The first truly indigenous cruise missile, Nirbhay, failed in its maiden test flight though defence scientists claimed to have collected vital technical data during the first 30 minutes of the missile’s flight.
As the missile began to deviate from its predetermined path and threatened to hit the east coast, scientists at the control room of the Interim Test Range, Chandipur, had to terminate its course, forcing the surface-hugging cruise missile to explode over the Bay of Bengal. Even though the missile did not hit its intended target, DRDO described the test as partly successful.
After the explosion, the missile’s fragments were found at a seaside village near Ersama in the coastal Jagatsinghpur district, located south of Balasore, sources told Deccan Herald. The fragments did not damage any life or properties. In a failed mission, the debris of the missile usually fall in the sea.
“The scientists are analysing the cause of Nirbhay’s malfunctioning. Unless we study the snag in detail, we won’t be able to tell why the missile deviated from the target. But till the point of deviation, it was cruising smoothly,” said a DRDO scientist. DRDO said the long-range cruise missile met the basic mission objectives.
“After travelling approximately midway, deviations were observed from its intended course. Further, the flight was terminated to ensure coastal safety,” it added. The missile was designed to travel at a speed which was more than that of sound.