Topic of the Day – Anti Tank Missiles

UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – Anti tank missiles


  • It is an indigenously-developed second generation, Anti-Tank Guided Missile.
  • It has a range of 2.8 km. This is the first-ever design and developmental effort in respect of missiles by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Hyderabad.
  • An Anti-Tank Missile (ATM) 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 vehicle and aircraft mounted missile systems.



  • Nag is a third-generation; fire-and-forget, anti-tank guided missile developed by DRDO to support both mechanized 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.
  • It is all weather, top attack missile with a range of 3 to 7 km.
  • In addition, HELINA (Helicopter launched NAG) is the air-to-ground version of the NAG anti-tank missile integrated into the HAL built Dhruv Helicopters.



  • India is moving forward with a $1 billion purchase of Spike anti-tank guided missiles from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems of Israel, overlooking the single-vendor situation in the deal, according to an Indian Ministry of Defence official.
  • Under the deal, the Indian Army will procure 321 Spike ATGM launchers, 8,356 missiles, 15 training simulators and associated accessories from Rafael on a single-vendor basis.
  • “The single-vendor situation has arisen as the other option, American Javelin, was found to be too expensive and has been accepted as a fait accompli keeping in view the needs of the Indian Army for third-generation ATGM
  • The deal also includes an option to build another 1,500 launcher systems and about 30,000 additional missiles under technology transfer to state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited. The first delivery of the Spike ATGM is likely to being 58 to 60 months after the deal is signed.
  • The Army currently faces a shortage of ATGMs and has a total requirement of 40,000 ATGMs in the next 20 years. In the meantime, it is using second-generation Milan missiles (with a 2-kilometer range) and Konkurs missiles (with a 4-kilometer range) produced by BDL under license from French and Russian companies, respectively.

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