Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Nag Induction Delayed Again ! So Whats New?

You will say what is new about Nag, it is delayed again, army is not satisfied etc etc.

The old news is that induction of third generation anti-tank Nag missile is likely to be delayed by more than a year with the Army seeking improvements to the specially-made missile carrier, NAMICA.

After the completion of the missile's “final validation trials” in the Chandan Air Force ranges in Rajasthan in July last, it was anticipated that it would be inducted into the Army this year. During the trials, the missile proved its capability against both moving and stationary targets, covering varying ranges of 500 meters to 2,600 metres.
The Indian Army has placed an order of 443 Nag missiles and 13 Namicas for introduction in the next 3 years. Nag will be the first weapon of such kind that will be inducted into the army by November–December 2009. The Army urgently needs the more advanced Nag to improve kill probability as the missile using a high explosive warhead to penetrate the armor in modern tanks.The trials of the missile were conducted using an advanced imaging infrared seeker head, as per Army's requirements. On 20 January 2010, field tests of the Nag’s Thermal Sight system saw the system identify and lock on to a T-55 tank at a range of 5 km. The tank was then engaged and destroyed at a range of over 4 km [12] thus the missile’s fire-and-forget capability has been established using the day version of the IIR passive seeker.In its IIR form the Nag has limited all weather capability.

The NAMICA too established its “channel-crossing ability” and manoeuvred across the Indira Gandhi Canal at Nachna in Rajasthan during flotation trials time. Each carrier can carry 12 missiles with eight of them in ready-to-fire mode.NAMICA (Nag Missile Carrier)is a tank destroyer built for the army. It is equipped with a thermal imager for target acquisition. NAMICA is a modified BMP-2 ICV produced as "Sarath" in India. The carrier weights 14.5 tonnes in full combat load and is capable of moving 7 km/h in water. The carriers are capable of carrying 12 missiles with 8 in ready-to-fire mode. The NAMICA carrier was put through transportation trials covering 155 km during summer trials. Having a maximum range of four km, the Nag is equipped with the highly potent HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) warhead.

With the Army seeking additional features such as providing a “panoramic sight” for two commanders, against the present system of having only one such facility for the ‘gunner,' the Namica is being totally redesigned.
Two systems would be made — one by Bharath Electronics Limited (BEL) and the other by Larsen & Toubro.

Following a comparative evaluation of the two carriers in the summer of 2012, the configuration of the production version would be selected.

Asked about induction, sources in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said, “It is up to the Army to decide.”

Meanwhile, the first demonstration flight test of the 7-km range Helina, the airborne version of the Nag from a helicopter, is planned to be conduced early next year. Recently, flight-testing from a ground-based launcher to establish the guidance scheme featuring “lock-on after launch” concept was conducted successfully at a range of 4.2 km, the sources said adding the DRDO proposed to carry out a guided flight test against a tank target by the end of the year,