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The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is gearing up for a crucial phase in the development of its Long-Range Land Attack Cruise Missile (LRLACM), which is set to undergo trials in the coming weeks. This sub-sonic cruise missile boasts an impressive range of over 1000 kilometres, making it a significant addition to India’s defence capabilities.

The LRLACM program represents a strategic successor to India’s ongoing Nirbhay Cruise Missile program, which is being developed for both the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force (IAF). With its extended range and advanced features, the LRLACM promises to bolster India’s offensive capabilities and serve as a formidable deterrent.

One of the key highlights of the LRLACM is its propulsion system. The missile is set to feature the locally developed Manik engine, also known as the Short Turbofan Engine (STFE). The Manik engine has undergone extensive testing, with at least eight successful tests conducted as part of DRDO’s Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM) program. This technology demonstrator program aimed to validate the capabilities of indigenous small turbofan engines (STFEs).

Earlier this year, DRDO officials confirmed that the STFE had successfully cleared all trials, paving the way for its integration into the LRLACM. With the engine’s readiness, the missile program is now progressing towards full-scale production. DRDO has initiated discussions with three private sector companies that have expressed interest in manufacturing these advanced cruise missiles.

The LRLACM is designed to be versatile and adaptable for various deployment scenarios. It will be available in both ship-launched and land-launched variants, offering flexibility in targeting capabilities. This range of options allows India to effectively engage and neutralize targets at sea or on land, significantly enhancing its operational capabilities.

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