India will formally induct the Nirbhay subsonic cruise missile into the Indian Army and Navy after the seventh trial scheduled next month but has already moved a limited number of the missiles to the Line of Actual Control where Indian soldiers are locked in a tense standoff with China’s PLA.
The 1,000 km range solid rocket booster missile has a single shot kill ratio of more than 90 per cent. It has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), people familiar with the development told Hindustan Times hours after India test-fired an extended-range BrahMos surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile that can hit targets 400 km away.
The Defence Acquisition Council headed by defence minister Rajnath Singh has cleared the formal induction of the Nirbhay subsonic missile. The military, however, did not wait for the formality to deploy the new missile and has already moved some of them to defend the LAC against China.
The missile, which travels at a speed of 0.7 Mach, has both terrain-hugging and sea-skimming capability that helps it avoid detection and counter-measures.