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Nag (Cobra) Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) anti-tank missile

Range 2.5 km
Missile diameter 120 mm
Seeker IIR
Warhead Tandem
Sight Thermal/Day
Launch Soft Launch, 10 mtrs
Attack Top Attack
DOP 650 mm+ RHAe
MPATGM is a 3rd generation ATGM with 'Fire & Forget' and 'Top Attack' capabilities, which can be day and night. MPATGM Weapon System consists of three major separate elements: (i) Missile in an LT called the weapon round, (ii) the CLU including Thermal Sight (TS), Gunner Display, Command Control Unit, and Battery and (iii) the Launcher or Tripod. Launcher System was specified to be light and user-friendly with following functionalities: System power and health checks; missile seeker cooling; provision to display TAS and missile seeker images; display controls; target acquisition through thermal/day sight; and thermal battery and launch motor firing.

MPATGM was sanctioned to DRDO on 27 January 2015 with the scope work that included design and development of a third generation ATGM with a Launch Tube (LT) and Launcher and a Command Launch Unit (CLU), and demonstration of the system performance through ground testing and flight testing. DRDO entrusted the developmental work to Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL)–one of its Hyderabad-based laboratories–as the nodal agency with the support of sister DRDO laboratories; RCI, HEMRL, TBRL, ARDE, and IRDE. Design & development of MPATGM weapon system is undertaken for deployment by Infantry and Parachute Battalions of the Army. During the year, sub-systems for control flight trial were acceptance tested and lined up for missile integration which was followed by successful Program Control Flight Trials of the missile system in September 2018.

The domestically-made MPATGM missile project launched in 1983 had only achieved initial test firing, and even failed to achieve target testing. Although the Indian MPATGM missile claimed to be similar to the third-generation missiles such as the Israeli spike and the American Javelin, it emphasized the two capabilities of "fire and forget" attack after launch, but its long development process made the Indian military extremely dissatisfied and even expressed its lack of confidence. In addition, the Indian MPATGM missile had a short range of about 2500 meters, and it has also been confirmed that it is necessary to solve the reliability problem of the guidance head under high temperature conditions.

The Indian Army originally planned to start the process to purchase related missiles once the Javelin-MR missile passed the relevant tests. The Indian Defense Acquisition Commission (DAC) has also prepared an agreement with the Israeli government to negotiate the import of Spike-MR anti-tank missiles. But in the end this effort was abandoned. This is at least the second time India has given up buying the missile. The original contract plans to purchase 170 launchers, 4,500 missiles, and 15 training simulators. Spike-MR is the world's third-generation light anti-tank missile. It has the ability to "fire and forget" autonomous guidance. It has excellent performance and top attack capability, which can destroy most existing main battle tanks.

On 11 December 2018, Western media reported that India once again confirmed the decision to abandon the purchase of Israel's elite spike anti-tank missiles. This decision, coupled with the extremely slow progress of India's domestically produced MPATGM anti-tank missile, will make India unable to deal with world-class main battle tanks and light tanks such as Type 99A and Type 15.

The Indian Ministry of Defense once again confirmed that it will cancel the US$500 million contract for the purchase of Spike anti-tank missiles from Israel's Rafael Company. An Indian government official who asked not to be named told reporters seeking the latest developments in this project that the Indian government in New Delhi has decided not to purchase Spike anti-tank missiles from Israel Rafael during the development of the country’s MPATGM missile, in order to ensure the development space of domestic missiles.

The Indian Ministry of Defense issued a statement on the 17th, stating that on September 15th and 16th, the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully conducted two successful operations at the Ahmednagar Proving Ground in Maharashtra. Two flight tests of new portable anti-tank missiles. In addition, on 20 August 2018, DRDO also conducted a target test on the helicopter-borne anti-tank missile Helina at multiple shooting ranges in Rajasthan. For a time, the development of India's domestically-made anti-tank missiles went uncharacteristically well.

The Indian military believed that domestically produced MPATGM missiles would not have the possibility of mass service before 2021, and reconsidered importing Israeli spike anti-tank missiles. This is actually at least the second time to restart the purchase of this missile. Its purpose is to solve the serious gap in the number of anti-tank missiles of the Indian Army that will appear between 2019 and 2020.

On March 13, 2019 DRDO successfully tested the MPATGM in the Rajasthan desert. This was followed by another successful test next day on March 14, 2019. The missile was tested again on 11 September 2019. A man portable tripod launcher was used in the test. The target of the test was a dummy tank, which was hit in top attack mode.

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Page last modified: 30-01-2021 14:00:54 ZULU