India has successfully test-fired its first indigenously designed and developed long range sub-sonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’, on tuesday which has 1,000 km operational range and a capacity to carry warheads of up to 300 kg. It was successfully test fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur along the Odisha coast.This was the fifth experimental test of the homegrown missile system. Out of the four earlier trials since its maiden launch in 2013, only one was successful.Describing the trial a success, a defence statement said the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) achieved yet another feat, the successful test flight of ‘Nirbhay’ which can be deployed from multiple platforms.Today’s 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 statement said.
- 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.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman complimented DRDO scientists for this inspired achievement. She was optimistic that this would take India to the select league of nations possessing this complex technology and sub-sonic cruise missile capability, it said.
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