The Hindu: Nag by year-end

Story in The Hindu today:

The advanced, third generation, hit-to-kill anti-tank Nag missile is expected to be inducted into the Army by the year-end after the completion of the user trials.

"We are ready to induct in large numbers by November-December as the user trials are planned to be completed by June," S.S.Mishra, project director (Nag), told The Hindu. During the user trials, seven missiles of the land version would be fired against static and moving targets.

The land version of the indigenously-developed tactical weapon system was superior in terms of range (four km) to the Javelin of the US and the Spike of Israel. With the army recently seeking an air-borne version, DRDO scientists have begun work on developing such a variant by extending the range to seven km. The air-borne version named 'Helina', to be mounted on an ALH helicopter, would be ready in two-and-a-half years, as the system had to be reworked.

Mr. Mishra said the third-generation missile was a 'truly fire-and-forget' system. Unlike the first-generation system, in which the operator had to track and guide manually, Nag was entirely autonomous from launch-to-impact to ensure 'zero-miss distance.'

Equipped with imaging infrared seeker (IIR), it has 'lock-on-before launch' (LOBL) capability with the seeker tracking the target even before firing.

The missile, which could be operated during day and night, has "top-attack" capability. Since all modern tanks are fitted with explosive reactive armour (ERA) to negate the effect of a missile's warhead, the lethal capability of Nag had been increased by enabling it to carry one of the most powerful tandem warheads 'to defeat futuristic battle tanks'. When the missile is fired, a pre-cursor charge would initially tackle ERA, followed by the main charge within 250 microseconds. "That way the effect of the ERA is nullified," he said.

Typically each 'Namica', a dedicated missile carrier, would have 12 Nag missiles, eight of them in ready-to-fire mode. The missile has 10-year, maintenance-free shelf life.

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