The indigenous Nirbhay subsonic cruise missile failed its fourth test on Wednesday, IANS reported. The missile took off from a launchpad at the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur, Odisha, but it began to deviate towards one side minutes after the launch.
Officials of the Defence Research and Development Organisation told The Hindu that the mission was an “utter failure” and that a hardware element issue may have caused it to stray from its path. The missile had to be destroyed mid-air after it deviated from its trajectory, reported The Times of India. “We should have a thorough re-look at what has been done so far,” officials said.
Nirbhay’s debut test in March 2013 failed within 20 minutes of its launch. While the second test in October 2014 was a big success, the third one in October 2015 was also a failure.
Nirbhay is a long-range, subsonic cruise missile capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads. Designed and developed by the DRDO, it has a range of more than 1,000 km and weighs about 1,500 kg. It can carry a warhead weighing 300 kg.