BALASORE: India did it finally demonstrating its capabilities of developing long range cruise missiles indigenously. After a failed trial last year, homegrown surface-to-surface subsonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ was successfully test-fired from a defence base off the Odisha coast on Friday.
Defence sources said the slim and sophisticated nuclear capable missile blasted off from a mobile launcher positioned in the launching complex-III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-sea at about 10.05 am leaving behind a chain of thick smokes. For the first time, the performance of Nirbhay was closely watched by an Indian Air Force aircraft.
DRDO scientists and technical staff involved in the mission cheered and celebrated as the missile went up vertically before taking a dive and travelling on pre-designated trajectory till the target area.
The entire mission, from lift-off till the final splash down, was a perfect flight achieving all mission objectives.
After completion of the mission, Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and DRDO Chief Avinash Chander said the missile was yet another giant step forward in India’s technological capabilities for design, development and leading to production state-of-the-art weapons platforms and equipment for the country’s Armed Forces.
“It was a great day for India”, he announced immediately after the launch. The missile maintained the accuracy better than 10 metres throughout its path and covered a distance of more than 1,000 km.
“The successful indigenous development of Nirbhay cruise missile will fill a vital gap in the war capabilities of our Armed Forces”, he said.
The cruise missile, powered by a solid rocket motor booster developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) took off majestically from a mobile launcher specifically designed for ‘Nirbhay’ by the Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (VRDE), both being DRDO laboratories.