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Sunday, December 29, 2013

DRDO's CLGM Development Programme Appears To Be Progressing Well

Bidding process underway to manufacture the Missile's guidance system.


The Pune-based DRDO lab, Armament Research & Development Establishment [ARDE] has initiated a tendering process to award a contract for supplying the Guidance system used in its Cannon-launched Laser Guided Missile [CLGM], presently under Cannon-Launched-Guided-Missile-CLGM-Indiadevelopment. The Indian company eventually chosen would have to provide 30 units of the system, that it would need to build in conformance with the design drawings, manufacturing process & quality standards provided to it by the concerned DRDO lab.

The tender for limited-scale manufacturing of this critical sub-system suggests that its developers have acquired a fair level of confidence with their design, not foreseeing the need for substantial re-design in the future, & are ready to take things forward. Once the final design is locked, large-scale production would be taken up by one of the designated DPSUs. Additionally, news of the postponement of an impending test wasn't followed up with the news of any test having take place subsequently. Could suggest faults were detected pre-flight, they went back to the drawing boards, & are now ready with corrected designs. The CLGM had tasted success earlier in the year.

This assessment, if true either way, bodes well for the country's missile inventory. The 5 km range CLGM can target armoured vehicles, including Tanks, as well as low-flying aircrafts. It can be fired, both, from the barrel of the indigenous Arjun MBT, thus enhancing that platform's versatility, as well as a standalone system, that can be lugged around by soldiers. India's other indigenous Anti-Tank Guided Missile [ATGM], the Nag, on the other hand, is incompatible with the Arjun Tank, & is much too heavy to function as a man portable anti-tank system. News reports indicate intention to develop a lighter version of the Nag, although no trial launches have taken place, so far. Therefore, to plug in this gap in the arsenal, India intends to import the Israeli LAHAT missiles to kit its presently missile-nude Arjun. In addition, it is also contemplating whether to go for the American Javelin or the Israeli Spike missiles to replace its inventory of older man portable ATGMs. A smooth, preferably accelerated, development of the CLGM could lessen the number of the above mentioned missiles that are to be imported. The CLGM would also enjoy an advantage over the LAHAT in terms of its Guidance System used. While the latter employs a solely laser designated targeting system, the Indian solution is to have both direct/indirect laser designation, as well as heat seeking terminal guidance capability.


Also Read: Ballistic Missile Defense Shield system in Europe [Infographic]