NEW DELHI: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a new-generation cruise missile that draws parallel to the long-range American Tomahawk missiles that took the world by surprise during the 1991 Gulf war.
The new missile, the scientists say, can destroy targets at a range of 1,000 km.
Addressing a seminar on naval systems ‘Navararms 07’, Avinash Chander, the director of the Advanced Systems Laboratory, Hyderabad, said the cruise missile named
Nirbhay is under development and it would fill a critical gap in the missile capabilities of all three services.
The proposed missile would be a terrain-hugging weapon, and would be capable of delivering over two-dozen warheads.
The missile can give most ground radars a miss, and would use gyros for inertial navigation system.
Chander said Nirbhay was a logical step after India’s success with Brahmos, super sonic cruise missiles that can travel almost 300 km with conventional warheads. Brahmos is now under induction into the Army and Navy.
The Indian military plans to mount the missile system on several upcoming platforms, including submarines, proposed long-range maritime aircraft that is being procured etc.
According to the senior scientist, Nirbhay would meet several demands that Brahmos would not, including delivering a warhead at a longer range.
The missile's design is complete and the technology demonstrator would be ready in early 2009, he said. The ‘hardware’ is under preparation, he added.