The Indian DRDO has yet again conducted a missile test of its indigenously developed ‘Nag’ ATGM on Thursday. This marked the final trial of the missile and is now ready for induction with the Indian Army.
The missile was test-fired from the ‘hunter-killer’ Nag Missile Carrier (NAMICA), on 0645 hours (IST) at the Pokhran Field Firing ranges in Rajasthan. The missile reportedly met all the test parameters successfully and added another feather to the organisation’s cap.
This test was the final trial of the ‘Nag’, which is an anti-tank guided missile capable of destroying enemy armoured vehicles at ranges of 4 to 7 kilometers. It is reportedly fitted with a better and an advanced seeker than its predecessors which allows for credible accuracy even in the extreme environmental conditions in which the Indian Army operates.
It also has a top-attack capability, which is considered crucial for any modern anti-tank missile- to hit the hostile vehicle where the armour is weakest.
First revealed in 2008, the Nag Missile and its Carrier share parallel development processes.
The earlier versions of the Nag missile had the uncooled LWIR sensors which failed to correctly identify their targets’ heat signature during testing in the hot desert conditions of Rajasthan. According to sources, only one of the four missiles fired during trials in July 2012 had hit the target.
However, the development of the Nag missile had been fast-tracked owing to its importance in a number of projects – the Helicopter-launched variant Dhruvastra to arm Rudra and LCH – Light Combat Aircraft, the ground-based MPATGM, and SANT missile system, and of course, the NAMICA.
This led to the development of a better seeker with higher resolution- the addition of a new focal panel array which enables the missile to get a clearer picture of the target and the surroundings, aiding in its differentiation from the background.
Missiles were further upgraded by incorporating IR-CCD processor chips supplied by France’s ULIS-SOFRADIR. The trials of the missile from 2016 to 2020 have since been all successful – against both stationary and moving targets. The Indian army has repeatedly declared its plans for induction.
According to unclassified specifications, the Nag ATGM has a flight speed of 230 meters per second, is armed with an 8kg tandem shaped-charge warhead, has a rocket motor using nitramine-based smokeless extruded double base sustainer propellant, has a single-shot hit probability of 0.77, and a CEP of 0.9 meters, and has a 10-year maintenance-free shelf-life.
DRDO’s Missile Test Timeline
Since the past two months, DRDO has rigorously intensified its Missile tests for the Indian Armed Forces and Strategic Command. Here’s a brief timeline:
- 7th September: Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV)
- 22nd September: ABHYAS (High Speed Expendable Aerial Target)
- 23rd September: Cannon-Launched Anti-Tank Guided Missile (CLGM)
- 23rd September: Prithvi-II Short-Range Ballistic Missile
- 30th September: BrahMos (Extended Range) Supersonic Cruise Missile
- 1st October: Cannon-Launched Anti-Tank Guided Missile (2nd test in a row)
- 3rd October: Shaurya Hypersonic Cruise Missile
- 5th October: Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART) system
- 9th October: Rudram-1 Anti-Radiation Missile
- 12th October: Nirbhay Cruise Missile test (aborted in-flight)
- 16th October: Prithvi-2 SRBM (2nd test in a row)
- 18th October: BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile (from INS Chennai)
- 20th October: Standoff Anti-Tank Missile (SANT)
- 22nd October: Nag Missile (from NAMICA)