NEW DELHI – The fourth test of India’s “Nirbhay” land-attack cruise missile (LACMs), engineered to carry nuclear or conventional warheads, failed on Wednesday.
According to Indian media, the test was an utter failure, with the missile veering to the right within two minutes of take-off.
The missile’s first test in March 2013 had completely failed. The second one was dubbed “a partial success” in October 2014 but the third test in October 2015 also failed miserably, Times of India reported.
The missile which had to carry warheads was itself destroyed intentionally in mid-air after it deviated from its flight-path along the coast in Bay of Bengal soon after launch from the Integrated Test Range at Balasore, off the Odisha coast.
The missile started flying beyond the safety corridor and threatened to crash into land, which activated the destruct mechanism in its first stage, destroying the missile completely.
The missile, conceived, designed and developed by the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation), can take out targets 1,000 km away. If it passes the fifth test, it will be able to carry a 300 kg warhead.
What adds insult to the injury of defence capabilities of India is the fact that the missile was reportedly designed in response to Pakistan’s Babur LACM (Land Attack Cruise Missile).