DRDO's 'Nag' missile tests successful; ready for induction

DRDO's 'Nag' missile tests successful; ready for induction
New Delhi, Aug 6 (PTI) Reaching yet another milestone in its efforts to develop a slew of missiles, India today entered an elite group of nations with the successful final testing of 'Nag' indigenous Guided Anti-Tank Missile and readying it for induction into the Army.

After the trials, makers of the missile, the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) declared it ready for induction into the Indian Army following user trials.

The climax trials of the third generation anti-tank missile were conducted in the presence of the users, the Army, at Pokhran ranges in Rajasthan in the last 48 hours.

The flight tests of the 'fire and forget' anti-tank missile programme, named after the King of snakes Cobra now stands completed, almost 22 years after it was first conceived, DRDO's chief controller Dr Prahlada said after witnessing the tests today.

The 'Nag' missiles were fired against static and moving targets during the 48 hours starting August 5 to test the land version of the weapon, which DRDO claims could defeat any futuristic battle tank over a range of four kms.

"User trials by the Army would come close on the heels of the Pokhran trials," officials told PTI, exuding confidence that the nation's first ever such weapon would be inducted by the Army in large numbers by November-December this year.

Army needs these missiles in large numbers, which is evident by acquisition of 4,000 Anti-Tank Guided Missiles from Russia and France recently.

The Army is also on the verge of floating new tenders to induct another 4,000 such missiles and DRDO expects the indigenous 'Nag' to be on top of the contention.

On today's trials, Prahlada said both targets were precisely hit, confirming the system capabilities of the 'Nag' missile and the mobility of the system in desert terrain was comprehensively demonstrated.

Expressing happiness on the last milestone of the programme, Prahlada confirmed that for the first time, top Army officials were witness to the production version trials of 'Nag' missile carrier NAMICA from Bharat Electronics Limited and the missiles from Bharat Dynamics Limited.

"Nag missile, unique in the world in its class, has both top and front attack capabilities and passive homing guidance achieved through Imaging Infrared seeker system," he said.

Nag, is the last of the five missile systems successfully developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), which was declared completed in December last year.

The long delay on the 'Nag' is attributed by defence scientists to problems with its Imaging Infra Red guidance system due to technology denial by advanced nations.

However, top DRDO scientists now say the missile which has a complete fibreglass structure is ready to become fully operational.

The other four Surface-to-Surface 'Prithvi' and 'Agni' series of missiles, as well as Surface-to-Air 'Akash', are in the process of induction, while Trishul multi-mission missile's development trials are already over.


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