India on Friday successfully tested its series of nuclear-capable cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’, from the Integrated Missile Test Range in Chandipur, Odisha, days after Cyclone Hudhud hit the state’s coastal region.
The missile, named Nirbhay or fearless in Sanskrit, is a state-of-the-art missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) that can fly at tree-top level escaping radar to strike targets 700 km away carrying nuclear warheads, bringing both Pakistan and China within the reach.
Once India tests its own satellite navigation fleet, cruise missiles will be used with space signals and incorporated into the Indian Navy. Unlike Agni, ground-based missile, Nirbhay has a wing and tail fins which open once it is air-borne like any flight of an aircraft. Its advantage is its ability to fly undetected and hit targets from any direction.
It first trial that took place last year was a failure as the missile Nirbhay deviated from its course about 20 minutes after launch, went off its flight trajectory, and its engine was cut off to make land safely near the coast.
Today’s test-fire was successful and Indian scientist proved that the sub-sonic cruise missile enables India capability to launch different kinds of payloads at different ranges from various platforms. Once it is fired, the missile cannot be jammed.
DRDO expects the missile production to begin next year 2015, after few more trials against both static and moving targets like submarine and air-borne launched versions. With the successful flight of Nirbhay, India can now equal the US Tomahawk missiles and Pakistan’s Babur missiles. Other missiles of the same class include Russia’s Raduga Kh-55, China’s HN-1/2/3/2000, France’s MdCN and Korea’s Hyunmoo III.
|Type||Long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile|
|Place of origin||India|
|Used by||Indian Navy
Indian Air Force
|Produced||Expected in 2015|
|1,000 -1500 km|