India successfully tests ‘Nirbhay’ subsonic cruise missile
Balasore (Odisha): India today successfully test-fired its first indigenously designed and developed long- range subsonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ with a strike range of over 1,000 kms from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) near here.
Describing the test as a complete success, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said, “The entire mission, from lift-off till the final splash down, was a perfect flight achieving all the mission objectives.”
The missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher positioned at launch pad 3 of ITR at about 1005 hours.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the scientists for the successful test-firing of Nirbhay, saying this meant a “great impetus” to the country’s defence capabilities.
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley congratulated Avinash Chander, Scientific Advisor to the Raksha Mantri, Secretary Department of Defence R&D and DG DRDO and the DRDO team on the successful flight trial of the missile, a DRDO release said.
Cruise missile Nirbhay, powered by a solid rocket motor booster developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) took off majestically from a mobile launcher specifically designed for it by the Vehicles R&D Establishment (VRDE), it said.
As it achieved designated altitude and velocity, the booster motor got separated, the turbofan engine automatically switched on taking over the further propulsion and the wings opened up by the commands generated by the onboard computer (OBC) stabilising the flight. Guided by a highly advanced inertial navigation system indigenously developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI), the missile continued it’s flight that lasted a little over one hour and 10 minutes.
Throughout it’s path, the weapon system was tracked with the help of ground-based radars and it’s health parameters were monitored by indigenous telemetry stations by a team of professionals from DRDO’s ITR and LRDE (Electronics & Radar Development Establishment). Additionally, the performance of Nirbhay was closely watched by personnel onboard an Indian Air Force aircraft.
“The missile maintained an accuracy better than 10 metres throughout its path and covered more than 1000 kms,” said Avinash Chander after completion of the mission.
“The successful indigenous development of Nirbhay cruise missile will fill a vital gap in the war-fighting capabilities of our armed forces,” he said.