DRDO test fire of Nirbhay Cruise Missile fails

Published: October 12, 2020

On October 12, 2020, the Defence Research Development Organization  test fired the Nirbhay Cruise Missile. The missile that had the capability to hit targets at 1000 metre distance failed due to technical snag.  The missile developed engine problems within 8 minutes of its launch.
Nirbhay was the tenth missile to be fired by India in the last 35 days. This says that India is firing an average of one missile in every four days. This is a response to mobilisation of troops and support elements by China in the Ladakh region.

The missile tested uses Manik Engine. It is a Turbo Fan Engine.


The missile was launched into the Bay of Bengal from the Wheeler Island, Odisha launch site. It is a subsonic missile that flies at a speed of 0.7 Mach.

About the missile

The missile has a Turbo fan engine attached to it. After reaching a certain height, the missile Turbofan engine of the missile takes over further propulsion. The missile has a Ring Laser Gyroscope based guidance and MEMS based inertial navigation system. MEMS is Micro Electro Mechanical System.

The missile has loitering and sea-skimming capabilities. Sea Skimming is a technique used by anti-ship missiles to avoid infrared radiation, radars. Loitering Munition is a suicide drone. Under this, the weapon loiters around the target area for some time. It then locates the target accurately and attacks.

Other Engines

The other indigenous engines developed by DRDO are shakti Engine, Kaveri Engine, Wankel Engine. The Shakti Engines are used in Light Combat Helicopter. Kaveri engines are used in Tejas aircrafts. The Wankel Engines are used in powering Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Light aircrafts.

Missiles tested recently

India conducted the following missile tests in the past 35 days