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Nirbhay missile: Why India’s first indigenous long range sub-sonic cruise missile is special

Nirbhay missile is India's first indigenously designed and developed long range sub-sonic cruise missile! Designed and made by DRDO (Defence Research & Development Organisation), the missile was recently test fired successfully. "The flight test achieved all the mission objectives completely from lift-off till the final splash," said a Ministry of Defence release. The Nirbhay missile can be deployed from multiple platforms, says DRDO. We take a look at some key facts about the Nirbhay missile and why its important for the country:

According to DRDO, Nirbhay missile is a 1000-km class cruise missile that has the capability to strike "deep" into the enemy's territory. The missile has the capability to loiter and cruise at 0.7 Mach, at altitudes as low as 100 metres, says DRDO.

After the launch of the missile, its booster motor gets separated. The missile's turbofan engine then gets switched on for further propulsion. The booster motor is required for the initial launch.

The "fully autonomous" missile is crucial to India's defence and strike capabilities. This is because, cruising at low altitudes, it can avoid detection, says DRDO.

"The guidance, control and navigation system of the missile is configured around the indigenously designed Ring Laser Gyroscope (RLG) and MEMS based Inertial Navigation System (INS) along with GPS system," says DRDO.

For the recent trial, the missile cruised for a total time duration of 50 minutes, achieving a range of 647 km.

This was not the first trial of the homegrown missile. The maiden launch in 2013 had been a partial success. Since then the Nirbhay missile has tasted both success and failure in various trials. Its successful development would provide a definite boost not only to the armed forces, but also the indigenous defence industry and India's capability to design and develop such lethal weapons.

With Nirbhay missile, India joins the select league of nations that possess the ability to make sub-sonic cruise missiles.

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