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India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has achieved a significant milestone as its Nag anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) completed all flight and user trials required for induction into the Indian Army.

Developed by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and the DRDO’s Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), the Nag ATGM was conceived in the 1980s to fulfil the Indian Army’s requirement for a versatile, vehicle- and air-launched ATGM with a formidable maximum range of 4 km.

The Nag missile, mounted on a tripod, boasts adaptability and can be configured for use on helicopters as well as the Nag Missile Carrier (NAMICA) armoured vehicle. NAMICA is a variant of the Russian BMP-2 Sarath, innovatively designed by the DRDO.

Key to the Nag missile’s precision is its sophisticated targeting system. It employs a passive mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) focal plane-array imaging infrared (IIR)/longwave IR (LWIR) seeker, facilitating effective targeting. The missile utilizes a lock-on before launch (LOBL) mode, with the potential for lock-on after launch (LOAL) capability.

Post-launch, the missile’s control is adeptly managed by the manipulation of its rear fins, facilitated by an all-electric actuation mechanism powered by thermal batteries. The combined thrust of the booster and sustainer propulsion systems propels the Nag from its launch tube, with the fins unfolding to stabilize its trajectory. The missile employs an advanced high-energy nitramine-based, extruded double-band, smokeless sustainer propellant.

With a potent 8 kg tandem high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead, the Nag is engineered for formidable penetrating power. It can breach 800 mm of rolled homogeneous Armour equivalent (RHAe) even behind explosive reactive Armour (ERA). The missile boasts a length of 1.83 m, a diameter of 0.15 m, and a weight of 42 kg.

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