The induction of third generation anti-tank Nag missile is likely to be delayed by more than a year with the Army seeking improvements to the specially-made missile carrier, Namica.
After the completion of the missile's “final validation trials” in the Chandan Air Force ranges in Rajasthan in July last, it was anticipated that it would be inducted into the Army this year. During the trials, the missile proved its capability against both moving and stationary targets, covering varying ranges of 500 meters to 2,600 metres.
The Namica too established its “channel-crossing ability” and manoeuvred across the Indira Gandhi Canal at Nachna in Rajasthan during flotation trials time. Each carrier can carry 12 missiles with eight of them in ready-to-fire mode.
Having a maximum range of four km, the Nag is equipped with the highly potent HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) warhead.
With the Army seeking additional features such as providing a “panoramic sight” for two commanders, against the present system of having only one such facility for the ‘gunner,' the Namica is being totally redesigned.
Two systems would be made — one by Bharath Electronics Limited (BEL) and the other by Larsen & Toubro.
Following a comparative evaluation of the two carriers in the summer of 2012, the configuration of the production version would be selected.
Asked about induction, sources in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said, “It is up to the Army to decide.”
Meanwhile, the first demonstration flight test of the 7-km range Helina, the airborne version of the Nag from a helicopter, is planned to be conduced early next year. Recently, flight-testing from a ground-based launcher to establish the guidance scheme featuring “lock-on after launch” concept was conducted successfully at a range of 4.2 km, the sources said adding the DRDO proposed to carry out a guided flight test against a tank target by the end of the year.