India’s Nirbhay cruise missile program has witnessed its share of failures, but now it is ready for the fifth round of trials. It may be recalled that Nirbhay cruise missile had experienced some failures during its last launch in December last year. However, the glitches that had caused the failure last year have been identified and fixed by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), India’s top military research and development organization. The fifth trial of Nirbhay cruise missile was announced today by DRDO chief S. Christopher. Christopher said that one of the trials will be conducted next week. Sources have said that apart from fixing the glitches, new changes have also been introduced for Nirbhay cruise missile. One of the most important changes is the replacement of turbofan engine with a turbojet engine.
At last year’s test launch, Nirbhay had developed problems with its navigation and had gone off track. It had to be remotely detonated after it became clear that it has gone off course and may hit land. The problem with the navigation was found to have occurred due to a software glitch. The same has now been fixed by DRDO. Nirbhay has a strike capability of 750-1000 km, and till date it has undergone 4 tests. Government is focusing on Nirbhay since it is an indigenously developed cruise missile and will reduce the dependence on BrahMos, which has been developed in collaboration with Russia. Once ready, Nirbhay will have the capability to strike deep within enemy territory.