India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested a new low-weight man-portable anti-tank guided missile (MPATGM) on Saturday.
According to local reports, the test of the indigenously designed and developed ATGM was held at KK Ranges near Ahmednagar in the state of Maharashtra on 15 and 16 September 2018.
The missile was flight tested for different ranges including the maximum range capability. A few more tests of the weapon system will be carried out before it is delivered to the Indian Army for user trials.
According to the official involved in the project, all the mission objectives were met during the trials. Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has congratulated DRDO and other agencies involved in the mission.
MPATGM is said to be a variant of the Nag third generation “fire-and-forget” anti-tank guided missile developed by the DRDO. This would make the new missile the third version of Nag with other two being the baseline version (launched from NAMICA vehicle based on the BMP-2 platform) and the helicopter-launched version (named HELINA).
, and will be the third iteration of the missile following the baseline vehicle-launched version and air-launched version HELINA
The missile will be similar to the American FGM-148 Javelin and Israeli Spike anti-tank guided missiles.
Man-portable anti-tank systems (MANPATS) are basically shoulder-launched anti-tank guided missiles that can be operated by a single soldier. They are a threat to armored vehicles, low-flying aircraft (especially helicopters), and field fortifications.
Indian Army currently operates several models of Russian/Soviet and French ATGMs and is in the process of inducting Israeli Spike missiles.
The requirements of the Army are so huge that they will be met with the missile systems supplied by the Israelis along with the ones to be produced by DRDO in future as it is also developing the man-portable ATGMs, according to sources. The Army needs third-generation ATGMs, with a strike range of over 2.5 km and fire-and-forget capabilities, to equip all its 382 infantry battalions and 44 mechanised infantry units.