- Nirbhay is the long range sub-sonic cruise missile.
- It is 1st indigenously developed long range cruise missile flying at low altitudes.
- It is designed and developed by Advanced Defence Establishment of DRDO.
- It will arm the army, the navy and the air force.
- It flies at subsonic speeds of 0.7 mach. (speed of sound)
- It has a long range of 700 to 1000 km.
- Can fly at tree-top altitudes as low as 10 m. (now tested for 5 m)
- Capable of delivering nuclear warheads of 200-300 kg.
- It is a 2-stage solid fuelled cruise missile. As a result it has terrain-hugging capability and sea-skimming capability.
- It is a guided cruise missile with MEMS-based, inertial navigation system.
- Terrain hugging capability helps it go undetected by enemy radars.
- Capable of being launched from multiple platforms including land, sea and air.
In brief: Cruise Missiles v/s Ballistic Missiles
|Cruise Missile||Ballistic Missile|
|A cruise missile is guided towards a preset land-based target using a navigation system.||A ballistic missile is generally a projectile shot up in the atmosphere.|
|Cruise missiles are known for low altitude flight and high mobility and hence the name.
|Ballistic missiles are launched outside the atmosphere where its warheads detach and hit the target. (uses gravity of earth and thus traces a parabolic path and hence he name)|
|Cruise missile have short ranges of 300 to 1000 km
BramHos – 290 to 450 km
Nirbhay – 700 to 1000
|Ballistic missile have long ranges upto 1000 km (ICBMs)
Agni V – 5000 km
|Easy to intercept because of high terminal speeds.||Difficult to intercept due to high terminal speeds of 5000 m/s|
|High precision due to navigation system||Low precision|
|Cheaper and thus suitable for firing conventional warheads||Expensive and thus suitable for firing nuclear warheads.|
Section : Science & Tech