India today test-fired its first cruise missile called Nirbhay, but the launch was a failure as the missile's flight had to be terminated halfway after it deviated from its course.
Nirbhay is India's first sub-sonic cruise missile. Its trial was conducted at the Chandipur test range in Odisha.
Calling the test a mixed success, the Defence Research and Development Organisation or DRDO, which developed the missile, said the lift-off was successful but the mission objectives were not met as the flight had to be terminated halfway.
The Nirbhay (which means fearless) is highly manoeuvrable, can fly at tree-top level making it very difficult to detect on radar, and it strikes targets more than 700 km away carrying nuclear warheads, giving India the capability to strike deep into enemy territory.
Nirbhay has a wing and pronounced tail fins. It launches like a missile and in early flight the small wings get deployed. It then flies like an aeroplane and can even hover near the target, striking at will from any direction. Its fire-and-forget system cannot be jammed and can be launched from a mobile launcher.
The missile is India's answer to America's Tomahawk and Pakistan's Babur. It gives India the capacity to launch different kinds of payloads at different ranges from various platforms at a very low cost.
Nirbhay's debris was found on land in Odisha's Jagatsinghpur district by villagers.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation or DRDO said no one was injured.