The Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has test-launched its Nirbhay subsonic cruise missile from the integrated test range at Chandipur in Orissa, India.

The domestically manufactured missile reached a height of 800m and took a sharp turn towards the Bay of Bengal, Zee News reported.

An unnamed official was quoted by Press Trust Of India as saying: "Flight details will be available after data retrieved from radars and telemetry points, monitoring the trajectories, are analysed."

The test represents the second developmental trial of the nuclear-capable missile.

Undertaken from the same location in March 2013, the first had to be terminated mid-way, as the missile deviated from its intended path.

The latest trial was scheduled to be conducted earlier this month, but was delayed following the tropical cyclone Hudhud, The New Indian Express reported.

Designed by DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), the Nirbhay is a 6m-long medium-range, subsonic cruise missile with stealth capabilities, and can cruise at a speed of 0.67 Mach.

"The Nirbhay is a 6m-long medium-range, subsonic cruise missile with stealth capabilities."

The remote-controlled missile is based on the Lakshya pilotless target aircraft (PTA) and can accurately identify and attack a particular target in a group. It also features loitering capabilities, control and guidance, as well as the ability to carry 24 different warhead types depending on mission requirements.

It is launched from a road mobile launcher, which is an all-terrain and all-wheel drive Tata LPTA 5252-12 X12 vehicle, using a booster for acceleration and a turbo-jet engine during the cruise phase.

Capable of being launched from multiple land, sea and airborne platforms, the missile can hover over or around hills at a very low altitude without being detected, and also drop bombs if required.

It is expected to enter production this year and will be used by all three branches of the Indian military.

Image: The Nirbhay subsonic cruise missile during its first developmental trial in March 2013. Photo: courtesy of the DRDO.

Defence Technology