Indian defense sources have released a report stating that the country’s first indigenous-developed long range cruise missile has been aborted midway after it deviated from its intended flight path.
The sub-sonic missile fell off its flight trajectory and was taken down over the Bay of Bengal to ensure safety. It consequently fell into a cashew nut plantation, near the coast. Villagers living close by had a narrow escape.
“It was scary as the whole area was filled with smoke after the object crashed. Panic gripped the entire area as news about the incident spread,” said Keshab Patra, a villager who saw the missile crash according to a report from the Press Trust of India.
“The cruising phase was all right, and the way-pointing, navigation systems worked well during the first 20 minutes of the flight,” reported Defense R & D Organization (DRDO) technologists.
Built as an answer to America’s Tomahawk and Pakistan’s Babur, the “Nirbhay” is very maneuverable, and can fly at tree-top level making it difficult to detect on radar. It can hover near the target and strike from any direction. It can strike targets at least 1000 kilometers away, carrying nuclear warheads.
The reason for failure has been attributed to malfunctioning of one of the subsystems. “It might take three to four days to analyze and find out the exact cause.” The officials are optimistic about meeting the basic mission objectives and are waiting for the next launch which is planned soon.
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