India will begin serial production of its Nag anti-tank missile by the end of the year, following the missile’s successful trial June 10 at a Hyderabad field firing range.
A senior Indian Defence Ministry official said June 17 that state-owned Bharat Dynamics, Hyderabad, will manufacture Nag missiles, likely to cost around $100,000 each. The Indian Army has a requirement for more than 1,000 anti-tank missiles in the next three years.
A scientist at the government’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), where the Nag was designed and developed, said it is the world’s most advanced third-generation anti-tank guided missile — and the most information technology-intensive missile.
Nag is equipped with infrared imaging technology that helps in accurately distinguishing targeted tanks from other vehicles, the DRDO scientist said. This infrared homing guidance system has lock-on-before-launch capability for day and night operations. The missile can be launched from both tracked vehicles and combat helicopters to strike targets up to 4 kilometers away.
Nag is one of five missile systems developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. Design on the missile started in 1988, and the first tests were carried out in November 1990.
An Indian Army official said June 17 that the Nag missile uses a tandem HEAT, or High Explosive Anti Tank, warhead that can penetrate the Explosive Reactive Armor or composite armor that is found in the latest tanks. The Nag is expected to supercede Indian production of the Russian-made Konkours and Euromissile Milan M2 anti-tank missiles.