labels: aerospace, defence
Work afoot on long-range, subsonic cruise missile, Nirbhay: DRDOnews
22 October 2007

New Delhi: Indian defence scientists are developing a sub-sonic cruise missile, which is expected to be in the same class as the latest versions of the US Tomahawk. Dubbed Nirbhay (Fearless), the cruise missile will have a range that will be 300km longer than the Pakistani cruise missile, Babur (also called Hatf VII).

Nirbhay will be the seventh class of missile to be developed by India after the Agni series, the Prithvi series, Brahmos (in a joint venture with Russia), Akash, Trishul and Nag. Avinash Chander, director of the Advanced Systems Laboratory, Hyderabad, and project in charge, revealed this to the national daily, The Telegraph.

According to Chander, Nirbhay is being developed alongside Astra, an air-to-air missile designed to hit targets beyond visual range.

Nirbhay will carry an onboard terrain-identification system that will map its course and relay the information to its guidance and propulsion systems. "Every modern military needs to have missile options. The requirement for Nirbhay was projected by all three armed forces to fill a gap in our missile programme," said Chander.

Nirbhay will be a terrain-hugging missile, in the range of 1,000km, and capable of avoiding detection by ground-based radar. It would have. "We have Brahmos, which is a supersonic cruise missile and the need was felt for a subsonic cruise missile that will be capable of being launched from multiple platforms in land, air and sea," Chander said.

Nirbhay''s development schedule will see a technology demonstrator being tested in early 2009. According to Chander, system design was complete and "hardware preparations are on."

Chander also revealed that Nirbhay would weigh around 1,000kg and travel at 0.7 mach (nearly 840kmph). It would be capable of delivering 24 different types of warheads. For reference, various versions of the Pakistani subsonic cruise missile Babur have ranges varying between 500 to 700km. The US Tomahawk too has many versions, the latest of which has a range in excess of 1,500km.


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Work afoot on long-range, subsonic cruise missile, Nirbhay: DRDO