New Delhi (Sputnik): After two back-to-back failures, India successfully conducted a developmental trial of the intermediate range (1,000km) Nirbhay missile from a defence facility off the coast of the state of Odisha on Monday afternoon. The subsonic land-attack cruise missile features terrain hugging (30m AGL) capabilities and is being developed to supplement its supersonic Brahmos missile, which it jointly developed with Russia.
Today India's 1,000 km strike range sub-sonic cruise missile 'Nirbhay' was successfully test fired off the coast of Odisha. pic.twitter.com/wDT3YTwNpB— ANI (@ANI) April 15, 2019
"The missile was fired for a shorter range. The mission was excellent," a defence official said after the test.
The missile is powered by Russian NPO Saturn 36MT mini turbofan engines, which may be replaced with Indian-developed engines at a later stage.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) plans to develop land, aircraft, ship, and submarine-launched versions of the Nirbhay cruise missile. Sources told Sputnik that last year in January, the Indian Air Force (IAF) officially expressed interest in an air-launched version of the Nirbhay for air-to-ground use by its Su-30 MKI jets. The air-launched version of the missile is likely to begin trial from 2021. The Indian Navy is requesting that the Nirbhay have a range of at least 1,500 km.