DRDO successfully flight-tests MPATGM anti-tank missile for first time
In a major boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative in defence, the DRDO today successfully carried out the first test of the indigenously designed and developed Man Portable-Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MP-ATGM), which would help the Army destroy enemy tanks during a war.
The first test of the missile was successfully completed in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. A few more tests of the indigenous weapon system need to be carried out before it is offered to the Army for user trials, government sources told MyNation.
The MP-ATGM is supposed to be the anti-tank missile of the Army for future as the force needs close to 75,000 such missiles for future battles. The homegrown missile would help in this direction in a big way, the sources said.
For meeting the emergency requirements of the Army, the government is looking to buy around a couple of thousand Spike anti-tank guided missiles from Israel while the majority of the requirements would be fulfilled by indigenous missiles.
The requirements of the Army are so huge that they will be met with the missile systems supplied by the Israelis along with the ones to be produced by DRDO in future as it is also developing the man-portable ATGMs, sources said.
The Army needs third-generation ATGMs, with a strike range of over 2.5 km and fire-and-forget capabilities, to equip all its 382 infantry battalions and 44 mechanised infantry units.
Sources said this combination of buying arms and equipment from abroad and allowing indigenous makes at the same time will balance the need for taking care of national security requirements along with the need to promote the indigenous industry.
The Ministry of Defence has been in talks with Israel and the US for a long time to get the third generation anti-tank missiles. The ministry had ultimately zeroed in on the Spike missiles under an old deal, which is likely to cost around Rs 3,000 crore.
The government had also withdrawn an earlier tender for buying around 5,000 Spike missiles after finding the price of the deal too high.
An American missile system on offer was rejected too — after the terms and conditions of procuring it were not found to be compliant to the Indian defence procurement procedure guidelines.