Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Air Force (IAF) flight-tested the indigenously designed and developed Helicopter launched Stand-off Anti-tank (SANT) Missile from Pokhran ranges on December 11, 2021. The flight-test was successful in meeting all its mission objectives. The release mechanism, advanced guidance and tracking algorithms, all avionics with integrated software, performed satisfactorily and tracking systems monitored all mission events. The missile is equipped with a state-of-the-art MMW seeker which provides high precision strike capability from a safe distance. The weapon can neutralise targets in a range up to 10 kms.
SANT is a fourth generation upgraded variant of HELINA missile developed for long distance airborne anti-armour role. In November 2018, DRDO developed SANT was successfully tested at Pokhran range. The upgraded version of the missile is equipped with electro-optical thermal imager (EO/IR) and a new nose-mounted millimeter wave active radar homing (MMW) seeker with an extended range of up to 15 km to 20 km. On 19 October 2020, SANT was again test fired by the DRDO at Chandipur test range. It is developed for the Indian Air Force and Army Aviation Corps with Lock-on after launch and Lock-on before launch capabilities. On 11 December 2021, DRDO and IAF flight-tested SANT from Pokhran ranges.
The SANT missile has been designed and developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad in coordination with other DRDO labs and participation from industries. This is the third in the series of indigenous stand-off weapons to be tested in recent times after long range bomb and smart anti airfield weapon for strengthening the arsenal of IAF. The indigenous development of various configurations for different applications with advanced technologies is a firm march towards ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence. Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has congratulated the team associated with the mission. Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy said the successful flight test of SANT missile would further bolster the indigenous defence capabilities.
HELINA (Helicopter-launched Nag) is air-launched version of the Nag with extended range. It is launched from twin-tube stub wing-mounted launchers on board HAL Rudra helicopters and HAL Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It is structurally different from Nag and is guided by an infrared imaging seeker (IIR) operating in the lock-on-before-launch mode for target engagement. The Nag missile (Naga; Cobra) is an Indian third-generation, all-weather, fire-and-forget, lock-on after launch, anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) with an operational range of 500 m to 20 km. The Nag has five variants: a land version, for a mast-mounted system; the helicopter-launched; an air-launched version and and the Nag Missile Carrier (NAMICA) “tank buster”.