New Delhi (Sputnik): After two back-to-back failures, India successfully conducted a developmental trial of the intermediate range (1,000km) Nirbhay missile from a defence facility off the coast of the state of Odisha on Monday afternoon. The subsonic land-attack cruise missile features terrain hugging (30m AGL) capabilities and is being developed to supplement its supersonic Brahmos missile, which it jointly developed with Russia.
"The missile was fired for a shorter range. The mission was excellent," a defence official said after the test.
The missile is powered by Russian NPO Saturn 36MT mini turbofan engines, which may be replaced with Indian-developed engines at a later stage.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) plans to develop land, aircraft, ship, and submarine-launched versions of the Nirbhay cruise missile. Sources told Sputnik that last year in January, the Indian Air Force (IAF) officially expressed interest in an air-launched version of the Nirbhay for air-to-ground use by its Su-30 MKI jets. The air-launched version of the missile is likely to begin trial from 2021. The Indian Navy is requesting that the Nirbhay have a range of at least 1,500 km.