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Report: India test launches Indigenous cruise missile

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India has test-launched its Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM) powered by a domestically-developed engine, news outlets reported, citing sources.

This was the fourth test of the technology demonstrator, coming after a failure in October.

The ITCM is based on the Nirbhay long-range subsonic cruise missile, featuring the indigenous small turbofan engine (STFE). The Nirbhay is powered by a Russian NPO Saturn 36MT engine.

Indigenous Engine, RF Seeker

The Gas Turbine Research Establishment-developed STFE is a twin-spool generic engine with a thrust of 460 Kilograms.

The missile features an upgraded radio frequency seeker developed by the Defense Research Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory Research Centre Imarat.

Previous Test Launches

The DRDO first test launched the ICTE in 2020. The trial saw the missile deviate from its predetermined path, forcing the control room to destroy it mid-air.

Its second launch was partially successful, as the engine performed properly despite the missile again deviating from its original flight path.

The missile’s engine malfunctioned in its third test launch, marking its second failure in three attempts.

New Cruise Missile Demonstrator

The ICTE is the precursor of the long-range land attack cruise missile program being developed for land and sea. The versions are expected to strike targets 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) and 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) away, respectively.

“The engine will be used in long-range cruise missiles after a couple of more tests. Once the perfection is achieved, several variants of the cruise missile equipped with a turbofan engine can be developed in the future,” The New Indian Express quoted a source as saying.

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