New Delhi, Nov 7: India on Tuesday successfully conducted a fight test of its indigenously designed and developed long range sub-sonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’. This was the fifth test of the missile that can carry 300 kg pay load from various surfaces.

The missile took off from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur on Tuesday morning. A DRDO source told PTI that the missile test was deemed successful after it moved up in its trajectory. The data was retrieved for a detailed assessment of the test.

“Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) achieved yet another feat today with the successful test flight of ‘NIRBHAY’ – India’s first indigenously designed and developed Long Range Sub-Sonic Cruise Missile which can be deployed from multiple platforms. It was successfully test fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur, Odisha,” a government release said.

Here are the salient features:

  • The missile has the capability to loiter and cruise at 0.7 Mach, at altitudes as low as 100 m.
  • The guidance, control and navigation system of the missile is configured around the indigenously designed Ring Laser Gyroscope (RLG) and MEMS based Inertial Navigation System (INS) along with GPS system.
  • Powered by a solid rocket motor booster developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL), the missile has an operational range of 1000 km.
  • ‘Nirbhay’ missile can travel with a turbofan or turbojet engine and is guided by a highly advanced inertial navigation system indigenously developed by the Research Centre Imarat (RCI).
  • The two-stage missile is 6 metre long, 0.52 metre wide with a wing span of 2.7 metre. It can carry a warhead of 200 kg to 300 kg at a speed of 0.6 to 0.7 Mach. Its launch weight is about 1500 kg.
  • The maiden test flight of ‘Nirbhay’ held on March 12, 2013 had to be terminated midway for safety reasons due to malfunction of a component. However, the second launch on October 17, 2014 was successful.
  • In the next trial conducted on October 16, 2015, the missile deviated from its path after covering 128 km.
  • The last test flight held on December 21, 2016 had to be aborted after 700 seconds of its test flight as it deviated from its designated path. All these trials were conducted from the same base at Chandipur ITR.

Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hailed the success of DRDO Scientists and complimented them for this inspired achievement. Chairman DRDO and Secretary Department of Defence (R&D), Dr. S Christopher, DG (Aero) Dr. CP Ramanarayanan, Director ADE, RCI , ITR and CEMILAC, along with other senior DRDO scientists and user representatives from Army witnessed the launch.