According to informed sources, the missile was blasted off around noon from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Balasore in Odisha but had to be aborted due to “technical glitches”.
According to the source, the missile’s take off was fine, but then it deviated from its intended course.
With the threat of the missile hit the ground, it had to be destroyed within minutes of blasting off.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), however, did not comment on the test, with an official saying they were not even “aware” of the test.
The six-metre-long Nirbhay is a long range, subsonic cruise missile designed and developed by the DRDO. It is capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads, has a range of more than 1,000 km and weighs about 1,500 kg.
The missile’s first test on March 12, 2013 had failed within 20 minutes of flight. The second test on October 17, 2014 also failed as it could not maintain a low height.
The third test, on October 16, 2015 saw the missile nose-dive into the Bay of Bengal 128 km into its flight.
The cruise missile is expected to supplement the BrahMos Indo-Russian that can carry warheads up to 290 km.