Nag (Cobra) anti-tank missile
Nag is a third- generation anti-tank guided missile with a range of 4 to 6 kilometers. Nag can be mounted on an infantry combat vehicle and helicopter launched version of Nag is also available. Nag is a third generation anti-tank missile system with “fire and forget” and “top attack” capabilities. Capable of defeating modern armour, Nag uses Imaging Infra-Red (IIR) guidance having both day and night capability. The state-of-the-art Imaging Infra Red homing guidance system has lock-on-before-launch capability for day and night operation.
The Nag missile's IIR seeker was updated during the testing phase. The initial variant had LWIR 128x128 pixel resolution, a lock-on range of 2.5 km & a SSPK of 77%. By 2020 the newer HeliNa (Helicopter Nag) seeker had MWIR 640x512 resolution, 4 km lock-on range & SSPK of >90%, first tested in September 2016.
A smokeless nitramine based propellant has been developed for the Nag. The missile is carried either on “NAMICA” (Traced ICV) or the Advanced Light Helicopter. Its high strength composite airframe with foldable wings and fins, onboard real time processor with fast and efficient algorithms, compact sensor package and electric actuation system, digital autopilot and high immunity to counter measures, make this a formidable missile.
India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) was launched in July 1983. Initially, it had a budget of around Rs 400 crore, but it has since been revised Rs 800 crore. The major programs under the IGMDP are the development of missiles including Agni, Prithvi, Akash, Trishul and the Nag. The Sagarika and the Surya have since been added to the IGMDP. As of 1998 18 flight trails had been conducted, though it had yet to enter the production/induction phase. Two Nag missiles were launched satisfactorily June 21, 2002 at 1015 hrs and 1300 hrs from Interim Test Range, Balasore. The trajectory of both trials was fully tracked through out the flight and telemetry data has been received. These were the 43rd and 44th test launches of the Nag missile. Both Army and Air Force versions are being tested separately. For the Army, the missiles will be carried by specialist carrier vehicles equipped with a thermal imager for target acquisition. It can carry tour missiles at a time. For the Air Force, a nose-mounted thermal imaging system has been developed for guiding the missile's trajectory. A twin launcher for the Advanced Light Helicopter and a single launcher for Cheetah helicopter have also been successfully developed.
Three variant of NAG were developed by DRDO.
- MPATGP : Man Portable anti tank guided missile. This is with short range approx 2.5km.
- Dhruvastra : Extended version of NAG with more features enabled, it can be launched from helicopter “Dhruv” thats why Dhruv ‘astra”, weapon of Dhruv.
- SANT : Standoff Anti Tank guided missile. same with MPATGP with extended range and active radar home seeker enabled.
In 2009, India was already considering importing the Javelin anti-tank missiles that Israel had just launched at the time. The main purpose was to consider that a large number of Soviet 9M113 anti-tank missiles and French "Milan" anti-tank missiles in India would enter the end of their service life and combat effectiveness in a few years. It is not enough to deal with modern main battle tanks. At the same time, domestically-made MPATGM missiles and other projects have encountered difficulties in the development process of more than 20 years. Therefore, it is proposed to purchase javelins to solve urgently needed problems.
After Prime Minister Modi came to power, he pushed forward the so-called "India's independent and strong army" strategy and repeatedly prevented the Indian military from purchasing foreign weapons. Even the idea of ??setting up Javelin missiles in Hyderabad that has been reached by Israel's Rafael Company and India's Kalyani Group to localize Javelin missiles has been cancelled.
The Indian government confirmed in 2018 that it will give up buying Javelin missiles, the Indian Army will have neither domestically produced MPATGM missiles nor foreign advanced third-generation anti-tank missiles before 2020. The Indian military can only continue to wait. In the end, the Indian military hopes to purchase about 40,000 anti-tank missiles in 20 years to equip infantry divisions and armored divisions, as well as the northern mountain forces that are in great need of this weapon. Another temporary solution is that India has ordered a small amount of 5,800 Russian anti-tank missiles to solve the number gap caused by the aging of active missiles and the withdrawal of the equipment sequence.
Indian Army successfully carried out summer user trials of third Generation Anti-Tank Guided Missile NAGat Pokhran Field Firing Ranges. The trials of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) developed Missile were conducted between July 7-18, 2019. Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has congratulated the user evaluation teams and DRDO for the successful completion of the user trials. NAG missile was developed to engage highly fortified enemy tanks in all weather conditions with day and night capabilities and with a minimum range of500 metres and maximum range of four kilometres. It is a third-generation fire and forget class missile and uses an imaging infrared seeker in lock-on-before-launch mode.