India has test-fired its first domestically designed and developed long-range sub-sonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ from a test range off the coast of Odisha.
The 1,000km long-range missile, which was developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), was test-fired from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near Balasore.
The test fire of Nirbhay is the sixth development flight trial aimed at proving the repeatability of boost phase, cruise phase using waypoint navigation at very low altitudes.
Nirbhay took off vertically, turning horizontally into the test direction. Critical operations such as booster separation, wing deployment, and engine start were demonstrated through autonomous navigation.
A chain of electro-optical tracking systems, radars and ground telemetry systems deployed along the sea coast tracked the complete flight.
NDTV reported that Nirbhay is capable of cruising at 0.7 Mach at an altitude as low as 100m and covered the designated target range in 42 minutes and 23 seconds.
From liftoff until the final landing, the flight test is said to have achieved all the objectives of the mission.
The successful test of the missile is expected to offer a boost to India’s defence power.
The last trial of the Nirbhay subsonic cruise missile was conducted by DRDO in November 2017.
In February, DRDO conducted the flight test of the Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet propulsion based missile system from the integrated test range at Chandipur.
At the time of the test, the missile was launched and guided to reach a high altitude to simulate aircraft release conditions.