India successfully flight-tested its indigenous land-attack cruise missile capable of delivering nuclear warheads to a strike range of 1000 kilometer on Tuesday. The country’s indigenous cruise missile has been christened Nirbhay (Fearless). The missile was successfully launched after strings of failures since March 2013.
The successfully flight-test of the cruise missile is considered to be a major development as the armed forces since long have been demanding land-attack missiles with at least an attack range of 1000 kilometers and which can be fired from air, sea and land.
Nirbhay is a sub-sonic missile designed to carry 300-kg nuclear warhead. The Tuesday’s test was the fifth attempt. It was launched at 11:20 am from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha. The DRDO dubbed the flight as complete success.
Nirbhay has the capability to loiter and cruise at 0.7 Mach, at altitude as low as 100 m. The indigenously designed missile can travel with a turbofan or turbojet engine. It is guided by a highly advanced inertial navigation system indigenously developed by the Research Centre Imarat (RCI). The land-attack missile has indigenously designed Ring Laser Gyroscope (RLG) and MEMS-based Inertial Navigation System (INS) along with GPS system.
According to DRDO official said, “Nirbhay achieved all mission objectives completely from lift-off till the final splash. It cruised for around 50 minutes achieving the target range of 647 kilometers.”