DRDO had initiated Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM), a Technological demonstrator program for further localization of the subsonic cruise missile program that is nearing completion as the missile system has demonstrated successful integration of the locally developed Manik Small Turbo Fan Engine (STFE). Nirbhay which was the predecessor of the ITCM program was tested using Russian NPO Saturn 36MT and inducted in limited numbers.

Long-Range Land Attack Cruise Missile (LRLACM) is a new variant that will incorporate STFE and preparations are underway to manufacture at least 8 STFE engines this year so that trials of the LRLCAM with a range of 1500km can start later this year or in early next year. DRDO has given preference to the development of the Ship-borne LRLCAM that is likely to be tested from the ground-based makeshift launcher first and after a couple of tests, it will be integrated with a Naval warship.

LRLCAM can be launched from the BrahMos UVLM (Universal Vertical Launcher Module) that is installed on all frontline warships so this will further reduce the need for fabrication of a new canister module for the LRLCAM system and it will also reduce installation time when it enters production. The underwing pylon of the BrahMos-A developed for launches from the Su-30MKI aircraft can also be used for launching the Air-Launched LRLCAM variant that will also be developed but at later stages.

Truck-mounted LRLCAM for the Army along with submarine-launched SLCM variants of the LRLCAM are in pipeline for which more than 20 trials have been planned from 2023 onwards till 2026.

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