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Current Affairs

Anti-tank guided missiles

Date: 19 October 2020 Tags: Military

Issue

The indigenously developed laser-guided version of the Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) was successfully test fired by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

 

Background

The development of ammunition that can pierce the armours of tanks and the material that can withstand such ammo has been an ongoing race since World War I. 

 

Details

  • While Indian Army mainly uses various imported anti-tank guided missiles, the DRDO has been working on ATGMs that can be launched from different platforms as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.

  • The indigenously developed low weight, fire and forget Man Portable Anti Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) was successfully in September last year.

  • In February 2018, ATGM Nag was successfully tested in desert conditions. All these systems, which are mainly used by infantry units of the Army, are in their various stages of development.

  • In the meantime, the government had said in December 2019 that it has procured Anti-Tank Spike Missiles from Israel along with the allied systems to meet operational requirements of the Indian Army.

  • This ATGM is designed to be fired from tanks. With its range limited to 1.5 to 5 kilometers, it locks and tracks the targets with the help of laser designation to ensure precision in striking the target.

  • The missile uses a ‘tandem’ High Explosive Anti Tank (HEAT) warhead. The term tandem refers to the missiles using more than one detonation in order to effectively penetrate the protective armours.

  • This missile has the capacity of piercing armoured vehicles which use specially designed armour plates to counter the impact of such projectiles.

  • It is currently undergoing tests to be integrated with India’s Main Battle Tank (MBT), Arjun. After these series of validation tests, the system will be ready for the user trial by the Army.

   Significance

  • The role of armoured and mechanised vehicles has remained decisive even in modern day warfare because of their ability to go past conventional defences.

  • Tank battles are generally fought in a close range of under five kilometers. The objective is to hit the enemy tank before they can take a clear shot.

  • Development of missile systems that can defeat tanks built using modern armour act as a deterrent against enemy tanks from advancing.