DRDO gears up for the fifth trial of India’s homegrown subsonic cruise missile

The 750-1,000 km-long range missile Nirbhay, which has the capability to strike deep into enemy territory, has been designed in Bengaluru

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New Delhi: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is all set for the fifth trial of India’s indigenous subsonic cruise missile, Nirbhay, which failed its last test in December 2015.

“We are planning to have one probable trial (of the missile) next week,” DRDO Chief S. Christopher said, on the sidelines of a three-day international conference Fipsphysiocon-2017, organized by the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences.

He said that the glitches that led to failure in its fourth trial in December last year have been removed. According to the sources, the problem was related to the software of the missile, and it has been resolved. This time, the missile would have a turbojet engine instead of the turbofan engine used so far.

The cruise missile would supplement the Indo-Russian joint venture supersonic cruise missile BrahMos which can carry warheads up to 290 km. The two-stage missile has a length of six meters, a diameter of 0.52 m, a wingspan of 2.7 m and a launch weight of about 1,500 kg.

‘Nirbhay’, has been designed and developed by the DRDO at its aeronautics R&D laboratory Aeronautical Development Establishment in Bengaluru, has the capability to strike deep into enemy territory. It is powered by a solid rocket motor booster developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory and guided by a highly advanced initial navigation system indigenously developed by Research Centre Imarat.

’Nirbhay’ is able to pick out a target among multiple targets and attack it. It can also go around a target and re-engage it. It can fly at different altitudes ranging from 500 meters to 4 km above the ground and can fly at tree-level to avoid detection by radar. It is capable of delivering 24 different types of warheads depending on mission requirements and uses an inertial navigation system for guidance.

Nirbhay’s December 2016 trial was aborted half-way as the missile changed its targeted course. It had to be destroyed amid a threat that the missile could hit land.

Source: News 18

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