India aborts testing of new cruise missile

March 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: New Russian missile failure sparks UFO frenzy

Related Stories

New Russian missile failure sparks UFO frenzy

December 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.

India successfully tests nuclear-capable missile

February 7, 2010

(AP) -- India again successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable missile Sunday that can hit targets across much of Asia and the Middle East, a defense ministry statement said.

Recommended for you

Dawn spacecraft sends sharper scenes from Ceres

August 25, 2015

The closest-yet views of Ceres, delivered by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, show the small world's features in unprecedented detail, including Ceres' tall, conical mountain; crater formation features and narrow, braided fractures.

Ceres image: The lonely mountain

August 25, 2015

NASA's Dawn spacecraft spotted this tall, conical mountain on Ceres from a distance of 915 miles (1,470 kilometers).

0 comments

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.