The Nirbhay missile is claimed to be similar to the US Tomahawks, which can fly like an aircraft and capable of travelling up to 1,000 km.
The requirement of Nirbhay is necessary because Pakistan has already developed two versions of Tomahawk cruise missiles - the Raad and Babur with a range of 700 km.
While India is developing its cruise missiles from scratch, Pakistan developed its cruise missiles from the stolen techno logy of Tomahawks. Its technology is from two Tomahawk cruise missiles recovered from its territory in the 1998.
Meanwhile, a day after the 'Nirbhay' deviated off course during its maiden launch off the Odisha coast, scientists on Wednesday began the post-mission analysis to locate the fault. The sub-sonic missile that was launched from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur-on-sea in Balasore district of Odisha, deviated from its intended course after travelling approximately halfway.
A complete analysis of the aborted test flight will take at least a month. The scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) who were involved in the development and launch of the missile have started analysing the telemetry data.
Developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), a DRDO laboratory based in Bangalore, Nirbhay could be launched from land, sea and air.
It can travel at a very low altitude at a speed of 0.7 mach (nearly 840kmph) and has the ability to fly around the target till it gets an opportunity to attack it. The surface-to-surface missile has good loitering capability; advanced navigation system and can provide high degree of accuracy.
The cruise missile blasts off like a rocket and then turns into an aircraft with wings and tail fins. This allows it to be very maneuverable.
It can fly at tree-top level making it difficult to detect on radar and as it approaches the target, the missile can determine the point of impact while hovering over the target.