India is struggling to find its own technology to develop a supersonic or subsonic cruise missile. Since, India became a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), it can notionally import the technology.
"Being a member of MTCR, India can import supersonic or subsonic hardware technology but we have to keep in mind that Nirbhay is being developed to deliver nuclear warheads so other regulations come into play as well. So, it is better for us to develop own technology rather than importing because it will provide us long term benefits," says Rajiv Nayan, missile technology expert at Institute of Defense and Security Analyses in New Delhi.
"Indian scientists had started the supersonic or subsonic development projects from scratch. Failure is part and parcel of R & D projects until and unless you already possess a developed subsystem. We faced similar difficulties during the Agni project as well. American scientists also faced similar difficulties during the development of the next generation fighter aircraft F-35. It is because media is more vigilant these days, such failures are hyped but there are rarely any projects that do not stumble upon glitches in one or the other phase of development," Nayan added.
Nirbhaya, designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization, can take out targets 1,000 km away with a 300 kg warhead.