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India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is set to initiate developmental trials for the Long-Range Land Attack Cruise Missile (LRLACM) following the completion of planned flight tests for its Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM). The ITCM serves as a technology demonstrator program aimed at validating the capabilities of the indigenously developed small turbofan engines (STFEs), and the trials are scheduled to conclude later this year.

According to insiders familiar with the matter, the developmental trials for the LRLACM are expected to commence by mid-2024 or later. The trials will showcase the integration of the STFE engine along with an upgraded X-band imaging synthetic aperture radar, boasting an impressive range of 1,500 kilometers.

The recent successful test of the Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM) validated the performance of the STFE engine developed by the DRDO’s Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE). The engine has already entered limited production in collaboration with Godrej Aerospace, further bolstering its credentials.

The LRLACM, an upgraded version of the Nirbhay missile, will likely enter production in 2027 following two years of rigorous testing. The missile system incorporates a range extension and an increased indigenous content, including the STFE engine, showcasing India’s commitment to self-reliance in defence technology.

The forthcoming developmental trials will assess the performance and capabilities of the LRLACM, ensuring its readiness for deployment. Rigorous testing protocols have been planned to validate its range, precision, and effectiveness in various scenarios.

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