ASIA THROUGH THE LENS
ASIA DEFENSE | SECURITY | SOUTH ASIA[/paste:font]
India to Test Nirbhay Cruise Missile With Indigenous Propulsion System
The first developmental trial of a Nirbhay cruise missile fitted with an indigenous propulsion system is expected to take place in April.
By Franz-Stefan Gady
February 07, 2020
Credit: Defense Research and Development Organization
spoke to IHS Jane’s during the February 5 to 9 Defexpo 2020 exhibition in Lucknow, northern India.
The indigenous Small Turbo Fan Engine (STFE) is under development by DRDO’s Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE). The new engine along with a new radio frequency seeker is expected to be tested during two developmental trials in April, with a live firing slated to take place in January or February 2021. Development of the LRLACM is scheduled to be completed the same year.
Nirbhay is India’s first indigenously designed and developed long-range cruise missile.
The Nirbhay is a subsonic LRLACM that can be armed with a 200-300-kilogram warhead. The nuclear-capable, solid fuel missile can reportedly reach top speeds of 0.6-0.7 Mach and can strike land targets at a distance of up to 1,000 kilometers. It can be launched from multiple platforms — the first test of the air-launched variant is expected to take place in 2021. The Nirbhay reportedly has loitering capability.
The sixth flight test of the Nirbhay LRLACM took place at the Integrated Test Range on Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha in April 2019.
Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
The test validated the low altitude and the sea skimming capability of the missile. A previous successful test launch of the Nirbhay missile took place in November 2017. Another test launch in December 2016 ended in failure, with the LRLACM destroyed in mid-air after it deviated from its course. As I noted in February 2019:
Two other test launches also ended in failure, with only one other flight trial, conducted in October 2014, declared a success. DRDO engineers have pointed to problems with the flight control software and navigation system of the Nirbhay, as well as hardware design flaws, for the causes of the failed missile tests.
The ship-launched version of the Nirbhay could be inducted into service by as early as 2023, according to the ADE official. A test of a submarine-launched variant of the Nirbhay from a submerged platform may take place by the end of 2020, the official added, with an actual test launch set to occur in 2021.
considered terminating the Nirbhay program on multiple occasions in the past. In addition to technical and funding issues, senior Indian military officers have raised questions over the Indian military’s operational requirement for a subsonic LRLACM.
Franz-Stefan Gady is a Senior Editor with The Diplomat. Follow him on Twitter.
- Asia Defense
- South Asia
- indigenous Small Turbo Fan Engine (STFE)
- Nirbhay cruise missile
- Nirbhay Long Range Land Attack Cruise Missile
- Nirbhay missile test
FEBRUARY 05, 2020
India to Take Delivery of first S-400 Air Defense System By End of 2021
By FRANZ-STEFAN GADY
The first batch of the Russian-made S-400 strategic air defense systems will be delivered to India by the end of 2021, according to a Russian defense industry official.
JANUARY 27, 2020
India Conducts Second January 2020 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile Test
By ANKIT PANDA
Another K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile was successfully tested.
JANUARY 20, 2020
India Stands Up New Su-30MKI Squadron
By FRANZ-STEFAN GADY
The fighter jets of the new squadron are expected to be armed with the air-launched version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.
FEBRUARY 08, 2020
Time to Jumpstart Australia-Indonesia Economic Relations
By KYLE SPRINGER
Australia-Indonesia relations are thriving, but economic ties lag behind. The just-ratified Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement could change that.
- ASEAN Beat
- Asia Defense
- Asia Life
- China Power
- Crossroads Asia
- Pacific Money
- The Debate
- The Koreas
- The Pulse
- Tokyo Report
- Trans-Pacific View
- A New Japan
- APAC Insider
- Asia Scope
- China, What's Next?
- Indian Decade
- James Holmes
- New Emissary
- New Leaders Forum
- Sport & Culture
- Tech Biz
- Tokyo Notes
- Zachary Keck
- About Us
- Contact Us
- Write for Us
Kim Jong Unchained
© 2020 DIPLOMAT MEDIA INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.