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  India   All India  22 Dec 2016  Indigenous nuclear missile fails test

Indigenous nuclear missile fails test

THE ASIAN AGE. | AKSHAYA KUMAR SAHOO
Published : Dec 22, 2016, 6:46 am IST
Updated : Dec 22, 2016, 6:54 am IST

The scientists monitoring the fight-test of the ammunition destroyed it by swiftly activating the “destruct” mechanism.

Capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads, Nirbhay has a range of more than 1,000 km.
 Capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads, Nirbhay has a range of more than 1,000 km.

Balasore (Odisha): India’s wait for successful test-firing of the indigenously-developed surface-to-surface subsonic nuclear-capable cruise missile Nirbhay is not yet over. The flight-test of the ammunition failed on Wednesday as it nose-dived after making a journey of about two to three minutes and covering approximately 20 to 30km, sources in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said.

Weighing about 1,500 kg, the 6-metre-long missile was fired at 11.54 am from launch pad-III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha’s Balasore district. Soon after the missile took off, it started flying beyond the safety trajectory.

The scientists monitoring the fight-test of the ammunition destroyed it by swiftly activating the “destruct” mechanism.

Of the four test-flights of the ammunition conducted so far, three — including Wednesday’s exercise — have failed.

Capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads, Nirbhay has a range of more than 1,000 km.

Guided by a highly advanced inertial navigation system, the missile is powered by a solid rocket booster. The subsonic cruise missile is capable of flying at different altitudes ranging from 500m to 4 km above the ground and can also fly at low altitudes to avoid detection by enemy radar.

Nirbhay has a good loitering capability, good control and guidance, high degree of accuracy in terms of impact and very good stealth features. It can evade detection by radar. However, the three failures have just added to the worries of the DRDO scientists.

Sources said that senior DRDO scientists present at the ITR during the flight-test met in the evening and analysed the reasons of the failure of the mission.

The missile’s first test on March 12, 2013 had failed within 20 minutes of flight. The second test on October 17, 2014 also failed as it could not maintain a low height.

The third test, on October 16, 2015 saw the missile nose-dive into the Bay of Bengal 128 km into its flight. The cruise missile is expected to supplement the BrahMos Indo-Russian that can carry warheads up to 290 km.

Tags: drdo, nuclear missile, nirbhay
Location: India, Odisha