SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
State-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has confirmed that the developmental trial phase of long-delayed Nirbhay Sub-Cruise missile is officially over and the DRDO has approached Indian Navy and Indian Army to come up with their own specific variant requirements, which will enable the missile system to enter production in next three years.
Indian Navy has asked, DRDO for a Ship-based Nirbhay Sub-Cruise missile variant with a range in excess of 1500 km and could prefer a range close to 2000 km, which DRDO is currently studying by making available extra onboard fuel in the missile and by also improving fuel burn ratio but Indian Army has come up with new requirements which can take more developmental time.
According to media reports, the Indian Army, not only has asked for greater range and also wants terrain hugging features along with additional navigational equipment which can attack targets even if they are hidden in mountain terrains.
Nirbhay Sub-Cruise missile program was initiated out of the Indian Army’s requirements for a low-cost sub-sonic cruise missile with a range up to 1000 km but due to delays in the program and due to the evolution of sub-sonic cruise missile technology, Army feels the demand for additional capabilities is totally justified.
DRDO has classified submarine and Air-launched variant of Nirbhay Sub-Cruise missile has different programs which will require additional funding’s and will take a longer developmental time frame, but the development of land-based Army variant and Ship-based Variant was supposed to be the easier spin-offs, based on the current technology which was demonstrated in the developmental phase but with demands for additional capabilities sought by both Army and Navy, Nirbhay Sub-Cruise missile will require more user-specific variant developmental trials and user trials before it is ready for production.
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