India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested the indigenously developed low weight, fire and forget Man Portable Antitank Guided Missile (MPATGM) in the ranges of Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh on Sept. 11.
The missile was launched from a man portable tripod launcher and the target was mimicking a functional tank. The missile hit the target in top attack mode and destroyed it with precision. According to a statement from the Indian Ministry of Defence, all the mission objectives were met during the flight-test.
he test paves the way for the Indian Army to have developed 3rd generation man portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile indigenously. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has congratulated DRDO for the successful test.
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).
The missile will be similar to the American FGM-148 Javelin and Israeli Spike anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), and is incorporated with state-of-the-art Infrared Imaging Seeker along with advanced avionics.
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.