Successful test-fire of Indian sub-sonic cruise missile "Nirbhay"

Successful test-fire of Indian sub-sonic cruise missile "Nirbhay"

After lots of agitations about the release of India's sub-sonic cruise missile, the indigenously designed and developed projectile has eventually and successfully been test-fired. Among other things, what interests everyone about the Nirbhay is that it can easily be deployed from various platforms. Then, being the first long-range sub-sonic cruise missile to be developed by the country, this will go a long way in adding up to their defence power.

Indian Nirbhay test-fire

Image:, @NDTV
Source: UGC

When categorising countries that have a well-structured research base in projectile technology, India ranks as one of the top countries. Before Britain colonised them, they were known for their scientific research and development. Little wonder how they were the first country that would deploy iron-cased rockets (also known as Mysorean rockets) for military use as far back as the 18th century. This is why the latest development of this state-of-the-art projectile is a build up on what the country has always been known for.

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What is a subsonic cruise missile?

Generally, a cruise missile is a self-propelled missile that is guided and used against terrestrial targets. It sustains its flight by using an aerodynamic lift and can travel along a specific path at an approximated constant speed. In their design, cruise missiles are meant to deliver large explosives or toxic materials over long distances with a maximum level of precision. Based on modern cruise projectiles, different level of speeds and sizes can be achieved which form part of the things that are considered when classifying these cruise missiles.

Consequently, there are subsonic cruise projectiles, and they are designed to fly at a speed which is less than the speed of sound. Specifically, a subsonic cruise missile can travel at a speed rate of about 0.8 Mach. This is why this state-of-the-art Indian missile that is designed to move at a speed of 0.7 Mach is a great accomplishment, especially being their first deployed projectile.

Indian Nirbhay missile test

India's Nirbhay range is 1,000 km. The missile can cruise at 0.7 Mach in terms of its altitude, and it can also be deployed in as low as 100 meters. Interestingly, the projectile which was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) achieved the range that was targeted within 42 minutes and 23 seconds, which is a significant accomplishment on their part.

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Indian Nirbhay missile test

Image:, @vtchakarova
Source: UGC

Based on the mission objectives, it was gathered that the flight test achieved all, starting from when it lifted until the final splash. With the programmed manner in which the projectile took off, it was easy to check out all critical operations to ascertain the authenticity of what had been done so far. Some of the operations that were checked include the launch phase, wing deployment, engine start, booster deployment, as well as other parameters that needed to be demonstrated by autonomous waypoint navigation.

Nirbhay missile specs

A part of the uniqueness of this Nirbhay is that it can easily be manoeuvred and can also fly at a tree-top level that will make it hard for radar systems to detect it. Then, when it is close to its target, it can hover and strike from any direction, and apart from that, it has a unique system known as fire-and-forget, which makes it difficult to be jammed. More so, compared to other ballistic missiles, the sub-sonic cruise missile can turn itself into an aircraft since it has wings and tail fins.

With the success of this Nirbhay test-fire, it is good to note that this missile has added up to the Indian missile list that already exists in the country. By implication, India is actively building its military capacity which will help it face any kind of war or external attacks.

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