Long range nuclear-capable subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay was testfired from the launch complex 3 of the Integrated Missile Test Range in Balasore, Odisha.
The test was conducted by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). After blasting off from launch pad, the missile took a unique trajectory in its entire path to the target. However the test was an utter failure.
It was fourth test of Nirbhay missile so far and out of four, three have ended in failure. The maiden launch was conducted in March 2013 but it was failure, the second test was conducted in October 2014 was a big success as it had travelled 1,010 km instead of the targeted 800 km. The third mission on October 16, 2015 was again a failure.
About Nirbhay Missile
- Nirbhay is a long range surface-to-surface nuclear-capable subsonic cruise missile developed indigenously by the DRDO.
- It has blended missile and aeronautical technologies which allows it to take off vertically like a missile and cruise horizontally like an aircraft.
- It is a two stage missile. In its first stage, it tilts horizontally. In the second stage it will cruise horizontally like an aircraft with a turbo-jet engine at a subsonic speed of 0.7 Mach.
- It is capable of carrying multiple payloads including nuclear warheads. It is capable to engage several targets in a single flight.
- It can be launched from various kind of platforms, ranging from surface lorry to a ship, from air and even from underwater vessels.
- It is a 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 has strike range of 700 km to 1000km, giving India the capability to strike deep into enemy territory. It is considered as India’s answer to US’s Tomahawk and Pakistan’s Babur missile.
- It is expected to supplement the India-Russian joint venture BrahMos supersonic cruise missile which can carry warheads up to 290 km.