A test fire of Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM), powered by the indigenously developed turbofan Manik engine, was conducted off the coast of Odisha on 21 February.
The launch of the missile fitted with an upgraded radio frequency seeker, comes after a failed test of the missile in October last year.
Manik engine, also called Short Turbo Fan Engine (STFE), has been developed by the Gas Turbine Research Establishment and is a 400 kilogram-force thrust class engine. The engine has been developed in collaboration with the Centre for Propulsion Technology at IIT Chennai and IIT Bombay.
In 2018, former DRDO Chairman Dr S Christopher, 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.