The maiden test of India’s first new generation sub-sonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ has been scheduled for next month. Earlier planned to be test-fired in August, DRDO is likely to launch the missile from Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast in the first week of October.
It’s official. The ‘fearless’ missile is ready to be test-fired. If the United States has the Tomahawk, India will have its ‘Nirbhay’, the 1,000-km range subsonic cruise missile, which will be test-fired for the first time next month.
Sources at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur said the missile is ready for its first development trial. Nirbhay is country’s indigenous cruise missile and it would supplement the Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos cruise missile.
The project has somewhat remained a secretive mission with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which has hardly made information pertaining to the development of the missile public. The strength and the capabilities of the missile, which has been developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL), Hyderabad, will be on display when it will be test-fired from the Wheeler Island in October. Last month, a review of the project was done in Bangalore by DRDO officials who were ‘satisfied’ with the development of the missile.
Chief Controller (Missiles and Strategic Systems) Avinash Chander said the missile is on schedule and its first experimental trial would be conducted shortly. “But before that we are planning to carry out one or two variants of long range Agni missiles,” he said refusing to divulge details about the future missions.