The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested an indigenously-developed low weight, fire and forget, Man-Portable Anti Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) from Andhra Pradesh's Kurnool, in a major boost to India's indigenous missile development program on 11 September. What is MPATGM?
- This is a third-generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), that has been developed indigenously by DRDO in partnership with VEM technologies Ltd.
- It comes with a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead.
- The missile is incorporated with state-of-the-art Infrared Imaging Seeker along with advanced avionics.
- The strike range of this missile is about 2.5 kilometers and weighs around 14.5 kilograms, a feature that is critical to maintaining portability.
- It has the capability to be fired from the shoulder and can be used during the day and night.
- The missile is expected to be deployed to the infantry and parachute battalions of the Indian Army.
- India had started working on MPATGM back in 2005
- The first trial of the MPATGM was conducted on 15 September 2018, and second on 16 September 2018.
- In 2019, the DRDO test-fired this missile for the first time on 13 March and the second test was conducted on 14 March in the Rajasthan desert.
Missiles the army is currently using
- The test paves the way for the Army to have developed third-generation man-portable ATGM indigenously.
- Currently, the Indian Army uses the imported Milan 2T and Konkurs Russian anti-tank missiles in the infantry but they are vintage missiles and the force is looking for a third-generation ATGM.
- The Indian Army requires around 70,000 ATGMs of various types and around 850 launchers of different types.
- It is planning to procure third-generation ATGMs with a longer range than that of its existing Milan-2T and Konkurs ATGMs.
- Last year, the government had decided to scrap a program to buy the Spike ATGM from Israel keeping in mind the development made by DRDO in this regard.
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Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP)
- The Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) was an Indian Ministry of Defence program for the research and development of the comprehensive range of missiles.
- The program was managed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Ordnance Factories Board in partnership with other Indian government political organizations.
- The project started in 1982–83 under the leadership of Abdul Kalam who oversaw its ending in 2008 after these strategic missiles were successfully developed.
- On 8 January 2008, the DRDO formally announced the successful completion of the IGMDP.
- The missiles developed under the programs were
- Short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Prithvi
- Intermediate-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni
- Short-range low-level surface-to-air missile Trishul
- Medium range surface-to-air missile Akash
- Third-generation anti-tank missile Nag