The Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Tuesday successfully test-fired a Cannon Launched Guided Missile (CLGM) with a laser guidance system. The news reported first on DRDO social media handle with the image of the launch attached.
“DRDO successfully testfired its Laser-Guided Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) from MBT Arjun Tank at KK Ranges, Armoured Corps Centre & School (ACC&S) Ahmednagar on 22nd September 2020.”, said the official DRDO statement.
Developed by Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE) Pune in association with High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), the laser guided missile is highly effective in hitting hostile armoured vehicle at ranges upto 3 km with complete precision while following a laser designator. With High Explosive Anti Tank (HEAT) warhead, it can penetrate into modern Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA). The missile is planned for various platforms and presently undergoing initial trials with Arjun. The name of the missile is said to be named “SAMHO”, which the organisation was developing for the past few years under Cannon Launched Missile Development Programme(CLMDP).
“The missile employs a tandem HEAT warhead to defeat Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) protected armoured vehicles. It has been developed with multiple-platform launch capability and is currently undergoing technical evaluation trials from gun of MBT Arjun.”, the statement added.
The Defence Minister of India, Shri Rajnath Singh also congratulated the DRDO and the men for this achievement.
One point of interest in the image released by DRDO is the Tank Ex. It was a hybrid tank with the hull of T-72 and turret of Arjun. It was unveiled in 2002 and expected to be in service with Indian Army. However, it was rejected and adopted as a technology demonstrator. The latest image surely confirms that Tank Ex is in service with DRDO for testing for new weapon systems.
With the advancement of tank protection systems, development of offensive weapons also increased to counter and defeat the modern armor of hostile tank. Laser guided missiles are not new and utilised by many modern anti-tank weaponary. India already rejected the Israeli Laser Homing Anti-Tank Missile (LAHAT) as it was deemed ineffective for the rifled cannon of Arjun, however, updates cannot be confirmed over the selection of LAHAT. Therefore, we expect that this new CLGM is more optimised and compatible for Indian operational needs.