India aborts testing of new cruise missile

Mar 12, 2013

The maiden flight of India's first domestically developed long-range cruise missile was aborted midway on Tuesday after it veered off course, defence scientists said.

The two-stage Nirbhay blasted off from the eastern state of Orissa but the test flight was halted prematurely to "ensure coastal safety", the state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said.

"After travelling approximately midway, deviations were observed from its intended course," spokesman Ravi Gupta said in a statement, which claimed the basic mission objectives from the test firing had been met.

With a range of 1,000 kilometres (620 miles), the subsonic Nirbhay missile is intended to cruise like an aircraft and can be launched from land, sea and air, defence officials said.

The surface-to-surface missile is fitted with a turbojet engine and is capable of flying at low altitudes to avoid detection.

India already has in its arsenal the supersonic BrahMos missile which it developed jointly with Russia.

Tuesday's test comes less than a year after India successfully launched its nuclear-capable Agni V with a range of more than 5,000 kilometres.

The Indian military views the Agni V missile as a key boost to its regional power aspirations and one that narrows—albeit slightly—its huge gap with China's technologically advanced missile systems.

While the shorter-range Agni I and II were mainly developed with India's traditional rival Pakistan in mind, later versions with longer range reflect the shift in India's focus towards China.

Explore further: Space debris expert warns of increasing CubeSat collision risk

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New Russian missile failure sparks UFO frenzy

Dec 10, 2009

Russia's new nuclear-capable missile suffered another failed test launch, the defence ministry said Thursday, solving the mystery of a spectacular plume of white light that appeared over Norway.

Recommended for you

Sandblasting winds shift Mars' landscape

4 hours ago

High winds are a near-daily force on the surface of Mars, carving out a landscape of shifting dunes and posing a challenge to exploration, scientists said Tuesday.

PanSTARRS K1, the comet that keeps going

6 hours ago

Thank you K1 PanSTARRS for hanging in there! Some comets crumble and fade away. Others linger a few months and move on. But after looping across the night sky for more than a year, this one is nowhere near ...

NASA rocket has six minutes to study solar heating

9 hours ago

(Phys.org) —On Sept. 30, 2014, a sounding rocket will fly up into the sky – past Earth's atmosphere that obscures certain wavelengths of light from the sun—for a 15-minute journey to study what heats ...

Cassini watches mysterious feature evolve in Titan sea

Sep 29, 2014

(Phys.org) —NASA's Cassini spacecraft is monitoring the evolution of a mysterious feature in a large hydrocarbon sea on Saturn's moon Titan. The feature covers an area of about 100 square miles (260 square ...

User comments : 0