On June 28, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted a successful test firing of indigenously developed laser-guided Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM), which successfully achieved all intended measures.
“The ATGM hit the bull’s eye with textbook precision and successfully defeated the target at minimum ranges. Telemetry and monitoring instruments observed the satisfactory flight performance of the missile and recorded the required data for further development,” the defense ministry said in a statement.
The test aligned with India’s vision of consolidating its artillery system with the potent indigenous option to rely on domestic industry during wartime. It was also a significant milestone due to its platform. The new ATGM was fired by Main Battle Tank (MBT) Arjun under the aegis of the Army at the Karakoram range overseen by Armoured Corps Centre & School, Ahmednagar.
The ATGM is designed and developed by in-house scientists of DRDO to employ a tandem High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warhead to defeat Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) protected armored vehicles and tanks. Being launched from a tank itself gives the necessary power to the armored columns with the extra option of offense through MBT Arjun. The Laser-Guided ATGM has the capability to defeat the protected armored vehicles in ranges from 1.5 to 5 kilometer at acute precision.
“With the trial, the ATGM’s capability to engage targets from minimum to maximum range has been established. Earlier the trials have been successful for maximum range,” the defense ministry said.
The Arjun will be its main carrier and will provide a dynamic option in its firing arsenal. The missile is still undergoing the needed engineering phase to address challenges like engaging the targets at lower ranges due to the dimensional constraints of tank-launched ATGMs, which have been always observed in these platform-based weapons.
With a few more further trials, this ATGM will be ready for operational service.
This latest ATGM saw the inception of its materialization a decade ago and today with the steady evolution of the project. According to the defense ministry, it has been developed “with multi-platform launch capability and is currently undergoing technical evaluation trials from 120 mm rifled gun of MBT Arjun.”
This is not the first ATGM under development by India, as there are already multiple options running through the list and all are platform-specific to the course of operations.