India on Tuesday test-fired the homegrown, long-range, subsonic cruise missile – Nirbhay – from Chandipur near Balasore in Odisha, PTI reported. This was the fifth trial of the missile since 2013, and three of the previous four trials were unsuccessful.
The missile took off successfully from a specially designed launcher at about 11.20 am, unidentified officials of the Defence Research and Development Organisation were quoted as saying by PTI. The initial operations of the trial after the take-off were successful, a DRDO scientist said.
The previous test of Nirbhay, in December last year, had failed, as the missile began to deviate towards one side minutes after it took off from the launchpad at the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur. DRDO officials had called it an “utter failure”.
Nirbhay’s debut test in March 2013 had 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.
The long-range, subsonic cruise missile is 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.