‘Nirbhay’ missile test next month
By Hemant Kumar Rout - BALASORE
12th September 2012 12:28 PM
The maiden test of India’s first new generation sub-sonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ has been scheduled for next month. Earlier planned to be test-fired in August, DRDO is likely to launch the missile from Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast in the first week of October.
Sources at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur said the missile is ready for its first development trial.
Nirbhay is country’s indigenous cruise missile and it would supplement the Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos cruise missile.
Chief Controller (Missiles and Strategic Systems) Avinash Chander said the missile is on schedule and its first experimental trial would be conducted shortly. “But before that we are planning to carry out one or two variants of long range Agni missiles,” he said refusing to divulge details about the future missions.
The DRDO is preparing for the developmental trials of Agni-IV and Agni-III missiles which are reportedly scheduled for September 18 and 23 respectively.
It is learnt that the failure during the July 29 trial of BrahMos missile had reportedly kept the trial of Nirbhay on hold.
The scientists do not want to take chances and are working hard to make it a success. While BrahMos is a supersonic cruise missile, which travels for 290 km at Mach 2.8, Nirbhay is designed to travel at a sub-sonic speed (less than the speed of sound).
According to defence sources, the two-stage surface-to-surface missile has an operational strike range of 1,000 km and at flight, it is capable of delivering 24 different types of warheads.
A defence scientist said the Bengaluru- based Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), which has developed Pilot-less Target Aircraft (PTA) Lakshya, has designed Nirbhay missile and most of its technologies have been derived from Lakshya.
“This is a loitering missile which can round a target and perform several manoeuvres when required. It has very good precision, endurance and accuracy. It would be an important missile for the Indian arsenal as far as kill efficiency is concerned,” he added.
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