A test of the Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM), powered by the indigenously designed and developed Manik small turbofan engine, was conducted off the coast of Odisha earlier today (21 February).
The launch of the missile, which was also fitted with an upgraded radio frequency seeker, comes after a failed test of the weapon in October last year. The test ended in failure as technical snags developed its engine after the missile was fired from the Integrated Test Range.
Manik, also called Short Turbofan Engine (STFE), has been developed by the Gas Turbine Research Establishment and is described as a 400 kilogram-force thrust class engine on the DRDO website.
The engine has been developed in collaboration with the Centre for Propulsion Technology at IIT Chennai and IIT Bombay.
In 2018, Dr S Christopher, the then Chairman of DRDO, told Livefist that the new engine would be much more economical than the Russian engine (NPO Saturn 36MT mini turbofan) powering the Nirbhay missile during development trials, adding that the STEF-powered missile system “will be over 95 per cent indigenous” by the time user trials begin.
In the future, DRDO’s STFE may also power India’s Long Range Land Attack Cruise Missile, believed to be an improved version of Nirbhay missile.
More details awaited.
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