INDIAN ARMY ORDERS NAG ATGMS
By Bulbul Singh
23 Mar 10. The Indian Army has formally contracted 443 Nag Anti-Tank
Guided Missiles (ATGM) for $73 million, even before the final trials are completed. The Nag home-grown ATGM, behind schedule by over 10 years, is now ready for induction with Israeli help.
An Indian Army official said, “The Nag missile is better than several ATGM’s in its available class around the world. More orders will be given.”
A senior DRDO scientist from state-owned claimed that Nag was superior in terms of range (four km) to the Javelin of the U.S. and the Spike of Israel.
DRDO has also begun work on extending the range of the Nag to an air version which will be mounted on Indian-made helicopters. The DRDO scientist claimed that the third-generation missile was a truly fire-and-forget’ system, unlike the first-generation system, which the operator had to track and guide manually. Nag, he claimed, was entirely autonomous from launch-to-impact to ensure zero-miss distance. The missile can be operated 24/7, has op-attack capability to counter Explosive Reactive Armour of modern MBTs.
“The lethal capability of Nag had been increased by enabling it to carry one of the most powerful tandem warheads to defeat futuristic battle tanks,” claimed the DRDO scientist.
When the missile is fired, a pre-cursor charge would initially tackle
ERA, followed by the main charge within 250 microseconds. That way the
effect of the ERA is nullified. The third-generation Nag missile,
with a four-km strike range, will be manufactured by state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL). The missiles will equip Reconnaissance and Support Battalions, mechanised units that locate and destroy enemy tanks.
The Nag missile has an Israeli seeker head. After being denied the seeker head technology by Thales of France, DRDO tied up with Rafael of Israel to provide the seeker heads. The seeker head is an advanced Electro Optical system, critical in the guidance of the Nag.
The Indian Army alone has a requirement of around 12,000 Nag missiles and another 1000 heli-borne ATGMs.
The production of the Nag missile will lead to replacement of existing Russian Konkours and Euromissile Milan missiles. BDL also manufactures the second-generation Russian licensed Konkurs and French-licensed Milan missiles.