India on Tuesday test fired cruise missile Nirbhay from the Interim Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur in Odisha with partial success. Nirbhay, which has a range of 1000 km, was fired at 11:55 am from a mobile launcher. However, it deviated from its path and failed to hit its pre-designed target set in the sea, following which the missile was terminated.
The two-stage sub sonic missile can travel at a speed of 0.7 Mach.
This is the first time that India has test-fired its indigenously developed medium range sub-sonic cruise missile. "The missile blasted off from a mobile launcher positioned in the launch pad 3 of the ITR at about 11:54 am," defence sources said.
The maiden launch developmental trial of the sophisticated missile was carried out at Chandipur, about 15 km from here, in the presence of top defence scientists and senior officials.
The surface-to-surface missile has the capability of being launched from land, sea and air, they said, adding Nirbhay has good loitering capability, good control and guidance, high degree of accuracy in terms of impact and very good stealth features.
Nirbhay was developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory based in Bangalore. India has the technology of super-sonic missile like BrahMos which is jointly developed by India and Russia.
BrahMos has the striking range of 290 km. In the early morning, the Balasore district administration temporarily shifted 453 families, comprising 2,586 adult members and 698 children, residing within two km radius of the Launch pad-3 at the ITR to nearby shelter places during the test launch of the missile as a safety measures, said a district revenue officer here.
For this temporary shift of the families they were compensated, he said.
(With additional information from PTI)