Nirbhay cruise missile fails midway

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India’s indigenous surface-to-surface cruise missile Nirbhay nose-dived midway after it test-fired in Odisha on Friday.

According to Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) sources, the missile was launched from the Chandipur Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Balasore district at 11.38 a.m.

Although the take off was successful amid repeated disruptions of the countdown, the missile missed the target after 11 minutes after it was test fired, said the sources.

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The missile had a range of 750-1,000 km. But it nose-dived after covering 128 km in the Bay of Bengal.

The missile’s first test on March 12, 2013 had also failed as it too fell after 20 minutes of flight. The second test on October 17, 2014 was also not up to the mark as it could not maintain a low height.

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The cruise missile is expected to supplement the Indo-Russian joint venture supersonic cruise missile BrahMos, which can carry warheads up to 290 km.

The two-stage missile has a length of six metres, a diameter of 0.52 m, a wing span 2.7 m and a launch weight of about 1,500 kg.

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