Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile : Focus

Ashwin

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The Special Forces and Infantry Battalions of Army while operating in an environment characterized by a high density of mechanized threats need an effective antitank guided missile (ATGM) platform to counter the prevailing threat. To cater for the above need, Indian Army specified the qualitative requirements to design, develop and demonstrate the third generation Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM).

Project MPATGM was sanctioned to DRDO on 27 January 2015 with the scope work that included design and development of a third generation ATGM with a Launch Tube (LT) and Launcher and a Command Launch Unit (CLU), and demonstration of the system performance through ground testing and flight testing. DRDO entrusted the developmental work to Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL)–one of its Hyderabad-based laboratories–as the nodal agency with the support of sister DRDO laboratories; RCI, HEMRL, TBRL, ARDE and IRDE.

MPATGM weapon system
MPATGM Weapon System consists of three major separate elements: (i) Missile in a LT called the weapon
round, (ii) the CLU including Thermal Sight (TS), Gunner Display, Command Control Unit and Battery and (iii) the Launcher or Tripod. Launcher System was specified to be light and user-friendly with following functionalities:
System power and health checks; missile seeker cooling; provision to display TAS and missile seeker images;display controls; target acquisition through thermal/day sight; and thermal battery and launch motor firing. A preliminary design of the MPATGM was carried out to arrive at an aerodynamic configuration along with different sub-systems specifications and salient features. The guidance and control system designing was carried out to meet the mission performance and robustness. The design was reviewed by an expert committee chaired by Shri SK Roy, former Director RCI, and cleared for flight implementation.



Technological Challenges

Some of the critical technologies realized during the project are:
IIR Seeker : The third-generation ATGM having fire and forget capability works on the homing signal provided by a miniature Image Infrared Seeker (IIR) housed in its front end for guidance. Configuring the optical module to focus the image on the detector and realization of the signal processing electronics to achieve the 2.5 km range with the available space within a missile of 120 mm diameter was really a challenging task.
Propulation System: The propulsion system for the missile necessitated the design of a complex system with a launch motor for ‘soft launch’ of the missile from the launch tube followed by firing of the main motor in flight at a safe distance of around 10 meters from the launcher to provide safety to the operator. To arrest the large roll rates experienced by the missile while coming out of the launch tube, a jet vane mechanism has been configured in the nozzle end of the blast tube to exercise the thrust vector control in the launch phase.

Main motor of this miniaturized missile comprises a dual thrust rocket motor with a boost phase and a sustainer phase to achieve top attack capability against a maximum range trajectory of 2.5 km.

Control Actuation System: The jet vane mechanism was driven by the precision servo control actuation system, which drives the tail fins of the missile for exercising aerodynamic control through the rest of the trajectory. This demanded the design of a precision servo mechanism consisting of miniature electromechanical actuators and the digital servo controllers to house the space around the blast tube to drive each fins. Fins in turn drive the jet vanes through a linkage mechanism having 1:1 transmission ratio with sufficient linear operating range.

Tandem Warhead : In the available small volume inside a missile of man portable class, to design a tandem warhead with a precursor warhead and a main warhead with a RHA penetration > 650 mm

Development Partners

Missile system studies, control and guidance design and the aerodynamic and structural design and testing, etc., for the MPATGM were carried out in DRDL. The design of blast tube-based dual thrust propulsion system with jet vane mechanism for thrust vectoring was also carried out in DRDL. The propellant for Launch Motor and Flight Motor was carried out by HEMRL. Design and development of most of the electronic sub-systems such as IIR Seeker and associated Integral Electronics (INEL), electromechanical actuation system and onboard signal conditioning package and telemetry transmitter, etc., was undertaken by RCI.

The Target Acquisition System (TAS) based on thermal sighting principle is part of the launcher and is being developed by IRDE. Preliminary design review of TAS has already been completed and a prototype unit is ready. The mechanical parts of the tripod launcher are being designed at DRDL. Its preliminary design is complete and fabrication is under progress. Tandem Warhead of the missile is being developed at TBRL and is in final stages of realisation and testing. Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) is the industrial development partner.

Performance Evaluation

The missile has undergone the following stringent laboratory- and ground-level tests during realization of the various sub-systems prior to flight testing: Control and guidance design testing in wind tunnel; aerodynamic data and performance were evaluated by six DOF simulation study; propulsion system performance was evaluated in number of static tests conducted at 100 t test bed at DRDL; five POP out tests were carried out at DRDL to evaluate launch phase dynamics and safety
where in propulsion system consistent performance is achieved; integrated mode testing of the propulsion system along with jet vane mechanism and control actuation system at 100 t test bed at DRDL and Hardware- in-Loop testing and evaluation of control algorithm incorporating sensor package, control actuation system and integrated electronics hardware at RCI. The missile being developed by DRDO will be comparable to the best ATGM systems in the world, viz., Javelin by US and Spike-MR by Israel.

Milestones

Two pre-programmed control missions have been executed to prove vehicle controllability as well as manoeuvrability with realistic guidance command. The missile was successfully tested at KK Ranges, Ahmednagar for maximum range trajectory in top attack mode on 15 September 2018 and for minimum range trajectory in top attack mode on 16 September 2018. The successful missions proved the controllability of the missile aero- configuration along with major sub- systems, viz., propulsion, control system and onboard integrated electronics hardware.

Way Ahead

All the DRDO workcentres are geared up for realization of further units for forthcoming guidance mission with IIR Seekers. Guidance missions with IIR Seekers have been planned for November 2018 to prove the final configuration with seeker hardware. The missiles in final configuration could be offered for user assisted flight trials in the first quarter of 2019.

Source: DRDO



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Bon Plan

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Army Eyes 3,000 Tank-Busting Missiles From France For Infantry: Report – Indian Defence Research Wing

Plan Milan 2T missiles ..


WTH

Are we planning to buy outdated / scrap missiles ?

After Igla S now milan 2T ?

Is it some sort of camouflage ?
The Milan 2T is ready to be produce in India. It has nearly 3km range, and a very effective warhead.

After that, if you want a last gen anti tank missile, France can sell MMP. At least the same powerfull warhead, twice the range.
 
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randomradio

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The Milan 2T is ready to be produce in India. It has nearly 3km range, and a very effective warhead.

After that, if you want a last gen anti tank missile, France can sell MMP. At least the same powerfull warhead, twice the range.

We are developing our own 3rd gen man portable ATGM. We may not may not get Spikes in the meanwhile.

MBDA may jump into a next gen ATGM program with L&T in the future though.
 

Bon Plan

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The DAC also approved acquisition of approximately 5000 Milan ATGM for the army... (at the end)
1548955677466.png

1548955677466.png
 

Ashwin

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Here is to hoping that the MPATGM doesn't spray burning gasses onto the user's face.
It doesn't. It has a soft launch mechanism. Main motor fires only after missile reach a safe distance from the user.


Javelin:

 

Gautam

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It doesn't. It has a soft launch mechanism. Main motor fires only after missile reach a safe distance from the user.


Javelin:

I have seen the videos sir, but what worried me is the 1st and 3rd picture that i posted previously.
In the 1st pic you can see some serious amount of fragments as the missile is fired
In the 3rd pic you have literally Diwali firecrackers as the missile takes off.
I suppose the soft launch thing is still somewhat of a work in progress or were they trying out different launch modes. Do we have any other videos of the missile launch from previous tests ?
 

Ashwin

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I have seen the videos sir, but what worried me is the 1st and 3rd picture that i posted previously.
In the 1st pic you can see some serious amount of fragments as the missile is fired
In the 3rd pic you have literally Diwali firecrackers as the missile takes off.
I suppose the soft launch thing is still somewhat of a work in progress or were they trying out different launch modes. Do we have any other videos of the missile launch from previous tests ?
You feel that because its night launch pictures. Check the day launch video it's not the case.
 

Gautam

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You feel that because its night launch pictures. Check the day launch video it's not the case.
Maybe or maybe the fireworks are there at daytime too, just not visible. Anyway, let's not bicker over technicalities looking at footage from a grainy video. In time all doubts will be cleared.:)
 

Gautam

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There's a soft launch followed by the booster kicking in from a safe distance. Plus the user's face is protected by the TI camera.
Just had the same debate with @Ashwin. Agree about the Command Launch Unit(CLU) offering protection but what about the loader. These things are likely to be operated by a two man gunner and a loader team, right ?
 

Austerlitz

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The Milan 2T is ready to be produce in India. It has nearly 3km range, and a very effective warhead.

After that, if you want a last gen anti tank missile, France can sell MMP. At least the same powerfull warhead, twice the range.

Can the Milan 2T take out a type 99 chinese tank?
 

Austerlitz

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Would require multiple hits.

Thats not good,we need better.Though any tank can be taken out if hit from an side angel or rear.Though type 99s are small in number and deployed facing korea,they can be redeployed .Dont know if their engines would allow them to operate in tibet though.
Is the spike deal still on?I don't think konkurs m can take out t-99 in one hit either.Maybe kornet can.What other options we have?
 

Bon Plan

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Can the Milan 2T take out a type 99 chinese tank?
Type 99 armor is not known, but I see no reason it could be impressive (China has low experience in tank design and has no or very few tank batte experience). After all T99 is a derivative of russian T72, not reputed to be hard to be penetrated, even if T99 is heavier.
So I think it's not a problem for a new Milan warhead.
 

randomradio

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Thats not good,we need better.Though any tank can be taken out if hit from an side angel or rear.Though type 99s are small in number and deployed facing korea,they can be redeployed .Dont know if their engines would allow them to operate in tibet though.
Is the spike deal still on?I don't think konkurs m can take out t-99 in one hit either.Maybe kornet can.What other options we have?

It's most desirable to hit a tank from its weakest angle. But now tanks can survive hits even against top attack ATGMs. I don't think there is any ATGM in existence today that can actually destroy an advanced tank in one hit from any angle except the rear. Even with top attack, you may need multiple hits.

Plus the Type 99 comes with an active laser dazzler, so 2nd gen ATGMs will not be very effective anyway. Konkurs faces the same problem as the MILAN. I would even question their ability to hit a target that has a soft kill APS installed, let alone hard kill. You can also expect the tank to automatically turn towards you and kill you before the missile is able to reach the tank, so the gunner won't be able to paint the target long enough, and the missile is now facing the strongest tank armour, which is likely to miss anyway since the launcher has been taken out.

I would question the ability of manned teams operating the ridiculously heavy Kornet in Tibetan altitudes in a sustained manner in areas where you will meet the Type 99 in battle. It's not man portable, although variants exist. It's used much more defensively, like from a border post or from vehicles.

The Type 99 should be able to operate in Tibet. It has greater power to weight than the T-90S does, and the Chinese have pretty decent engine tech.

Spike deal is still active. But DRDO is still insisting its MPATGM can be inducted before the Spike can, and this claim has been further bolstered by the new test. But the Spike will undergo summer trials this year, after it failed last year. So it looks like some will be bought as long as it clears trials, but the main workhorse will be DRDO's MPATGM.

Beyond that, the Americans have offered the joint development of a "4th gen" ATGM and the French have offered joint development of a "5th gen" ATGM with MMP as the base. The MMP is obviously more advanced than the current Javelin, Spike and MPATGM. So we may see the parallel inductions of MPATGM and an India-specific version of MMP currently called ATGM5.
 
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Austerlitz

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It's most desirable to hit a tank from its weakest angle. But now tanks can survive hits even against top attack ATGMs. I don't think there is any ATGM in existence today that can actually destroy an advanced tank in one hit from any angle except the rear. Even with top attack, you may need multiple hits.

Plus the Type 99 comes with an active laser dazzler, so 2nd gen ATGMs will not be very effective anyway. Konkurs faces the same problem as the MILAN. I would even question their ability to hit a target that has a soft kill APS installed, let alone hard kill. You can also expect the tank to automatically turn towards you and kill you before the missile is able to reach the tank, so the gunner won't be able to paint the target long enough, and the missile is now facing the strongest tank armour, which is likely to miss anyway since the launcher has been taken out.

I would question the ability of manned teams operating the ridiculously heavy Kornet in Tibetan altitudes in a sustained manner in areas where you will meet the Type 99 in battle. It's not man portable, although variants exist. It's used much more defensively, like from a border post or from vehicles.

The Type 99 should be able to operate in Tibet. It has greater power to weight than the T-90S does, and the Chinese have pretty decent engine tech.

Spike deal is still active. But DRDO is still insisting its MPATGM can be inducted before the Spike can, and this claim has been further bolstered by the new test. But the Spike will undergo summer trials this year, after it failed last year. So it looks like some will be bought as long as it clears trials, but the main workhorse will be DRDO's MPATGM.

Beyond that, the Americans have offered the joint development of a "4th gen" ATGM and the French have offered joint development of a "5th gen" ATGM with MMP as the base. The MMP is obviously more advanced than the current Javelin, Spike and MPATGM. So we may see the parallel inductions of MPATGM and an India-specific version of MMP currently called ATGM5.

We went and bought 25,000 konkurs m nonetheless.:cautious:15,000 m version from 2008,then 10,000 m1 version in 2012.Just bought a new batch this february of upgraded m1 models unspecified numbers so army must be happy.
Its good enough for Pakistani tanks and the bulk of chinese type 96g and older models.Its cheap and reliable,i guess thats why army went for it and also its vehicle installation ability.The newer Metis has slightly more penetration but half the range.Kornet weight as you said is massivedespite its awesome penetration and range.A limited number of spike should be procured for the china border.
Good to hear about the MMP.
The BMP-2 upgrade includes missile upgrade to kornet,which will help the independent armoured brigades on LAC.We also bought 3000 kornets,but where these are no one knows.Its said these are deployed with specialized tank buster battalions held in reserve,or in recon units.