Over hundreds of missile scientists in Bangalore and Hyderabad have begun their investigations in the form of post-flight analysis of the aborted mission of India’s first subsonic cruise missile, Nirbhay, recently. Sources confirmed to Express on Saturday that the missile had successfully navigated two way-points during its 19-minute flight.
As reported by Express earlier, the preliminary investigations have found that the missile’s vertical lift-off, booster performance, control actuators, ignition of engine, and wing deployment performed as per the text-book format. “We found no shocks or jerks during the deployment of wings. The entire avionics functioned normally. The missile navigated through first two way-points. The missile drifted from the path due to the improper functioning of one of the electronic sub-systems,” sources said.
While all the new technologies onboard the missile is said to have done their duties, what’s worrying the DRDO scientists is that a proven system might have given up at the crucial time. “The radars located at Chandipur, Dhamra, Wheeler’s Island, Paradeep, Puri (near Konark) and Gopalpur tracked the missile. For the first time, we have had a chase aircraft in the form of a Sukhoi following the missile. The Sukhoi gave us the exact location where the missile fell after the mission was aborted,” sources said.
The scientists have planned eight to 10 way-points for the missile for its full duration (one hour, approximately 1000 km) of the flight. While DRDO refuses to accept it as a failure, considering that all systems developed for the cruise vehicle have functioned till the time the mission was aborted. “The scientists are analysing all available data, captured by various systems, placed along the course of the missile. We will be able to find out the exact cause soon and we have nothing to hide. Another Nirbhay should be ready for flight within six months,” sources said.