India’s land attack cruise missile test launch failed due technical reasons

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Karachi - The flight test of India’s 1000-kilometer land attack cruise missile, Nirbhay, failed following technical problems, local media reported.

Nirbhay is an intermediate-range land-attack cruise missile with terrain hugging. It is an Indian version of the American Tomahawk and the Russian Club SS-N-27 cruise missiles.

Reason of failed test

Indian defense scientists said that the cruise missile, which was being tested with an increased indigenous content, developed “engine trouble” within eight minutes of being launched.

They stated that after the initial launch with a solid-propellant booster to gain speed and altitude, the missile’s engine failed to attain the required power.

Technical features

The Nirbhay missile is currently powered by the Russian Saturn 50MT turbofan engine. Its local development began in 2007 with the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

The missile can be launched from multiple platforms and is capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads. It is currently deployed in limited numbers in LAC during standoff with China.

Failed attempts

Earlier, several attempts of the Indian government to launch the subsonic missile failed due to technical reasons.

On March 12, 2013, Nirbhay missile was test fired at Chandipur in Balasore district of Odisha. The missile in its maiden flight was supposed to hit a static target situated 1000 km away in the Bay of Bengal. However, it veered away from its trajectory forcing the command centre to detach the engine from the missile mid way into the flight. The missile was purposely destroyed in mid-flight.

Similarly, on October 16, 2015, the missile was tested for its low flying capability. The missile in flight was supposed to be brought down from 4800 meters to 20 meters gradually and in stages. However, the missile crashed into the Bay of Bengal 11 minutes into its flight after covering only 128 km.