Giuseppe Sandro Mela.
I Nāga (नाग “serpente”, femminile “nagini”) sono un’antica razza di uomini-serpente presente nella religiosità e nella mitologia vedica e induista; storie di Naga fanno ancora parte della tradizione popolare di molte regioni a predominanza indù (India, Nepal, Bali) e buddhista (Sri Lanka, Sud-Est asiatico).
I Nāga sono particolarmente popolari nel Sud dell’India, dove si crede che donino fertilità ai loro fedeli. Secondo leggende indù, sono servi di Varuna, dio vedico delle tempeste.
Il nome dato a quel missile è tutto un programma.
* * * * * * *
Nag Anti-Tank Guided Missile [Army Technology]
Nag is a third-generation, fire-and-forget, anti-tank guided missile developed by India’s state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to support both mechanised infantry and airborne forces of the Indian Army.
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.
Nag can be launched from land and air-based platforms. The land version is currently available for integration on the Nag missile carrier (NAMICA), which is derived from a BMP-2 tracked infantry combat vehicle.
The helicopter-launched configuration, designated as helicopter-launched NAG (HELINA), can be fired from Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH) and HAL Rudra (ALH WSI) attack helicopter.
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 warhead
A passive imaging infrared (IIR) homing seeker guides the missile to the target after its launch in all lighting conditions. The missile can be optionally offered with a millimetre wave active radar seeker.
The Namica variant has lock-on-before launch capability, while the air-launched configuration uses lock-on after launch technology.
An 8kg tandem-shaped charge high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead, with a precursor and a main charge, provides the weapon with a high kill probability.
The precursor charge penetrates the explosive reactive armour (ERA) of the tanks and the main charge is intended to destroy the main armour.
Propulsion and performance of Nag guided weapon
The Nag anti-armour guided missile is fitted a with high-energy propulsion system consisting of booster and sustainer propellants. The sustainer propellant burns a nitramine smokeless extruded double base (EDB).
The weapon can fly at a speed of 230m/s and has the capability to engage both static and moving targets under all weather conditions during the day and at night. The range of the land version is 4km, while HELINA can reach up to 7km.
Up to eight ready-to-fire missiles can be carried in two quadruple armoured box launchers mounted on the NAMICA anti-tank guided missile.
Each launcher can fire four missiles in one minute. The NAMICA vehicle can be optionally equipped with an additional four missiles.
* * * * * * *
«The Indian Army intends to procure up to 8,000 Nags, although it most likely will place an initial order for only 500 ATGM systems»
«the Indian Army has a requirement for around 68,000 anti-ATGMs of various types and over 850 launchers»
«Nag has been developed at a cost of ₹3 billion (US$45.9 million)»
«The cost of third-generation ATGWs runs to thousands of dollars, so ATGWs are generally bolstered by cheaper anti-armour rocket launchers such as the RPG-7»
* * * * * * *
Gli indiani hanno dimostrato negli ultimi anni una spiccata attitudine a riuscire a progettare e costruire armi efficienti a costi davvero bassi.
Questo è un aspetto spesso poco valutato nei commenti e nei report.
Se è vero che un carro armato ha un grande volume di fuoco e contro la fanteria sembrerebbe essere quasi invulnerabile, se è altrettanto vero che tutti i moderni carri armati sono dotati di efficienti sistemi di difesa, è altrettanto vero che il costo di un missile tipo Javelin è molto elevato. A questo ultimo si richiede quindi una ben maggiore capacità distruttiva, ma anche esso non è infallibile.
Un altro aspetto da valutarsi è che al momento, per nostra grande fortuna, questi sistemi di arma sono stati testati contro eserciti fatiscenti, dotati di carri armati obsoleti.
Ma una cosa è entrare in azione contro l’esercito di Saddam Hussein, ed una totalmente differente è confrontarsi con un esercito equipollente per armamento ed addestramento.
→ Asia Defence. 2018-03-03. India’s New Anti-Tank Guided Missile Destroys 2 Tanks in Test
An indigenously designed and developed anti-tank guided missile was successfully tested on February 28.
India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully tested its indigenously designed and developed third-generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) Nag in desert conditions against two tank targets on February 28, according to an Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) press release.
The tests “have once again proved its capability,” the statement reads. “With this, the developmental trials of the missile have been completed and it is now ready for induction.” The Indian Army has so far not publicly commented on the successful Nag ATGM test. Notably, DRDO had announced the completion of development trials already in September 2017.
Indian Army officials have repeatedly stated that they expect development trials to be concluded by the end of 2018. The Army has delayed the induction of the Nag, a fire-and-forget ATGM with an estimated range of 4 kilometers, due to numerous technical shortcomings including inadequate thermal sensors. The missile’s high price tag has also been a point of controversy.
The Nag ATGM, manufactured by India’s sole missile producer, state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited, until the recent test had only been fired from an armored combat vehicle specifically designed for that purpose. As I reported in 2017:
The Nag Missile Carrier (NAMICA) is an Indian license-produced variant of the Soviet-era BMP-II armored infantry fighting vehicle. NAMICA can launch Nag missiles from a retractable armored launcher that contains four launch tubes (the armored vehicle can carry up to 12 missiles in total) and the guidance package including a thermal imager for target acquisition. The missile’s targeting system is based on visual identification prior to its launch (‘lock-on-before-launch system’).
DRDO has been working on the Nag ATGM for over a decade. The Indian Army intends to procure up to 8,000 Nags, although it most likely will place an initial order for only 500 ATGM systems. As I reported in January, the Indian Army has a requirement for around 68,000 anti-ATGMs of various types and over 850 launchers.
“The service is reportedly pushing for a fast-track procurement of 2,500 third-generation shoulder-fired ATGMs and 96 launchers through a government-to-government contract,” I noted. “Weapon systems under consideration include the Israeli Spike ATGM and the FGM-148 Javelin ATGM.”
In December 2017, the Indian government scrapped a $500 million deal with Israeli defense contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. for 321 Spike ATGM systems and 8,356 missiles in favor of an indigenous ATGM system currently under development by DRDO.
The cancellation of the deal was allegedly the result of intense lobbying by DRDO, which has vowed to expedite delivery of the Nag ATGM system. The Indian Army originally selected the Spike ATGM over the U.S.-made FGM-148 Javelin ATGM system in October 2014, expecting the Nag ATGM not to be ready for operational deployment for some time.