This Article is From Mar 12, 2013

10 must-know facts about India's first cruise missile 'Nirbhay'

10 must-know facts about India's first cruise missile 'Nirbhay'
New Delhi: India finally has a cruise missile - the Nirbhay, which means fearless. Its first test today failed with the missile being terminated soon after launch as it deviated from its flight trajectory, but experts say many maiden missile flights have not been successful around the world, including India's Agni, which later saw much success.

Here are 10 must-know points about India's Nirbhay:

  1. It is a sub-sonic cruise missile. It blasts off like a rocket, but then unlike a missile, it turns into an aircraft. Unlike other ballistic missiles like the Agni, Nirbhay has wings and pronounced tail fins.

  2. In early flight after launch, the rocket motor falls off and the small wings get deployed.

  3. At this point a gas turbine engine kicks in and it becomes like a full aircraft, explains P S Krishnan, Director, Aeronautical Development Establishment, Bangalore.

  4. The Nirbhay is very maneuverable and can fly at tree-top level making it difficult to detect on radar.

  5. Once near the target, it can even hover, striking at will from any direction.  

  6. It can strike targets more than 700 km away carrying nuclear warheads, giving India the capability to strike deep into enemy territory.

  7. It gives India the capacity to launch different kinds of payloads at different ranges from various platforms at a very low cost. It can be launched from a mobile launcher.  

  8. The missile has a fire-and-forget system that cannot be jammed.

  9. It is India's answer to America's Tomahawk and Pakistan's Babur. The US had deployed cruise missiles very effectively during the Gulf War.

  10. India has made tactical missiles of different capacity, but had made a cruise missile. DRDO scientists, including several women, worked very hard on the Nirbhay.