India developing cruise missile



India developing cruise missile Bangalore: India is developing a sub-sonic 1,000-km range cruise missile "Nirbhay" which can be used for a "variety of applications", a top military scientist said on Sunday.

The 1000-kg "missile is getting into some shape", Dr VK Saraswat, Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister and Chief of Defence Research and Development Organisation said.

He also said the flight-trial of air-to-air missile 'Astra', having a range of 45 to 100 km, is on the cards.

Saraswat was delivering the keynote address at a national convention on 'The Frontiers of Aeronautical Technologies', organised by the Aeronautical Society of India here.

He said India's armed forces are looking for long duration loitering missiles which can enter "enemy territory", search targets such as radars, concentration of assets and "a variety of movements of enemy", "home-on" the targets and "bang" them.

"We need to develop (loitering missiles)", he said.

Saraswat made a strong push for deploying space-based sensors to keep tab on "adversaries" and gather intelligence via-a-vis defence surveillance.

He said space-based sensors are a must for tracking and detection of movements of enemies. Unless it have space-based sensors, India would not be able to make its ballistic missile defence system a "potent weapon", the scientist said.

India is launching a major programme for surveillance, particularly space-based, in terms of electro-optical payload and synthetic aperture radar. "So, unless we prepare ourselves for future space-based systems, security is going to be a major issue," he said.

On anti-satellite (ASAT) system, Saraswat said ballistic missile defence has some elements required for ASAT.

India has the capability in this area in terms of "kill vehicle", boosters and radars. But he noted that "some more building blocks are required to be developed".

However, India has no plans to demonstrate its capability in terms of killing a satellite in orbit -- unlike China which undertook such a mission in 2007 --, saying "we don't believe in that (ASAT programme)".

PTI