According to confirmed media reports, Nirbhay subsonic land-attack cruise missile tested today by India, was powered by Russian NPO Saturn 36MT mini turbofan engines and not by the indigenously developed Manik mini turbofan engine. The missile covered 650km in 42.3-minute fight duration and performance pre-set trajectory and maneuvered as low as five meters to a range of 2.5km during it’s entire flight regime .

This is for the first time the missile flew such low, which in military terms is called as Tree top level of flying to remain under radar coverage but it also demonstrated that it posses anti-ship capability by flying close to 10 min or nearly 150 km at such low altitude which is a record for any local weapons itself.

DRDO for the first time confirmed that development of the Air-Launched Nirbhay Cruise missile will start from the end of this year and a new prototype will be ready for first flight test from Sukhoi-30 by 2021. The Indian Navy is requesting that the Nirbhay have a range of at least 1,500 km.

DRDO is also planning to develop a New Smart Cruise missile with a range of 350-500 km with stealth characters to be used as Land Attack or Anti-ship weapon system for aircraft under IAF and Indian Navy. Submarine Launched variant of Nirbhay will be developed by a different branch of DRDO associated lab due to their prior experience with underwater launch platforms.


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