|Tata 12×12 vehicle on which Nirbhay will be based. | Photo by Shiv Aroor|
India’s Nirbhay cruise weapon will be tested in February, DRDO chief Dr V.K. Saraswat said at a press conference last week in Bangalore. This is the first time in over a year that a definite time-frame has been provided on the mysterious programme. Last checked, the missile was to have been tested in July-August 2012.
As I’ve earlier reported, this will be, without a doubt, the most significant weapon test since, perhaps, the Agni-III. The Nirbhay, shrouded in secrecy for long, is understood to be a two-stage high subsonic cruise missile with loitering capabilities. Sources suggest that apart from the engine (apparently supplied by NPO Saturn), the rest of the system is fully indigenous.