The fourth test of India's intermediate range cruise missile, Nirbhay, carried from the Integrated Missile Test Range on Wheeler Island, off the coast of Odisha, failed on Wednesday.
Nirbhay's three earlier tests have also been failures or only been partially successful, sources said.
The subsonic missile, designed and developed by DRDO, was first tested in March 2013, but its flight had to be aborted midway when it veered off course.
The terrain-hugging missile, which can fly almost at the tree-top levels and evade detection by radars missile, would strengthen the country's air defence capability.
Nirbhay is built to identify and strike targets in heavily populated areas with pin-point accuracy and is capable of carrying of carrying a nuclear warhead.
With a range of more than 1,000km, Nirbhay is considered an equal to the Tomahawk missile of the US.
While India has already mastered ballistic missile technology and has indigenously developed nuclear-capable Agni and the supersonic BrahMos (jointly with Russia)- and tactical missiles of different capacities, the country is yet to make the sub-sonic cruise missile.
Even Pakistan has a functional cruise, Babur, apart from US, Russia, France and China.
Babur is a medium-range subsonic cruise missile inducted by the Pakistan army in 2005, with a striking range of 700 km.
Once successful, Nirbhay will help India join the exclusive club of nations that have mastered the elusive technology.