Nirbhay v/s Tomahawk :-Modi Government plan to buy Tomahawk Missiles will kill Indigenous Nirbhay Missile Program

USA ‘s Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) is an all-weather,long range,subsonic cruise missile used for land attack warfare,Launched from U.S. Navy surface ships and U.S. Navy and Royal Navy Submarines.

Nirbhay is an all-weather, low-cost, long-range cruise missile capable of carrying conventional and nuclear war heads. The missile has a range of more than 1000 km, weighs about 1500 kg and has a length of 6 metres.The missile is powered by a solid rocket booster for take off which is developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory(ASL).

The missile utilizes a solid propellant booster motor that is jettisoned shortly after launch, switching over to a turbojet engine with a cruise speed of 0.65 Mach and a reported range of 800-1,000 km.3 The missile is guided by INS/GPS with an active-radar terminal seeker, and its accuracy could be improved both by the development of an indigenous Indian navigation satellite system4 and the potential of integrating the seeker from the BrahMos missile

USA’s Tomahawk missile family consists of number of subsonic,jet engine-powered missiles designed to attack a variety of surface targets.Tomahawk has a modular design,allowing a wide variety of warhead ( nuclear and conventional  ),guidance,and range capabilities. Currently only sea launched variants are in service.

India’s Nirbhay is the two stage missile and capable of carrying 24 different types of nuclear warheads .the size of Nirbhay is no too big as it will be without booster type.It blasts off like a rocket and turns it into aircraft and has wings and tail fins.

Nirbhay is capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads. Initially Nirbhay will be launched from a mobile launcher which has been developed by Tata. Further development will guarantee the launch of Nirbhay from Aerial and Naval platforms. The missile will supplement the BrahMos with its extended range.

USA’s Tomahawk Block III versions incorporates engine improvements,an insensitive extended range warhead,time-of,arrival control and navigation capability which can reduce mission-planning time and increase navigation and terminal accuracy.Enhancements includes increased flexibility utilizing two-way satellite communications,increased responsiveness with faster launch timelines,loiter capability in area of emerging targets and improved affordability .

India’s Nirbhay blasts off like a rocket and unlike from other missiles it turns into the aircraft.After its launch in early flights the rocket falls off and small wings get deployed.At that time gas turbine comes into work and it turns into full aircraft.It cannot be jammed as it operates on fire and forget system.It is very maneuverable and cost efficient.and can fly over tree-top level and cannot detected on enemies radar.

Nirbhay can be adapted for naval release by both a surface ship and submarines. It has a range of 1500 kms, weighs 1000 kgs, and its current engine is ramjet technology.

Nirbhay missile can also be deployed on  Su-30MKI’s existing pylons that now carry the Brahmos missile. DRDO is considering Nirbhay missile to arm Tejas, a light fighter jet with a rocket “shortened” by about 25%.

Tomahawk sale to India will come as a shocker to many close Nato allies of the United States of America who in past have been denied the sale of the missile system by Washington. Yes, Tomahawk has been part of Nato offenses, but operated from US platforms.

If India does procure Tomahawk subsonic cruise missiles from the United States of America does that mean that indigenous development of Nirbhay subsonic cruise missile by DRDO has been dropped? While there is no clarity on the program yet but repeated delays and increasing Chinese naval activities could be the reason why the government has decided to procure them from abroad while development of Nirbhay continues in India.



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