Nag Missile:-India’s indigenous anti tank guided missile


Nag is a fire-and-forget anti-tank missile with a short range. It is one of five missile systems developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. It is a third-generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) with a 4 kilometre strike range.


The indigenously-built third generation Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) Nag, was successfully test-fired twice on Friday. The fire-and-forget anti-tank missile successfully hit both targets under different ranges and conditions with very high accuracy, said reports.

The DRDO had test fired Nag missile even on June 13 in desert ranges of Rajasthan. The missile incorporates an advanced passive homing guidance system and possesses high single-shot kill probability. It is designed to destroy modern main battle tanks and other heavily armoured targets.

The Nag ATGM is equipped with the highly potent HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) warhead. Nag ATGM cleared its final validation trials Air Force ranges in Rajasthan in July last year and was expected to be ready for induction this year. In its trials, the missile proved its capability against both moving and stationary targets, covering varying ranges of 500 meters to 2,600 metres. Nag ATGM has already seen two decades of development. The Indian Army has already placed an initial order for 443 missiles and 13 Namicas.

The Nag comes with some set of Anti armour missiles, like Ground launched and Air launched, the low weight low range Anti tank guided missile is different Technology, where only less number of countries are achieved good Results, India also in the list with the Nag missile.


The Nag missile was indigenously developed under the Indian Ministry of Defence’s integrated guided missile development programme (IGMDP), which also involved the development of four other missiles that are Agni, Akash, Trishul and Prithvi.

Bharat Dynamics (BDL) produced imaging infrared seekers for the weapon.

The first test of Nag was conducted in November 1990. A test launch of the missile from a tube in programmed control mode was performed at the Interim Test Range, Balasore, Odisha in September 2001.

Two Nag missiles were successfully test fired in June 2002.

User trials of the Nag anti-tank missile against static and moving targets were conducted in 2007 and 2008 respectively, while the development tests were concluded in August 2008.

Seeker evaluation tests for the missile were conducted at the Pokhran Test Range in Rajasthan in July 2013. Tests on the HELINA were carried out at the Chandan Firing Range in Rajasthan in July 2015.

A Nag weapon with a modified seeker successfully destroyed a thermal target system (TTS) at a range of 4km during test firing conducted in the Mahajan Field Firing Range, Rajasthan, in January 2016.

The anti-tank missile took part in the Bahrain International Airshow in Bahrain in January 2016. It will undergo final user trials under different weather conditions in 2016.

 Nag anti-tank guided missile design and features

The Nag anti-armour guided weapon’s airframe is built with lightweight and high-strength composite materials. The missile features top-attack capability and has high immunity to countermeasures.

The missile is equipped with four foldable wings and has a length of 1.85m, diameter of 0.20m, wing span of 0.4m and weight of 43kg.

A blunt nose cone houses the guidance system, while the middle portion accommodates a compact sensor package and the main charge of the warhead. A booster rocket motor is located towards the rear. Four tail fins are fitted at the rear to stabilise the missile while in flight.

A real-time image processor with fast and efficient algorithms is installed next to the guidance section to provide automatic target detection and tracking capabilities. The digital autopilot offers guidance, stability and control for the missile during the flight.

Nag is also outfitted with an electric actuation system for flight control.

Guidance and Navigation System

As originally conceived, the Nag would have been available with three different types of guidance, a wire guided version(a missile that is guided by signals sent to it via thin wires connected between the missile and its guidance mechanism, which is located somewhere near the launch site.), an infra-red version (the missile uses the infrared (IR) light emission from a target to track and follow it.) and a millimetric wave (mmW) active radar homing version(In this a missile contains a radar transceiver (in contrast to Semi-active radar homing, which uses only a receiver) and the electronics necessary for it to find and track its target autonomously.).

But DRDO failed to develop a wire guidance system leading to plans for this being dropped. Currently, guidance is based on an imaging infrared (IIR) passive seeker that ensures a high-hit accuracy in both top- and front-attack modes.

The mmW seeker is intended to operate as an optional system that can replace the IIR passive seeker as a module.There is also a CCD camera integrated into the guidance system.Optical seeker proves more useful as it is less prone to jamming. Missile guidance is initially by area correlation around the target, then by centroid tracking. Terminal homing is by area correlation around the centroid.

The missile does not follow a completely parabolic path like conventional projectiles. It moves near the target in a parabolic path, then rises upwards suddenly and then bends at a steep angle and hits the target.

Land Based Nag- NAMICA

NAMICA means Nag missile carrier usually a modified BMP can carry eight of such missiles for Anti armour purpose, namica is the initial version of nag program. for Army use, here namica uses IIR seekers to identify and lock the Target, The IIR is a Imagining Infrared Seeker, which can choose and lock the Target before Launching, which means some third party chooses the Target and feed it to the Nag and Nag take care of the Target on it’s own, something like same Fire and forget mode.

Nag uses Line of sight for target and launch the Missiles against the threat, which is a slight disadvantages due to the limitation of IIR seeker, It needed the Target which would be visible by the Missile when launching, the same will be replaced by mmW ( Milli meter wave ) seeker, which can allows the Launcher can lock the target even in encircled area’s, makes the launchers positions keep hidden during launch.

The Nag uses the Tandem Charge for Kill, almost all new generation anti Tank missile uses the same. most Tanks comes with Explosive reactive Armour to make the tank more powerful during enemy direct fire and Heavy weapon fire, with the Tandem Charge, the first warhead penetrate or make a small hole in the Tanks armour then explode the main charge inside the Tank, makes the Target 100% destroyed.

The Name Nag comes from the Missile Trajectory, which follows the Cobra, the missile uses Top Attack mode, means once you launch the Missile it can fire high and Mark the Tanks Back side where Tanks armour is in lesser, and hit the Target, most Anti tank missiles uses the same technology for Higher Kill probablity.

The rated range is known as Four Kilometers

The Army Already inducted some good numbers of Nag missiles and NAMICA launchers after series of successful tests, the numbers not available in public

Air Launched Nag- Helina

The Modified version of Nag is used to Carry by Airborne platforms like Helicopter and Aircrafts, since Aircrafts project comes with mmW and long range, currently Helina comes in LCH, ALH Rdra and some other UAV platforms,

The Helina is same but it can have some good features, like lock on after launch, non line of sight and more Range, here it’s being believed that Helina uses the mmW seeker for better performance and able to perform LOAL modes,

Helina already successfully fired from Helicopters and soon will be inducted into Airborne platforms like  ALH Rudra, and pictures emerged that Rustom one fitted with two Helina Missiles. the Airborne version also makes progress and soon will be inducted.


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