Nag (Cobra) Prospina anti-tank missile
The NAG missile (Cobra), also called "PROSPINA" for the land-attack version, is an Indian third-generation, all-weather, fire-and-forget, lock-on after launch, anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) with an operational range of 500 m to 20 km. Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the PROSPINA (formerly named as the NAG) missile is claimed to be far superior to the Javelin of the US and the Israeli Spike missiles.
The initial - and prime - land-attack variant of the ‘Nag’ missile (Prospina) has been cleared for series production after decade-long trials. An initial batch of 293 missiles for the 13 NAMICA (Nag Missile Carrier) launch vehicles ordered will be inducted into the army, and is one of the five missile systems being developing under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). This missile, with top-attack mode and robust high-resolution IR sights, can accurately impact enemy tanks (both static and mobile) at distances of between 500 meters to 4 kilometers in extremely hot desert conditions.
NAG is an all-weather weapon. It can be fired from both land and air- during both day and night. It has four variants: Prospina, Helina, Helina (SANT) and Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM). While the Prospina is a land based variant that’s launched from a vehicle called NAMICA/ NAG Missile Carrier, the variants Helina and Helina SANT are fired from helicopters. The MPATGM is fired from the shoulder. The NAG strike range varies from a minimum of 500m to a maximum of 20km. it has a speed of 230m/sec. It is a fire and forget kind of weapon. It uses thermal imaging to identify the target to which it then locks on. The seeker system is used to seek it out. It is able to penetrate the Explosive Reactive Armour/ ERA of the tanks using the outer part of the missile while the inner protective layers are destroyed by the main charge. The missile is also jam- proof.
PROSPINA, which has 'fire & forget' and 'top attack' capabilities, will be highly supportive to the mechanised infantry and airborne forces of Indian Army. The Fire and Forget 3rd generation ATGM NAG is incorporated with many advanced technologies including the imaging infrared radar (IIR) seeker with integrated avionics, a capability which is possessed by few nations in the world. The capabilities of the top attack ATGM NAG is unique in nature and in the latest mission it successfully destroyed the target. Talking of the lethality, PROSPINA carrying an 8 kg HEAT (High Explosive Anti Tank) warhead is capable of beating even the thickest of modern armours.
By April 2018, Indian Army was all set to induct 300 of Prospina (earlier known as NAG, in Hindi for "Cobra") ATGM, a third-generation, fire-and-forget, anti-tank guided missile system. It is one of five missile systems developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).
The Prospina (NAG) ATGM is equipped with an indigenous high-resolution imaging infrared seeker developed by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), capable of operating during day and night, which provides passive homing guidance for engaging static/moving tank targets. It has a flight speed of 230 meters per second and is armed with an 8kg tandem shaped-charge warhead. It has a rocket motor using a 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. The missile is equipped with four foldable wings and has a length of 1.85m, a diameter of 0.20m, a wingspan of 0.4m and weight of 43kg. The missile will be based on NAMICA (NAG Missile Carrier), which is an improved version of the Soviet-designed BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), licensed manufactured in India as "Sarath".
The missile is launched from the NAG missile carrier (NAMICA) which is capable of carrying up to six combat missiles. The robust imaging algorithm has made the missile hit the target at four-kilometer distance even in severe summer desert conditions which is unique in its class.
As part of the NAG summer user trials, six missions were conducted under the extreme temperature conditions of the Pokhran Ranges. All the missiles have met the mission objectives including minimum range, maximum range, in direct attack as well as top attack modes and achieved a direct hit onto the target. The trials were conducted by the user team from the Army as per the user defined trial directive. The missile system has already cleared the winter user trials inFeb 2019. Government has already issued the Acceptance of Necessity for induction of NAG after user trials. All the ten missiles, which were fired during winter and summer trails, successfully hit the targets. Completion of summer user trials will now pave the way for production and induction of the missile system into the Army. The trials were witnessed by senior officials of the Army and DRDO.
Final user trial of 3rd generation Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) NAG was carried out on 22 October 2020 at 0645 hrs from Pokhran range. The missile was integrated with the actual warhead and a tank target was kept at designated range. This was launched from NAG Missile Carrier NAMICA. The missile hit the target accurately defeating the armor. ATGM NAG has been developed by DRDO to engage highly fortified enemy tanks in day and night conditions. The missile has “Fire & Forget” “Top Attack” capabilities with passive homing guidance to defeat all MBTs equipped with composite and reactive armor.
The NAG missile carrier NAMICA is a BMP II based system with amphibious capability. With this final user trial, NAG will enter into production phase. The missile will be produced by Defence PSU Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), whereas Ordnance Factory Medak will produce the NAMICA. Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO and Indian Army for the successful trial of NAG Missile. Secretary DDR&D & Chairman DRDO, Dr G Satheesh Reddy appreciated the efforts of DRDO, Indian Army and Industry in bringing the missile up to the production phase.