HAVING successfully completed the development phase of the third generation anti-tank missile Nag, Indian defence scientists are now working on two new versions — helicopter launched and man portable.
The helicopter version or ALH-Nag system, is being developed jointly by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the public sector, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) in association with the Army Aviation, the end user.
The missile system is expected to be integrated into the ALH (advanced light helicopter), the combat aircraft by end June.
It will have the capability to deploy up to eight missiles, according to Mr S.S. Mishra, Project Director of Nag, Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), here.
The first trial of this version is expected to be conducted towards the end of 2005.
It will give a major tactical advantage to the Army in battlefield, Mr Mishra said.
Missile scientists will also start working on the third generation, `Man Portable' Nag very soon. It would weigh less than 14 kg.
Currently, the US has second generation missiles in this class, Mr Mishra told Business Line.
On March 19, Nag, which has `fire and forget' and homing devices, completed the development trials, after two successful tests at the Army Test Range in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra.
The fifty-sixth and fifty-seventh tests, established all the required capabilities, making it one of the best amongits class in the world, he said.
User trials with the participation of the Indian Army are slated for the end of the year. Thereafter, once the Army places an order, the necessary numbers would be produced by the Hyderabad-based, Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL).
The public-sector, BDL has already taken up the pre-production on a limited scale.