India readies propulsion design for new cruise missile
New Delhi: India has completed the propulsion system design of its new cruise missile `Nirbhay` which will have a strike range of 800 kms, DRDO chief V K Saraswat has said.
"The development of the system is on. We have completed the propulsion system`s design. But we have not integrated it. Once we reach the integration stage, we will show it you," he told reporters here last night.
Saraswat said the missile is a technology demonstrator.
India already has in its arsenal `BrahMos`, a 300-km range cruise missile developed in collaboration with Russia.
It has various versions for use by all the three wings of the armed forces.
Saraswat said the country is also gearing to test its its indigenous Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) shield in near future, a programme, he claimed, is more sophisticated than the Chinese one.
"This is one area where we are senior to China," he said when asked to compare Indian BMD programme with that of China, which carried out its first test-firing on January 14.
He was addressing a press conference on the recent test firing of Agni-III missile, which has strike range of 3500 kms and is now ready for induction in the armed forces.
Asked why Pakistan never reported any failures in its missile test programme, Saraswat said, "That is the difference between the democratic India and Pakistan."
He said that even when the US, with its large technological base, started testing its BMD, seven out of 14 tests had failed consecutively.
The DRDO Chief said that though China had tested its BMD capabilities just recently, India knew about it after they carried out the A-SAT test in 2007. Prior to it, the Chinese
missile programme was kept under the wraps, he said.
He said the Indian programme had started in 2006 and had 60-70 per cent indigenous content in it.
Saraswat said Indian BMD development programme would have two phases.
"In the first phase, which goes upto 2,000 km range, we will carry out exo-atmospheric, endo-atmospheric and high altitude interceptions and in the second phase, we will take care of targets beyond 5,000 km range."
On the dates of test of the BMD shield, he said it was expected to be carried out within this month.
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