New Delhi: DRDO is developing an air-launched version of the 1,500-km-range Nirbhay sub-sonic cruise missile which would be capable of being fired from the Air Force's frontline Su-30MKI combat aircraft.
"This Nirbhay missile would be capable of being used from air, land and ships and submarines. An air-launched version of the missile is also being planned," DRDO chief Avinash Chander told PTI here.
He said the air-launched version of the missile is being developed and it would be capable of being fired from fighter aircraft such as Su-30MKI.
The DRDO chief was commenting on the Nirbhay cruise missile programme ahead of the second test-firing of its land attack version scheduled to take place tomorrow from a firing range in Balasore in Odisha.
Chander said the "size of the Nirbhay's air launched version would be smaller as it will be without booster."
He said all the versions of the missile are being developed parallely but the success of tomorrow's planned mission for the missile would be very important for the project.
On the test-firing, he said, "We are carrying out the planned mission... So, the basic mission will be executed maintaining a basic height. It will be a full range test. "
Chander refused to give out the exact striking-range of the missile but DRDO sources said the missile is being developed to hit targets at 1,500 km.
He said the experience of integrating BrahMos supersonic cruise missile and the Astra air-to-air missile would be very useful for DRDO while integrating Nirbhay on to the aircraft.
India is integrating the 290km-range BrahMos with Su-30MKI and it is expected to first test-fired by early next year.
It would be the second developmental trial of the missile. The first test was conducted on March 12, 2013 from the same base.
Nirbhay with long-range capability is being developed by the Aeronautical development Establishment (ADE) and is designed to have good loitering capability, good control and guidance, high degree of accuracy in terms of impact and stealth features.