The Nag missile is an Indian anti tank guided missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It has a range of 4 kilometers and is equipped with a “fire-and-forget” guidance system that allows it to hit targets with a high degree of accuracy.
The missile can be launched from a variety of platforms, including ground-based launchers, helicopters, and ground vehicles. It is designed to defeat modern armor, including reactive armor, and is also capable of engaging other targets such as bunkers and fortifications. The Nag missile system is currently in service with the Indian Army and Indian Air Force.
The Nag missile system has been integrated with the Nag missile carrier vehicle, named as “NAMICA” (Nag Anti-tank Missile Carrier).
The Nag ATGM works by using an imaging infrared seeker to lock onto the target before launch, and then using this information to guide the missile towards the target.
The Nag missile uses a top-attack profile, meaning it is designed to approach the target from above, where the armor is typically the thinnest. This increases the chances of a successful penetration of the target’s armor.
As the missile approaches the target, its onboard computer uses the guidance information from the seeker to make small adjustments to the missile’s flight path, keeping it on course towards the target.
When the missile reaches the target, its warhead is detonated, either by impact or proximity fuse, causing damage to the target.
The Nag missile is a fire-and-forget system, meaning that once it is launched, the operator does not have to maintain guidance to the missile and can take evasive action or engage other targets.
It also has the ability to “home” on the target even if it is moving and also has the ability to evade any countermeasures that the target may use to try to avoid being hit.
Nag Missile Speed
The Nag Anti Tank missile gets propulsion is via a smokeless rocket motor that propels the missile to 230 metres/second. The rocket motor has a boost unit and a cruise unit.
Nag Missile Warhead
The Nag missile is available in two different variants, one with HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) warhead and other with MPAT (Man Portable Anti-Tank) warhead.
- The HEAT warhead variant uses a shaped charge to generate a high-temperature, high-pressure jet of metal that can penetrate armour. The shaped charge is a container filled with a high explosive and a metal liner, usually made of copper. When the high explosive is detonated, it compresses the metal liner, causing it to collapse and form the jet of metal that can penetrate the target’s armour.
- The MPAT warhead variant uses a multi-purpose Blast fragmentation warhead. It’s designed to engage various types of soft and semi-hard targets like fortifications, bunkers, and field fortifications. The warhead is also capable of engaging multiple targets in a single launch.
The choice of warhead depends on the target and the mission. The HEAT warhead is best suited for engaging heavily armored targets such as tanks, while the MPAT warhead is more suitable for softer targets such as fortifications and bunkers.
- The NAMICA (Nag Anti-tank Missile Carrier) is a tracked vehicle that serves as the launcher platform for the Nag anti-tank guided missile. It is equipped with a missile firing control system, a laser range finder, and a thermal imaging camera. The vehicle can carry and launch up to four Nag missiles at a time. The NAMICA is used by the Indian Army for anti-tank warfare.
- The HELINA (HELi copter-launched NAg) is the air-launched version of the Nag missile. It is designed to be launched from an Apache or Dhruv helicopter. The missile features a modified seeker head and a reduced-smoke rocket motor to make it suitable for air launch. The HELINA has a range of 7-8 km. It is also equipped with a man-in-the-loop guidance system, allowing the missile to be guided to its target by the helicopter’s onboard sensors and weapons control system.
The Nag missile system is significant for the Indian armed forces as it provides them with a potent anti-tank capability.
The missile’s laser guidance system allows for high accuracy, and its range of up to 4 km (for ground launch) and 7-8 km (for air launch) allows for engagement of targets at long distances.
The Nag missile system also provides the Indian armed forces with a high degree of flexibility. The missile can be launched from ground-based launchers or from helicopter-mounted launchers, which allows for a wide range of launch platforms and deployment scenarios. Additionally, the Nag missile system is fully indigenously developed, this allows for self-reliance and reduces dependence on foreign suppliers for critical defense systems.
Overall, the Nag missile system gives the Indian armed forces a powerful and versatile weapon system that can effectively engage a wide range of targets in various scenarios.