Balasore, November 7: Today India test-fired it’s indigenously designed and developed long-range sub-sonic cruise missile 'Nirbhay' from a test range at Chandipur along the Odisha coast. This subsonic missile has been designed by Defense Research and Development Organization.
"The long-range missile, which can carry warheads of 300 kg, was fired from the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur off Odisha coast around 12 p.m.," sources said. Designed by the Defense Research and Development Organization, the state-of-the-art missile is powered by a turbojet engine and has an operational range of 1,000 km. The 1,500-kg two-stage missile is 6 metres long and 0.52 metre wide and can travel at a speed of up to 0.7 Mach.
This was the fifth experimental test of the homegrown missile system. All initial critical operations of the trial such as the blast of the sophisticated missile are successful as it moved up in its trajectory, a DRDO scientist said soon after the launch of the missile.
Powered by a solid rocket motor booster developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL), the missile has an operational range of 1000 km. 'Nirbhay' missile can travel with a turbofan or turbojet engine and is guided by a highly advanced inertial navigation system indigenously developed by the Research Centre Imarat (RCI), the DRDO sources said.
After the missile achieves designated altitude and velocity, the booster motor is separated and the engine automatically switches on taking further propulsion, said a DRDO scientist associated with the project.
"After a thorough review some changes have been incorporated in the missile system and we hope it will deliver the desired result," said the senior scientist.
Earlier the maiden test flight of 'Nirbhay' held on March 12, 2013, had to be terminated midway for safety reasons due to malfunction of a component. However, the second launch on October 17, 2014, was successful, he said. In the next trial conducted on October 16, 2015, the missile deviated from its path after covering 128 km. The last test flight held on December 21, 2016, had to be aborted after 700 seconds of its test flight as it deviated from its designated path. All these trials were conducted from the same base at Chandipur ITR.