Nirbhay cruise missile tested successfully! The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Monday conducted the final development test of the Made in India nuclear-capable Nirbhay cruise missile. The two-stage missile is 6 metre long, 0.52 metre wide with a wingspan of 2.7 metre and 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. According to Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), Nirbhay is India’s first indigenously designed and developed missile which can carry warheads of up to 300 kg has been tested today at the Integrated Test Range on Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha.
Out of four tests launches since 2013, only the one in 2018 was successful. In December 2016 the missile had to be destroyed due to mid-air deviation, the agencies involved carried out another test in November last year from the east coast which was successful. The first test was carried out in 2013 but midway had to be terminated for safety reasons as there was a malfunction of a component.
Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) has developed a solid rocket motor booster for the homemade missile which has an operational range of 1000 km. This missile can travel with the help of a turbojet engine and with the highly advanced inertial navigation system which has been developed in house by the Research Centre Imarat (RCI), it can be guided.
A report in Russian magazine `Sputnik’ quoting unnamed sources that the Indian made missile is powered by Russian NPO Saturn 36MT mini turbofan engines and at a stage, Indian engines are expected to replace the Russian engines.
It also says that the DRDO is planning to develop land, aircraft, ship, and submarine-launched versions of the Nirbhay cruise missile. The air version of the indigenous Nirbhay to be used for air-to-ground will be tested in 2021 and will be fitted on Su-30 MKI fighter planes. For the Indian Navy, the DRDO is working on increasing the range to 1,500 km.
According to DRDO, once the missile during launch achieves designated altitude and velocity, the booster motor is separated and the engine automatically switches on taking further propulsion. Scientists from DRDO’s ITR and LRDE (Electronics and Radar Development Establishment), are monitoring missile from telemetry stations made in India. From the time of its lift to the moment of splash down the missile is tracked with the help of ground-based radars and IAF aircraft.