Indigenous Long-Range Cruise Missile ‘Nirbhay’ Successfully Test-Fired


New Delhi. On April 18, India successfully test-fired the long-range indigenous Nirbhay cruise missile off the Odisha coast. Also known as Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM), Nirbhay is equipped with an indigenous propulsion system and the Manik turbofan engine.

The test showcased India’s deep commitment to the ongoing ‘atmanirbharta’ (self-reliance) effort. The cruise missile Nirbhay has the capability to fly at very high speeds for long distances, evade detection with uncanny manoeuvrability and carry a nuclear warhead.

Developed indigenously by Bengaluru-based DRDO laboratory Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), the missile test was conducted by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.

This successful flight test also established the reliable performance of the indigenous propulsion system developed by the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), Bengaluru. Till now, it has been the Russian turbojet engine that powered the missile. The missile is also equipped with advanced avionics and software to ensure better and reliable performance.

All subsystems of the weapon performed as per expectations during the test,. The missile performance was monitored by several Range Sensors like Radar, Electro Optical Tracking System (EOTS) and Telemetry deployed by ITR at different locations to ensure complete coverage of the flight path.

Using waypoint navigation, the missile followed the desired path and demonstrated very low-altitude sea-skimming flight. The flight of the missile was also monitored by IAF Su-30-Mk-I aircraft.

The test was witnessed by many senior scientists from various DRDO laboratories dotted across the country along with representatives from production partners.

The Nirbhay is reported to be capable of flying at an altitude that ranges from less than 50 to 4,000 metres with an operational range of about 1,000 km. Weighing about 1,500 kg, Nirbhay can be loaded with a 450 kg conventional or a 12 kilo-ton nuclear warhead. Once finally developed, service-specific versions of the Nirbhay are likely to be inducted into all three services of the Indian military.