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India successfully test-fires sub-sonic cruise missile 'Nirbhay'

08 November 2017

India today successfully test-fired the first indigenously designed and developed long range sub-sonic cruise missile 'Nirbhay', which can be deployed from multiple platforms.

The Nirbhay missile  

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said the missile was successfully test-fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur, Odisha.

The missile has a range of 1,000 km and has the capability to cruise at 0.7 Mach, at altitudes as low as 100 metres. The flight test achieved all the mission objectives completely from lift-off till the final splash, boosting the confidence of all scientists associated with the trial.

''The missile took-off in the programmed manner and all critical operations, viz. launch phase, booster deployment, engine start, wing deployment and other operational parameters demonstrated through autonomous way point navigation,'' an official release stated.

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.

The missile majestically cruised for a duration of 50 minutes, achieving the range of 647 km. The missile was tracked with the help of ground based radars and other parameters were monitored by indigenous telemetry stations developed by DRDO.

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman hailed the success of DRDO scientists and complimented them for this inspired achievement. She was optimistic that this successful trial would take India to the select league of nations for possessing this complex technology and sub-sonic cruise missile capability.

DRDO chairman S Christopher, DG, Aero, CP Ramanarayanan, along with other senior DRDO scientists and user representatives from the Army witnessed the momentous launch and congratulated the team Nirbhay for making DRDO proud for the long awaited achievement.

Powered by a solid rocket motor booster, Nirbhay missile with a turbo-fan engine is guided by a highly advanced inertial navigation system. Capable of carrying 24 kinds of war weapons, the missile is able to target multiple places simultaneously.

After the missile achieves designated altitude and velocity the booster motor is separated and the torfan engine automatically switches on taking over further propulsion, DRDO sources said.

Mid-way in its flight, missiles wing opens up by the commands generated by the sophisticated on board computer for stabilising the flight path.

The missile was tracked with the help of ground based radars and its health parameters were monitored by indigenous telemetry stations by team of professionals from DRDOs ITR and LRDE (Electronics & Radar Development Establishment).

The maiden test flight of Nirbhay held on 12 March 2013 had to be terminated mid way for safety reasons due to malfunction of a component, sources said.

However, the second launch on 17 October 2014 was successful.

The next trial conducted on 16 October 2015, had to be aborted after 700 seconds of its launch.

The missile was lat test fired in December 2017 when it failed although there was no official confirmation on the reports.

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