India plans to conduct a second test launch of its 'Nirbhay' long rage sub-sonic cruise missile by this month-end following the failure of the earlier launch in December last due to a 'recycled component'.
The fourth test of Nirbhay designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), failed on December 21 last year because of use of faulty material, said Chairman of the DRDO and Secretary of Department of Defence R&D S. Christopher was quoted as saying by The Hindu on Saturday.
“The fourth test of the missile took place from the Launch Complex-III of Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Balasore in Odisha and after lift-off the missile developed snags over one of its wings, started to bank on one side and veered dangerously.” The DRDO chief said.
“We had to activate the ‘self-destruct’ mechanism to kill it mid-air. On investigation, it was found out that the vendor who manufactured it used recycled material for one of the key components that operates the wings of the missile and that was the reason why it failed.” Chirstopher said after inaugurating a workshop on indigenous lithium-ion batteries for special applications, hosted by the Naval Science and Technological Laboratories (NSTL),
The strength of the recycled material was insufficient to operate the parameters. Though the vendor followed all specifications, the use of re-cycle material was not disclosed.
But, the same vendor had been told to produce another one ‘free of cost’ under the same specifications but without any short-cuts, DRDO Chief added.
“Everything was right in the missile, only this faulty material caused the failure. But now it will be ready by July end or August and we shall go for the fifth test,” he said.
Nirbhay is an all-weather, low-cost, long-range sub-sonic cruise missile capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads and is considered to be a strategic weapon.
Christopher said once the test was successful they would identify the production partner whom they referred to as strategic partner and would go for further variations.
“It is a guided missile and right now there is no problem with the path in the higher altitude. However, there are some glitches in the lower altitude and the organization will be working on the seekers for pin-point accuracy. The plan is to make missile ready by next two to three years".