• An anti-tank guided missile, anti-tank missile, anti-tank guided weapon, or anti-armor guided weapon is a guided missile primarily designed to hit and destroy heavily armored military vehicles.
  • ATGMs range in size from shoulder-launched weapons, which can be transported by a single soldier, to larger tripod-mounted weapons, which require a squad or team to transport and fire, to a vehicle and aircraft-mounted missile systems.
  • This type of guided missiles relies on an electro-optical imager (IIR) seeker, a laser, or a W-band radar seeker in the nose of the missile.
  • These are ‘fire-and-forget’ missiles where the operator can retreat right after firing as there is no more guidance required.
  • They’re guided missiles that use various guiding algorithms like wire-guided missiles, laser guide guided missiles, etc. and having various parameters which are discussed in the table below:
    • Size: ATMs (Anti-tank Missiles) come in various sizes:
      • Small ATMs that can be carried by a single person and shoulder-launched.
      • Medium-sized ones which need a team of soldiers to carry and launch.
      • Large ATMs can be mounted on Aircraft or Main Battle Tanks and can be launched from large distances.
    • Technology
      • Initially, ATMs would need to be launched close to the targeted armoured vehicle due to their lack of penetration firepower.
      • With the latest technology, they can be fired from a significant distance and still do damage to light and medium armoured vehicles. 
    • Warhead
      • Different ATMs use different warheads depending upon the size and armour of the target. One of those warheads is known as the High Explosive Anti Tank (HEAT) Warhead. HEAT warhead has a metal spike that goes through the metal armour. 
    • Guidance System
      • 1st Generation: Guided by manual commands and the missile is steered to the target.
      • 2nd Generation: Semi-automatic commanded missiles. The operator would need to keep the sight fixed on the target until impact.
      • 3rd Generation: This type of guided missile relies on an electro-optical imager (IIR) seeker, a laser or a W-band radar seeker in the nose of the missile. These are ‘fire-and-forget’ missiles where the operator can retreat right after firing as there is no more guidance required.
  • Laser-Guided ATGM:
    • The all-indigenous Laser Guided ATGM employs a tandem High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warhead to defeat Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) protected armoured vehicles.
    • The ATGM has been developed with multi-platform launch capability and is currently undergoing technical evaluation trials from the 120 mm rifled gun of MBT Arjun.

Anti-Tank Missiles in India

DRDO ATM

  • The DRDO Anti-Tank Missile is a first-generation wire-guided anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) developed in India by the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), a part of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • It has a subsonic speed up to 300 ft/s (91 m/s) with a range of 1.6 km (0.99 mi) and carries a 106 mm high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead.

AMOGHA

  • The Amogha-1 is a guided anti-tank missile with a range of up to 2.8 km (1.7 mi). It is under development by Bharat Dynamics at Hyderabad.
  • It is the first missile designed and tested by Bharat Dynamics. The missile will be produced in two versions. The land version has already been tested. The infrared version of the missile uses a “thermal intelligent vision” to attack its target.
amogha missile

NAG

  • The Nag missile also called “Prospina” for the land-attack version, is an Indian third-generation, all-weather, fire-and-forget, lock-on after launch, anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) with an operational range of 500 m to 20 km.
  • It has a single-shot hit probability of 90% and a ten-year, maintenance-free shelf life.
  • The Nag has five variants under development:
    • a land version, for a mast-mounted system;
    • the helicopter-launched Nag (HELINA) also known as Dhruvastra;
    • a “man-portable” version (MPATGM);
    • an air-launched version which will replace the current imaging infra-red (IIR) to millimetric-wave (mmW) active radar homing seeker;
    • and the Nag Missile Carrier (NAMICA) “tank buster”, which is a modified BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) produced under license in India by Ordnance Factory Medak (OFMK).
NAG missile

HELINA/Dhruvastra

  • It has a maximum range of seven kilometers and has been designed and developed for integration on the weaponized version of the ALH (Advanced Light Helicopter).
  • The missile system has all-weather, day, and night capability and can defeat battle tanks with conventional armour as well as explosive reactive armour.
HELINA / Dhruvastra

SANT

  • It is a Smart Stand-off Anti-Tank Missile being developed for launch from the Mi-35 Helicopter for the Air Force’s anti-tank operations.
sant missile

MPATGM

  • It stands for Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile which has a range of 2.5 kilometers, with fire-and-forget and top attack capabilities for infantry use.

ATGM for MBT Arjun

  • ATGM for MBT Arjun is a laser-guided, precision-guided munition that is launched from the 120mm rifled gun of the Arjun tank to engage and defeat Explosive Reactive Armour-protected armoured targets.

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