Integrated Missile Test Range, Balasore, Odisha: Indian defence scientists have developed a cruise missile - the Nirbhay - which will be tested for the second time on Friday from Balasore in Odisha. Its first test on March 12 last year, failed with the missile being terminated after launch as it deviated from its flight trajectory.
Here are 10 must-know points about India's Nirbhay or ‘fearless missile’:
- It is a sub-sonic cruise missile. It blasts off like a rocket, but then unlikea missile, it turns into an aircraft. Unlike other ballistic missiles like theAgni, Nirbhay has wings and pronounced tail fins.
- In early flight after launch, the rocket motor falls off and the small wingsget deployed.
- At this point a gas turbine engine kicks in and it becomes like a full aircraft.
- The Nirbhay is very maneuverable and can fly at tree-top level making itdifficult to detect on radar.
- Once near the target, it can even hover, striking at will from anydirection.
- It can strike targets more than 700 km away carrying nuclear warheads, givingIndia the capability to strike deep into enemy territory.
- It gives India the capacity to launch different kinds of payloads at differentranges from various platforms at a very low cost. It can be launched from amobile launcher.
- The missile has a fire-and-forget system that cannot be jammed.
- It is India's answer to America's Tomahawk and Pakistan's Babur missile. The UShad deployed cruise missiles very effectively during the Gulf War.
- India has made ballistic missile and tactical missiles of different capacity,but is yet to master the making of a cruise missile.