DRDO today successfully test-fired nuclear-capable subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay from the Integrated Test Range(ITR) at Chandipur of Odisha coast.
Having a range of 1500 KM, the missile was fired at 10.43 AM from launchpad no.3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur of Balasore district.
Nirbhay is a subsonic cruise missile designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under Ministry of Defence. The missile is capable of carrying nuclear warheads up to 200 kg. Made in India nuclear power! Nirbhay is an indigenously designed and developed long range sub-sonic cruise missile.
The DRDO has been carrying out several trials of Nirbhay since October 2014. Last year, the missile had developed technical snag during a test firing following which the trial process was aborted.
The Nirbhay is India’s first indigenously produced cruise missile. The missile similar in appearance to the U.S. Tomahawk and the Russian Club SS-N-27 with its cylindrical fuselage.
Sources said the two-stage missile Nirbhay took a unique trajectory in its entire path to the target. Being a terrain hugging missile, Nirbhay is difficult to detect by the enemy’s radars. The missile keeps on encircling the area of its target for several minutes and then hits the ‘bull’s eye’ at an opportune time, sources said. The missile is capable of carrying multiple payloads and can engage several targets in a single flight. It could be launched from a surface lorry to a ship, from the air and even from underwater vessels.
The two-stage missile is first thrown vertically by using a booster engine and in the next stage, the second engine takes it to the target.
Nirbhay is equipped with a state of art seeker, that locks on the target to neutralise it most effectively.
With this test, India has also sent a stern message to Pakistan and China as the Nirbhay missile is capable of targetting any object within 1,000 km range. The Nirbhay missile is capable of loitering and cruising at 0.7 Mach at an altitude as low as 100 metres. It covered the designated target range in 42 minutes and 23 seconds.
The two-stage missile is 0.52 metre wide and 6 metre long. It has a wing span of 2.7 metre. The Nirbhay missile can carry warheads at a speed of 0.6 to 0.7 Mach. During the launch time, its launch weight was around 1500 kg.