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India conducts successful flight trial of 'Nirbhay' sub-sonic cruise missile


Odisha (Oct 17, 2014): India`s first indigenously designed and developed long range sub-sonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ was successfully flight tested today from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Balasore, Odisha. The entire mission, from lift-off till the final splash down was a perfect flight achieving all the mission objectives.

The cruise missile Nirbhay, powered by a solid rocket motor booster developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) took off majestically from a mobile launcher specifically designed for ‘Nirbhay’ by the Vehicles R&D Establishment, (VRDE). As it achieved designated altitude and velocity, the booster motor got separated, the turbofan engine automatically switched on taking over the further propulsion and the wings opened up by the commands generated by the onboard computer (OBC) stabilising the flight. Guided by a highly advanced inertial navigation system indigenously developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI) the ‘Nirbhay’ continued its flight that lasted a little over one hour and 10 minutes. Throughout its path, the missile was tracked with the help of ground based radars and it`s health parameters were monitored by indigenous telemetry stations by a team of professionals from DRDO`sITR and LRDE (Electronics & Radar Development Establishment). Additionally, the performance of ‘Nirbhay’ was closely watched by an Indian Air Force aircraft.

Dr AvinashChander, Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister, Secretary Department of Defence R&D and DG DRDOspeaking after the completion of the mission, said "the missile maintained an accuracy better than 10 meters throughout its path and covered a distance of more than 1000 km." “The successful indigenous development of ‘Nirbhay’ cruise missile will fill a vital gap in the war fighting capabilities of our armed forces" he added.

This was the second launch of ‘Nirbhay’ cruise missile. The maiden launch last year in March was a partial success achieving most of the mission objectives. The maiden flight had to be terminated for safety reasons due to malfunction of a component, after deviation from intended path was observed. Earlier, the launch preparations and plans were authorised after thorough review by experts.

Shri P. Srikumar Director ADE, as the mission director led the launch operations. The launch preparations were planned and supervised by Shri VasanthSastri Project Director `Nirbhay` project.

The Defence Minister Shri Arun Jaitley has congratulated Dr AvinashChander and the DRDO team on the successful flight trial of ‘Nirbhay’.