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Nibhay cruise missile.jpg
Nirbhay cruise missile
Type Long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile[1][2]
Place of origin  India
Service history
Used by Indian Navy
Indian Army
Indian Air Force
Production history
Manufacturer DRDO
Produced Expected in 2014
Weight 1,000 kg[3]
Length 6 m
Diameter 0.52 m

Engine turbofan
Wingspan 2.84 m
1,000 km[1][3]
Speed 0.8 mach

Nirbhay (Sanskrit: निर्भय, Nirbhay "Dauntless/Fearless") is a long range, subsonic cruise missile[2] being developed in India by the Defence Research and Development Organisation.


Nirbhay will be an all-weather low-cost long-range cruise missile with stealth and high accuracy.[4] The missile will have a range of 1000 km.[5] It will weigh about one tonne and will have a length of 6 metres. It will carry a ring laser gyroscope for high-accuracy navigation and a radio altimeter for the height determination.[6] It will be capable of being launched from multiple platforms on land, sea and air and shall be inducted into Indian Navy, Army, and Air Force. In particular, Nirbhay will be adapted for the Indo/Russian Su-30MKI. It was reported in May 2010 that the missile will be capable of carrying nuclear warheads.[1]

A DRDO official told The Hindu in March 2012 that the two-stage missile Nirbhay will be able to pick out a target and attack it among multiple targets. The missile will also have a loitering capability, i.e., it can go round a target and perform several manoeuvres and then re-engage it.[7] With two side wings, the missile will be capable of flying at different altitudes ranging from 500 m to 4 km above the ground and can also fly at low altitudes to avoid detection by enemy radar.[8][9] It would be capable of delivering 24 different types of warheads depending on mission requirements and will use an inertial navigation system for guidance.[10] The missile will supplement Brahmos by delivering warheads farther than the 290 km range of Brahmos.[11]

Development and trials

The missile is being developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL), Hyderabad,[12] a lab of Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE). ADE is a division of DRDO.[8][13] After the design was finalized, the technology required for the missile was developed. It is being integrated by R&D Engineers, Pune, a specialised arm of DRDO.[9] Indian private sector giant Tata revealed that it will build the vehicle that will be the carrier/launcher for the Nirbhay system and will be based on an "indigenous high mobility, all-terrain and all-wheel drive Tata LPTA 5252-12 X12 vehicle", developed in partnership with DRDO.[14]

The first test flight of the missile was expected in October 2012,[15][16] but the launch was shifted to December owing to the changes being made to the launcher. V.K. Saraswat, director general of DRDO, has said that the missile will be tested in February 2013. He said the delay was due to development of some processes. DRDO expects the missile to be ready for induction within 12 to 18 months after the February test.[4][8][13]

First Trial

The surface version of Nirbhay missile was test fired for the first time on 12 March 2013 from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Balasore district of Odisha. The missile in its maiden flight was supposed to hit a static target situated 1000 km away in the Bay of Bengal. Missile took off from the launch pad successfully and reached the second stage of propulsion, travelling 15 minutes through its envisaged path at a speed of 0.7 mach. After that it veered away from its trajectory forcing the command center to detach the engine from the missile mid way into the flight. This was done to avoid the risk of the missile hitting the coastal areas . The missile was destroyed in mid midflight.[17]

DRDO claimed the test a partial success as the missile took off, reached the second stage of propulsion, and traveled 30% of its range before deviating from its path . Most of the mission objectives were claimed to have been completed .Reportedly,DRDO has detected the problem which was a faulty inertial navigation system,& corrected the same.[18] The subsequent test of the missile is to be carried out in a few months of the first test.[18] DRDO expects the missile to enter into production by the end of the year 2014, after few more trials against both static and moving targets. Test of submarine launched and air launched versions to be followed.

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "India to Test Nirbhay Cruise Missile in 2012". November 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 India Develops Sub-sonic Stealth Cruise Missile
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Nirbhay Cruise Missile". Mar 7, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2012. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Nirbhay to be test-fired in February". 19 January 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  5. Fearless Tomahawk-type missile on radar
  6. "India to test subsonic cruise missile in February". IDRW News. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  7. T. S. Subramanian (March 2012). "Nirbhay likely to be test-fired in April". Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "India to test subsonic cruise missile in February". 25 January 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 DRDO developing hypersonic missile
  10. Nirbhay to beef up missile muscle
  11. India to Test Nirbhay Cruise Missile, Develop Agni-V Variant with Mutliple Warhead Capabilities
  12. "‘Nirbhay’ missile set for test-firing next month". 5 September 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 "India to launch sub-sonic missile, Nirbhay, next month: DRDO". 25 January 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  14. "Tata Motors’ Defence Vehicles". DEFEXPO 2012. Tata Motors. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  15. India plans to test new medium-range missile in 2009
  16. DRDO test firing Nirbhay
  18. 18.0 18.1

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