India Test Fires Nuclear-Capable Nirbhay Cruise Missile

April 16, 2019

The Diplomat:

The Indian Ministry of Defense’s (MoD) Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) today conducted the sixth flight test of the nuclear-capable Nirbhay cruise missile, India’s first indigenously designed and developed long-range cruise missile, from the Integrated Test Range on Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha.

“It is the sixth development flight trial with objective to prove the repeatability of boost phase, cruise phase using way point navigation at very low altitudes,” the MoD said in a statement. “The missile took off vertically turning horizontally into desired direction, booster separated, wing deployed, engine started, cruised all the intended waypoints [all sic].”

Cruising at 0.7 Mach at altitude as low as 100 meters, the test reportedly validated the missile’s sea-skimming capability. “The entire flight was fully tracked by a chain of Electro Optical Tracking Systems, Radars and Ground Telemetry Systems deployed all along the sea coast,” the MoD said. The Nirbhay cruise missile purportedly covered the designated target range in 42 minutes and 23 seconds.

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