Flight of Nirbhay missile aborted nearly 12 minutes after launch

BALASORE (ODISHA), Oct 16: The test flight of India’s nuclear-capable ‘Nirbhay’ long-range subsonic tactical cruise missile, launched from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha today, was aborted nearly 12 minutes after lift-off, defence sources said.

The missile took off from a specially-designed launcher at launch complex-3 of ITR at 11:38 hrs, a defence ministry statement said.

All initial critical operations such as booster ignition, booster separation, wing deployment and engine start were successfully executed and Nirbhay reached the desired cruise altitude, the statement said.

During 700 seconds of flight, all sub-systems of the missile functioned satisfactorily and met all the desired functions. However, the mission was aborted after 700 seconds of flight, it added.

Powered by a solid rocket motor booster, the missile has a strike range of more than 1000km. Nirbhay missile, with a turbofan engine, is guided by a highly-advanced inertial navigation system, sources said.

The 1000kilometer class cruise missile, capabile of striking deep into the enemy territory, has been designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation at it’s aeronautics R&D laboratory ADE (Aeronautical Development Establishment) based in Bengaluru, they said.

The maiden test flight of Nirbhay on March 12, 2013 also had to be terminated midway for safety reasons due to malfunction of a component.

However, the second launch on October 17, 2014 was fully successful. Both the trials were conducted from this base. (PTI)