choppers in antitank role due to the lack of attack choppers in its inventory. “We are taking clearance from the Defence Ministry under the fast track procedure to buy these ATGMs as they are required urgently for our choppers,” Army sources said.

The Indian Army and the Air Force together are looking to acquire a fleet of 76 weaponised Rudra choppers which would be fitted with 70mm guns and rocket pods along with four anti-tank missiles with two each fitted on both sides.

The HELINA missile, is a heli-borne version of the NAG missiles developed in the 1980s.

 

 

 

 

 

Source:- India Today

You may also like...