Nirbhay Current Affairs - 2020

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Sub-sonic Cruise Missile ‘Nirbhay’ Successfully Test-Fired

India’s first indigenously designed and developed long-range sub-sonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ from a test range Chandipur, Odisha.

Nirbhay Missile

  • Nirbhay missile has blended missile and aeronautical technologies which allows it to take off vertically like missile and cruise horizontally like an aircraft.
  • The missile has a two-stage missile powered by solid rocket motor booster developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL).
  • Nirbhay Missile has an operational range of 1000 km and can carry warheads of up to 300 kg including nuclear warheads.
  • It can be launched from various kind of platforms.
  • It can travel with a turbofan or turbojet engine and is guided by a highly advanced inertial navigation system.
  • It has the capability to loiter and cruise at 0.7 Mach, at altitudes as low as 100m.
  • It is terrain hugging missile which keeps on encircling the area of its target for several minutes and then hits bull’s eye’ on an opportune time.
  • It is difficult to detect by enemy’s radars. It is capable to engage several targets in a single flight.
  • The guidance, control and navigation system of missile is configured around indigenously designed Ring Laser Gyroscope (RLG) and MEMS-based Inertial Navigation System (INS) along with GPS system.

It was the sixth experimental test of Nirbhay missile system and it achieved all mission objectives right from lift-off till the final splash, boosting the confidence of all scientists associated with the trial.

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Nuclear capable Cruise Missile Nirbhay tested successfully

India successfully tested Nirbhay, India’s first indigenously designed and developed long range sub-sonic cruise missile. The missile was fired from the Integrated Test Range at Balasore, Odisha. Nirbhay maintained an accuracy better than 10 m throughout its path and covered a distance of more than 1000 km.

Indigenously developed missile

Nirbhay is made wholly of parts indigenously developed in India. It is powered by a solid rocket motor booster developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) and the launch was from a mobile launcher specifically designed for Nirbhay by the Vehicles R&D Establishment (VRDE). The missile was guided by a highly advanced inertial navigation system developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI). The missile was tracked with the help of ground based radars, and the missile was monitored through telemetry stations by a team from DRDO and LRDE (Electronics & Radar Development Establishment).

Prior launch attempt

This was the second launch of Nirbhay. The maiden launch in March 2013 was a partial success achieving most of the mission objectives, but it had to be terminated for safety reasons due to malfunction of a component, after deviation from intended path was observed.


The 6 m tall, low altitude flying missile can evade detection by radars by flying at tree top level. I can strike targets that are more than 700 km away also and is capable of carrying nuclear warheads. It can also hover over targets, unlike other missile. It also has a fire and forget system which cannot be jammed by the enemy. Nirbhay fills a vital gap in India’s arsenal and is considered to be India’s answer to USA’s Tomahawk and Pakistan’s Babur missiles.

Aircraft-like missile

Nirbhay blasts off like a rocket, but then unlike a missile, it turns into an aircraft. Unlike other ballistic missiles like the Agni, it has wings and pronounced tail fins. After the launch, mid-flight, the rocket motor falls off and the small wings get deployed. At this juncture, a gas turbine engine kicks in and the missile’s conversion into a full aircraft is complete.

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