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By Bulbul Singh

04 Nov 07. The Indian Army has formulated a new comprehensive plan under which its mechanized troops will get new generation anti-tank guided missiles
(ATGM), as the homegrown Nag missile has not proven successful.

Alongside this, India is also now looking for technology partners for development of very advanced System Level Integrated Communication [KIT} for carrying out operations against highly mobile targets in the night as well as at day time. Indian Army has projected a requirement of 6000 new generation missiles in the next ten years.

As part of this ARGM acquisition program, global bids are to be floated in the next two to three months for the procurement of ATGMs for home-grown Advanced Light Helicopter for the Army and the Air Force. Besides, global bids are also to be floated by the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force for the procurement of ATGMs for tanks, BMP-II Infantry Combat Vehicles .

The Request for Proposal (RFP) is likely to go to Rosoboronexport, Mistral air to air missiles from MBDA, Rafael of Israel, Raytheon of United States.

The homegrown Advanced Light Helicopter called Dhruv was supposed to have the home-grown Nag anti-tank guided missile (ATGM). The Nag is delayed by over ten years; that is why the Ministry will float a separate tender for the procurement of unspecified number of new generation ATGMs.

The Indian Army has also firmed up its requirements for over 3000 new generation ATGMs for T-72 and T-90 tanks and BMP-II infantry combat vehicles. The Indian Army is presently firming up its staff qualitative technical requirements and will put up a case before MoD this year for the purchase of ATGMS from overseas. The formal RFP is likely to be issued early next year.

The limited production Nag missiles which were produced by BDL have not been found up to the technical requirements by the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force and have been used for training purposes.

There is problem with the seeker head; there is still no certainty on the supply of seeker heads from Thales.

The Nag (Cobra) is a third-generation, all weather, top attack, fire and forget anti-tank guided missile. It is one of the five missiles developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program and design work for the missile begun in 1988.

Currently guidance of the missile is based on a passive IR seeker. Meantime a new seeker head is being developed to replace the IR seeker and a new milimetric wave version is being developed and tested.

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