IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


11th January, 2023 Defence

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Context: DAC gives the nod to purchase indigenous defence systems. Acceptance of Necessity given for three capital acquisition proposals amounting to ₹4,276 crores; these include helicopter-launched Nag missiles and BrahMos cruise missile launchers for ships.


  • These include the helicopter-launched Nag (HELINA) anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), very short-range air defence systems (VSHORAD), BrahMos cruise missile launchers, and fire control systems (FCS) for naval ships.
  • All three are indigenous design and development projects.
  • The HELINA and Dhruvastra being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) are third-generation lock-on-before-launch fire-and-forget ATGMs meant for the indigenous ALH and the light combat helicopter.
  • HELINA is the Army variant and Dhruvastra is the Air Force variant.
  • The DAC also accorded AoN for procurement of the VSHORAD (IR Homing) missile system under design and development by the DRDO.
  • In view of the recent developments along the northern borders, there is a need to focus on effective air defence weapon systems which are man-portable and can be deployed quickly in rugged terrain and maritime domain.


  • 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).
  • Helina has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad under the Missiles and Strategic Systems (MSS) cluster of the DRDO. Successful user trials of the missile have been conducted since 2018.
  • The system has all-weather day and night capability and can defeat battle tanks with conventional armour as well as explosive reactive armour.
  • HELINA Weapon Systems is being inducted into the Indian Army (IA). A variant of the HELINA Weapon System called DHRUVASTRA is being inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF).
  • Helina has a maximum range of seven kilometres and has been designed and developed for integration on the weaponized version of the ALH.
  • Helina can engage targets both in direct hit mode as well as top attack mode. In the top attack mode, the missile is required to climb sharply after launch and travel at a certain altitude and then plunge on the top of the target.
  • In the direct hit mode, the missile travels at a lower altitude, directly striking the target.


  • VSHORADS is a Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPAD) designed and developed indigenously by DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad in collaboration with other DRDO laboratories and Indian Industry Partners.
  • VSHORADS missile incorporates many novel technologies including a miniaturized Reaction Control System (RCS) and integrated avionics, which have been successfully proven during the tests.
  • The missile, meant for neutralizing low-altitude aerial threats at short ranges is propelled by a dual-thrust solid motor.
  • The design of the missile including the launcher has been highly optimized to ensure easy portability.
  • Both the flight tests have completely met the mission objectives.

About BrahMos:

  • It is a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ship, aircraft, or land.
  • Developed by: It is a joint venture between the Russian Federation's NPO Mashinostroyeniyaand India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), who together have formed BrahMos Aerospace.
  • It is the world's fastest anti-ship cruise missile in operation.
  • Version in use: land-launched and ship-launched versions.
  • Recent development: In 2016, India became a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime(MTCR), India and Russia are now jointly developing a new generation of Brahmos missiles with a 600 km-plus range.
  • In 2019, India upgraded the missile with a new range of 500 km.

Shivalik Class:

  • The Shivalik class or Project 17 class is a class of multi-role stealth frigates in service with the Indian Navy.
  • They are the first stealth warships built in India.
  • They were designed to have better stealth features and land-attack capabilities than the preceding Talwar-class frigates.
  • A total of three ships were built between 2000 and 2010, and all three were in commission by 2012.
  • The Shivalik class, along with the seven Project 17A frigates currently being developed from them, are projected by the principal frigates of the Indian Navy in the first half of the 21st century.
  • All ships of the class were built by Mazagon Dock Limited.
  • The class and the lead vessel have been named for the Shivalik hills. Subsequent vessels in the class are also named for hill ranges in India

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC):

  • It worked under the Defence Minister and was constituted for overall guidance of the defence procurement planning process.
  • The objective of the Defence Acquisition Council is to ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements of the Armed Forces.
  • The functions of the DAC include:
    • in-principle approval of 15 Year Long-Term Integrated Perspective Plan for Defence Forces;
    • accord of Acceptance of Necessity to acquisition proposals;
    • categorization of the acquisition proposals relating to 'Buy', 'Buy & Make' and 'Make';
    • issues relating to Single vendor clearance;
    • the decision regarding 'offset' provisions in respect of acquisition proposals above Rs. 300 crores;
    • decisions regarding the Transfer of Technology under 'Buy & Make' category of acquisition proposals; and
    • Field Trial evaluation.