On June 28, Indian Armed forces along with India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), along with representatives of the Ministry of Defense, conducted a test of a laser-guided anti-tank missile from the 120mm gun of the Arjun main battle tank.
In a statement the Defense Ministry said, the test was successful and promising.
This is not the first such test using this combination: in 2020 India conducted a similar test on a target, the distance of which has not been disclosed. The current test was to test the combat capability and effectiveness of the tank when it fired the ATGM.
Incidentally, both tests took place at KK’s test grounds located near Ahmednagar in Maharashtra. The ranges are operated by the Army Center and Armored Forces School (ACC&S).
The Defense Ministry said, the “anti-tank missile launched was a development of the Indian defense industry and that New Delhi would use the Mestia ATGM on other platforms”; it however did not mention which ones.
About Arjun’s 120mm gun
The Arjun Mk II has an integrated 120mm cannon that can fire a variety of ammunition including Fin Stabilized Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot (FSAPDS) High-Explosive Squash Head (HESH), TB, PCB, and the Israeli laser anti-tank missile LAHAT.
Incidentally, the cannon is equipped with a thermal sleeve, smoke extractor, and barrel orientation system.
Its very likely that during the recent test, the laser-guided anti-tank missile that was used is the NAG, an Indian anti-tank missile developed for air and ground platforms.
The missile has two variants depending on the platform from which it is launched. When launched from land platforms it is called NAMICA and then launched from a helicopter it is called HELINA.
NAG is a third-generation anti-tank guided missile in the “fire and forget” format. It can be fired at targets in both direct strike mode as well as top attack mode. It can be deployed in both day and night conditions as well as in a variety of weather conditions; it can also take down conventional armored battle tanks as well as explosive jet armored main battle tanks.