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Friday, January 13, 2017

Delay in wing deployment caused Nirbhay missile’s third failure

By Anantha Krishnan M
Mathrubhumi English Online
Bengaluru, Jan 15: The recent failed mission of subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay is pointing towards a slight ‘pause’ (delay) during the process of wing deployment. This malfunctioning of the mechanism that deploys the wing appears to have resulted in the missile developing a very high roll-rate, which led to the Inertial Navigation System (INS) losing its frame of reference. This caused the missile to veer away from its intended flight path, leading to a situation which called for aborting the mission from safety considerations.
Sources within the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), who reviewed the video footage of the missile’s failed flight, confirmed to Mathrubhumi that the wing is normally deployed in less than 500 milli-seconds (0.5 sec.) after booster burn-out and separation of the booster section from the main missile.
“In the previous missions, we have been achieving the wing deployment in around 300-350 milli-seconds. This time the wing seems to have got stuck at 60 degrees position for about 1.5 seconds causing the damage. This is what we have assessed so far. The missile appears to have developed the high roll rate due to the partially deployed wing”, an official said.
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