Tarmak007 -- A bold blog on Indian defence: DRDO draws inspiration from aborted Nirbhay mission | Next launch in 8 months: Avinash | Intentionally missile flown closer to coast for tracking: Sources

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

DRDO draws inspiration from aborted Nirbhay mission | Next launch in 8 months: Avinash | Intentionally missile flown closer to coast for tracking: Sources

 By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore:  Nirbhay, India’s first subsonic cruise missile had a bad outing on Tuesday, after scientists terminated its maiden test-firing 20-minutes into its mission. Celebrated as Bangalore’s first missile, Nirbhay travelled almost 250 km towards the target after the launch, but a technical snag dented its designated flight path, forcing the Range Safety Wing at the Interim Test Range (ITR) in Balasore to abort the mission. (Termination or abortion is done by switching off the engine.)
Designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) in C V Raman Nagar, Nirbhay’s failure is now being dubbed as ‘partial success’ by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). “The lift-off from the canister, the booster separation, ignition of cruise vehicle engine at high altitude, wing deployment, control guidance and way-point navigation capabilities have been proven. For a missile designers these are crucial milestones achieved,” Avinash Chander, Chief Controller (Missiles and Strategic Systems), DRDO told Express from Bhuvaneshwar.
He claimed that for a first flight, the objectives achieved are encouraging. “We were able to launch it as a missile first, then convert show its longevity as an aircraft. We will study what went wrong and get back with another missile within six-eight months so as to go the full distance. We have enough data from this flight and we have tested all stages of the missile, which was very crucial,” Avinash said.
A top source who didn’t want to be identified said that the missile was travelling closer to the Odhisa cost. “We intentionally designated the path closer to the coast so that we could track it. But when it started deviating, we had to abort the mission taking into account the safety of the coast. It will take a week to assess which part malfunctioned and the initial data analysis will tell us more,” the official said.
ADE Director P S Krishnan said that his team will ensure that everything falls in place next time. “Nirbhay met 90 per cent of its mission parameters. It was the first test and we will quickly find out from the data which part gave up. We will fix it and prove the missile’s full-duration (1000 km) capabilities,” Krishnan said.
DRDO’s decision to go undercover till the launch of the missile is attributed mainly to the snub it received for letting out too many details of sensitive projects. A senior military intelligence official said that DRDO was warned twice in the recent past, a fact Express couldn't verify independently.Copyright@The New Indian Express
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