Nirbhay is a long-range subsonic cruise missile capable of penetrating deep into enemy territory and accurately striking high-value targets. India's first indigenously produced cruise missile is the Nirbhay. Nirbhay is currently launched using a mobile articulated launcher. This missile will be launched from both sea and air platforms. India is one of only a few countries capable of designing and developing cruise missiles of this type.
DETAIL ABOUT NIRBHAY MISSILE
The Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), which is part of the Defence Research and Development Organisation, designed and developed Nirbhay, a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile in India (DRDO).
 The missile is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads and can be launched from a variety of platforms. During the standoff with China, it is currently deployed in limited numbers in LAC.
Nirbhay is propelled into space by a solid rocket booster developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL). A Turbofan engine in the missile takes over for further propulsion once it reaches the required velocity and height. The missile is guided by a radio altimeter for height determination and an inertial navigation system developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI).
The missile's guidance, control, and navigation system is based on a Ring Laser Gyroscope (RLG). Along with the GPS/NAVIC system, it has a Microelectromechanical system (MEMS) based Inertial Navigation System (INS). The missile measures 6 metres in length, 0.52 metres in width, 2.7 metres in wing span, and weighs about 1500 kilogrammes. It has a range of about 1000 kilometres and can deliver 24 different types of warheads weighing between 200 and 300 kilogrammes, depending on mission requirements.
The missile is said to be capable of sea-skimming and loitering, which means it can go around a target, perform a series of manoeuvres, and then re-engage it. It can also pick a target out of a crowd of them and attack it.
The missile, which has two side wings, can fly at altitudes ranging from 100 metres to four kilometres above the ground, as well as at low altitudes (below tree level) to avoid enemy radar detection. It will eventually supplement the BrahMos missile's role in the Indian Armed Forces by delivering warheads beyond the BrahMos' 450 km range.
Development and trials
The carrier/launcher for the Nirbhay system was built by Tata Motors Limited and is based on a "high mobility, all-terrain and all-wheel drive Tata LPTA 5252-12 X 12 vehicle" developed in collaboration with DRDO.
The missile's first test flight was scheduled for October 2012, but due to changes to the launcher, it was pushed back to December.
After completing six developmental trials, the Nirbhay project is now officially closed. The next phase of testing, dubbed Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile, will begin in April 2020. (ITCM). It will include a Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE)-developed Short Turbo Fan Engine (STFE) and a Research Centre Imarat-developed Radio-frequency (RF) seeker (RCI). A separate air-launched variant as well as a submarine-launched variant are in the works.
On October 12, 2020, DRDO conducted the seventh Nirbhay trial, now known as the Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM), with a GTRE-developed Short Turbo Fan Engine (STFE) called Manik and an upgraded RF seeker from RCI. The seventh trial was held on October 12, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. from Wheeler Island, with a two-day test window. The test was called off after 8 minutes, and the missile was ditched in open waters due to a technical glitch that has yet to be determined. The STFE developed by GTRE is a critical step toward achieving cruise missile technology self-sufficiency.
Nirbhay was successfully test-fired from launchpad no. 3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur on June 24, 2021 (eighth trial).
GTRE is working on a new 4.25 kN thrust turbofan engine that will power the Nirbhay cruise missile as well as future UAV and long-range AshM cruise missile systems. GTRE is working quickly to expand its test capabilities and infrastructure in order to put the Manik engine to the test.