India is on the verge of a momentous leap in its defense prowess as it prepares to induct the indigenous Nag Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) and the HELINA (Helicopter-launched NAG) Weapon System variant, christened ‘Dhruvastra,’ into the ranks of the Indian army and Indian Air Force (IAF). Rigorous and successful trial performances have paved the way for these cutting-edge armaments to join the country’s strategic forces. Developed under the aegis of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and skillfully manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), these missiles exemplify India’s technological prowess and self-reliance in defense innovation.
The Nag ATGM, alternatively known as Prospina, represents a formidable third-generation Anti-Tank Guided Missile endowed with a Fire and Forget top attack capability. A cornerstone achievement of the integrated guided missile development programme (IGMDP), which also birthed notable counterparts such as Agni, Akash, Trishul, and Prithvi, the Nag has proven its mettle with an operational range extending up to 4 kilometers. Armed with a tandem High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warhead, the Nag ATGM stands as a testament to India’s resolve to bolster its defense capabilities.
With dimensions approximating 1.834 meters in length, a diameter of 0.158 meters, and a weight of around 44 kilograms, the Nag ATGM’s compact yet powerful design underscores its agility and effectiveness on the battlefield.
Meanwhile, the Dhruvastra missile, an integral facet of the Air to Surface Missile arsenal, offers a formidable airborne offensive capability. Launched from the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) platform, the Dhruvastra’s deployment is accentuated by the presence of twin launchers on each side of the ALH, collectively accommodating up to eight missiles. Notably, the Dhruvastra boasts an operational range of up to 7 kilometers, extending the reach of its impact.
Enhancing its accuracy and target acquisition capabilities, the Dhruvastra is equipped with a sophisticated High Resolution Imaging Infrared Seeker (IIR) operating in the Lock on Before Launch (LOBL) mode. This technology enables automatic target detection and tracking even in adverse weather conditions, further augmenting India’s tactical advantage.
A significant milestone was achieved in 2022 when the DRDO successfully executed high-altitude flight tests, validating the performance and reliability of these exceptional assets. As India prepares to welcome the Nag ATGM and Dhruvastra into active service, the nation takes a resolute stride forward in its quest for self-sufficiency and security.