Saturday, June 22, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Nag test-fired twice
Jatindra Dash

 Fact file

  Missiles fired from special containers
  Capable of penetrating most types of armour
  Nag has range of 6 km
  Uses infra-red guidance to seek out targets.

Bhubaneswar, June 21
India today successfully tested an indigenously developed anti-tank missile at a coastal range in Orissa’s Baleshwar district, Defence officials said.

Two tests of the Nag (serpent) missile were conducted at the interim test range, India’s main missile test facility, at Chandipur-on-sea, a Defence Ministry official told IANS.

The first missile was launched at about 10.05 a.m. while the second was fired at 1.10 p.m. Mr S.S. Mishra, director of the Nag project, and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) officials and scientists witnessed the tests.

The missiles were fired from special containers, an official said. The Nag is capable of penetrating most types of armour, the official said.

Friday’s trials of the Nag, part of the DRDO’s ambitious integrated guided missile development programme, were aimed at testing its manoeuvrability and trajectory.

The Nag is considered a third-generation anti-tank missile as its trajectory allows it to hit a target from above. This is significant as the lightly armoured top of a tank is considered the most vulnerable part of the vehicle.

Powered by a solid propellant, Nag has a range of up to 6 km and can be fired from a helicopter or a vehicle. It has all-weather capability and uses infra-red guidance to seek out targets. The Nag can change its course according to the movement of its target, the official said.

The DRDO has developed a launch vehicle based on the BMP armoured personnel carrier to carry the missile.

The missiles were test fired from special containers in a clear sunny weather condition to establish their advanced manoeuvrability and top attack trajectory along with other parameters, Defence officials said.

This was the 43rd and 44th test firing of the third generation anti-tank missile and yet it has not been handed over to the Army for field trials.

When asked about the induction schedule of the missiles undergoing test firings for the past five years, DRDO officials said the system had to undergo few more trials.

The top-attack trajectory enables the missile to pop up and hit a target from above. This is particularly significant in the case of anti-tank missile like ‘Nag’ as the upper parts of a tank are more vulnerable, Defence sources said.

Five tests of the missile were conducted in 1997 to test the missile’s smokeless propellant, tube launch control and controlled flight from an open mobile launcher.

A Defence Ministry spokesman in New Delhi said the missile had high strength composite airframe with foldable wings and fins, onboard real time processor with fast and efficient algorithms, compact sensor package, digital autopilot and high immunity to counter measures making it one of the most formidable anti-tank missile systems in the world. IANS, PTI

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