Make in India : Indian Army to induct 300 anti-tank missiles soon
In a major success for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ in the defence sector, the longdelayed Nag anti-tank guided missile is all set to see the light of day in the Indian Army as 300 of the land attack version of this missile are going to be inducted into the force soon to tackle the enemy armoured forces.
Nag was one of the five missile systems planned to be developed in the 1980s by the Defence Research and Development Organisation under the Integrated Missile Development Programme (IMDP) and has been stuck due to one problem or the other.
“A high-level meeting of the defence ministry will consider a proposal to acquire 300 Nag missiles and around 25 Nag Missile Carriers (NAMICA) worth around Rs 500 crore for induction into the Indian Army in the next few days,” government sources told Mail Today.
The NAMICAs are the launch vehicles of the Nag missiles and can carry six missiles at a time, which can destroy enemy tanks and infantry combat vehicles from a distance of 7 to 8 kilometers.
Sources said the army will carry out more trials of the Nag missile as its requirement is of around 3,000 such missiles. “If the army is satisfied with the performance of the weapon system, it will place more orders for the weapon system,” they said.
After the NDA government started giving push to ‘Make in India’ in the defence sector, Nag missile would be the second long-pending project of the DRDO to see the day of light in armed forces after the successful induction of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft into the Air Force.
The major success in the Nag programme was achieved after the DRDO missile complex developed the indigenous seeker for the Nag missile, which helped it in hitting targets successfully.
“The earlier seeker used in the missile could not differentiate between the tank and its surrounding desert sand as the temperature difference between the two was almost negligible during the summer season. However, the indigenous seeker has the capability to differentiate between the two and has consistently hit targets during the trials in the last two years,” the sources said.
“The fire-and-forget Nag missile with the indigenous seeker can successfully target enemy tanks even in the worst desert conditions during summer with great accuracy,” the sources said.
The seekers imported from a European country were developed as per the weather conditions there and were not able to adapt to the extreme weather conditions in the desert terrain in India.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has also been laying special stress on developing Indian defence products which can be used for improving the export of military hardware from here as it is almost negligible at this time.
In the recent times, the DRDO missile complex has helped in reducing dependence on imported missile systems due to successful development of various indigenous weapon systems such as the Akash air defence system.
According to estimates by the government agencies, the Akash missile system alone has helped the government save around Rs 34,000 crore worth of foreign exchange in defence deals.