Kanson wrote: News is not new sir. In fact earlier reports mentioned the same problem. Only those whose has poor understanding of the subject like rohitvat's observation above, says it is "new". Only added fact is DRDO Chief mentioned the time period (i.e., between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.). That is the only new thing.
You should have made a little bit more effort to read my post to understand what I said. First, the post was NOT about the issue(s) facing the NAG missile. But about the details of this issue. And how severe the issue is.
Till data, the articles have talked about targeting problem in peak summer season or during the hottest part of the day. And w/o knowing the extant of this issue, we've had geniuses on BRF questioning the need for fighting during this period! It is only now that the someone from DRDO has made plain the issue. And I hope people on BRF now stop passing comments about army playing truant with the missile.
Just to reiterate, this decrease is only for Phase-I, Phase-II is supposed to be meeting all requirements. As I see it, they still need time to work with new (Sofradir) seeker array, that's why Phase-II and they are requesting for acceptance of Nag with earlier seeker which met targets at reduced range or something like that.
The situation might actually be somewhat different.
Here is a 2012 report by Ajai Shukla which came about when NAG was having problem in differentiating target beyond 2.5 km. The Sofradir FPA was proposed then to help alleviate the issue. http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/indian-army-and-drdo-co-operate-to-boost-tank-killer-nag-missile-112071502004_1.html
Dr Avinash Chander, the DRDO’s missile chief, told Business Standard, “Even in the worst conditions, the Nag is 100 per cent accurate out to 2.5 kilometres. Except when the temperature is really high, it is also accurate at four kilometres. By the year-end, we will develop a seeker with higher resolution, which will be accurate at four kilometres in any conditions.
The DRDO, for whom this is a prestigious project, says that the Hyderabad-based laboratory, Research Centre Imarat (RCI), will soon develop a seeker that can work through the hottest desert temperatures. This will feature an improved Focal Plane Array (FPA), a detector on the missile tip that picks up the target’s infrared signal. Since the DRDO’s own FPA programme is still at an early stage, the Nag’s improved FPA will be supplied by French company, Sofradir. RCI will integrate Sofradir’s FPA into an improved Nag seeker.
From the same 2012 report:
The DRDO’s unusual frankness in admitting a problem has been matched by the Army’s unusual helpfulness in working through it. The Army has decided to buy 13 Nag carriers (NAMICA, being developed by BEL and L&T), and 443 Nag missiles in the current state. These will be deployed in areas like Punjab, where close-set villages, groves and electricity transmission cables seldom permit visibility beyond 2.5 kilometres. When the DRDO demonstrates improved performance with a better seeker, a larger order will follow.
“This is a top-class missile in every respect except for this problem. While we must have a range of four kilometres for the open desert, the reduced 2.5 kilometre range is acceptable for developed terrain like the Punjab. We will buy 13 Nag carriers and use these to familiarise ourselves with the system. And, in Phase II, we will order the four kilometre missile in bulk quantities,” says a top general who decides such contracts.
It seems the above plan for purchase of NAG with 2.5 km range got modified to purchasing it with new Sofradir FPA.
Here is another recent report from TOI. The negative headline notwithstanding, it has a useful data-point.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jodhpur/Much-hyped-trials-of-Nag-missile-miss-date-DRDO-left-red-faced/articleshow/52861117.cms
Interestingly, ambitious plans were underway to bestow this all weather missile with an unparalleled capability of detecting and hitting the targets with a very low thermal contrast vis-a-vis surroundings to the tune of a mere 0.2 degree Celsius. This work of developing High Resolution Imaging Infra Red Seekers as per the demand projected by the Indian Army was entrusted to Research Centre Imarat (RCI), a Hyderabad based DRDO lab.
So, Phase 2 of development encompasses development of indigenous seeker with the required performance. And Phase 1 relaxation for specific use case has been requested with foreign FPA.
The way I see it, we're going through the final pangs of user-trials. If the tests happen on time (the TOI reports talks of motor problem postponing summer trials), the missile should see production in 2017-18 time-frame.