The Indian-made “Nag” anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) having a lock-on-before-launch capability range of 4 km, making it the longest in the world, has entered a series of last-leg trials ahead of its induction into the army.
"The missiles were test-fired during both day and night, on Sunday during the trials,” an official from the state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the manufacturer was quoted as saying by Sputnik on Monday.
Three tests of the "fire-and-forget" ATGM were carried out on Sunday. Follow-up tests to further validate the capabilities of the Nag Missile Carrier (NAMICA) and mounted anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) are scheduled to be carried out on Monday in Pokhran.
The US-made Javelin and Israeli Spike missiles’ lock-on-before-launch capability are limited to 2.5 km.
The DRDO has been working on the Nag since 2009 and has spent approximately $47 million (INR 322 crore) on its development. It is a third-generation missile developed to support both mechanised infantry and airborne forces of the Indian Army. Nag can be launched from land and air-based platforms.
The missile is deployed on a specially modified BMP-2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) called the ‘NAMICA.’
Once launched, the Nag doesn't need to be guided, allowing the launcher to seek cover. The missile can use its autonomous on-board guidance to hit even a fast-moving tank. It uses indigenous image-seeking optical guidance, making it virtually jam-proof, unlike the infra-red seekers of Javelin and Spike missiles.
DRDO has also been working on a man-portable, helicopter-launched advanced variant of the Nag, the "HeliNa."