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Rajendra Chola

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The manik engine is now progressing w.r.t ITCM.

BHUBANESWAR: India has finally achieved much needed success in its indigenous technology cruise missile (ITCM) programme validating the newly developed small turbo fan engine (STFE) in a fresh test from a defence facility off Odisha coast on Tuesday.

Defence sources said the ITCM, a technology demonstrator, was tested on subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay platform from launching complex III of the integrated test range (ITR) at about 10 am.

Equipped with the indigenously developed small turbo fan engine (STFE) Manik and an upgraded radio frequency seeker, the missile was test fired for a reduced range. The technology demonstrator that would pave the way for a long range land attack cruise missile, which is now under development, had failed as the engine reportedly developed snags during a trial on October 28 last year.

The domestic Manik engine with a thrust rating of 450 kgf has been designed and developed by Bengaluru-based Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) for cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. It is a generic twin spool engine without afterburner.

“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 turbo fan engine can be developed in future,” the sources added.

So far, four tests of ITCM technology demonstrator have been conducted since 2020. While two of the tests had failed, one trial on August 11, 2021 was partially successful.

Before the ITCM project, India had inducted subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay that was powered by a Russian NPO Saturn 36MT engine. India is planning to develop a 1,000 km range supersonic cruise missile for land attack and a 1,500 km range naval version with the new Manik engine.

@Gessler @Rajendra Chola et al.

Finally someone is pushing Indian engine on our cruise missiles. Guess some bureaucrat took a look at the cost of the missile with foreign import engine and decided to develop new one from scratch.

India still has unspecified number of Nirbhay missiles with old Russian engine inducted. They were activated during Galwan clash.


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