NAMICA, the Nag missile carrier built for the Indian Army to destroy enemy battle tanks, will soon undergo crucial tests in the toughest of war theatres — the deserts of Rajasthan .
Two totally modified versions with advance hit facilities, built by the private sector L&T and public sector BEL, will be put through trials in June-July, according to Mr Avinash Chander, Chief Controller (Missiles & Strategic Systems), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The tests would be done with the Nag guided missile for different ranges. The objective is to get it cleared for initial induction into the Army. The trials would be for 2 and 4 km and minimum of 500 metres range according to the needs of the user, he told Business Line.
Nag is a third generation, anti-battle tank, fire and forget missile. The modified version of the four-km range for example, is being equipped with a ‘lock on before launch' system. There is no competitor globally for this range, with this capability at present. The US missile in the similar class can destroy targets upto 2.5 kms.
The ‘lock on before launch' gives a tactical advantage. The missile acquires the image of the target before launch and keeps updating as it seeks and hits the target with precision. The DRDO has also developed the imaging infrared seeker technology. The private sector is integrating this capability into the higher range nag missiles as well.
The DRDO is scheduled to equip its Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv with the Helina — the air-to-surface, anti-tank missile. The helicopter launched missile has a 7 km lock on system after launch. However, some tests done during March exposed problems in the actuation systems. We are rectifying them. The lock on capability has been established for the full distance, Mr Avinash Chander said.
Helina is an aerial version of the Nag missile.