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: DNA survives critical entry into Earth's atmosphere

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

DNA survives critical entry into Earth's atmosphere

16 minutes ago

The genetic material DNA can survive a flight through space and re-entry into the earth's atmosphere—and still pass on genetic information. A team of scientists from UZH obtained these astonishing results ...

Team develops cognitive test battery for spaceflight

50 minutes ago

Space is one of the most demanding and unforgiving environments. Human exploration of space requires astronauts to maintain consistently high levels of cognitive performance to ensure mission safety and success, and prevent ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.