GTRE's Small Turbo Fan Engine (STFE) on display at the recently concluded DefExpo 2020

Media report were aflush reporting of an imminent test of the GTRE's indigenous Small Turbo Fan Engine (STFE) fitted on a Nirbhay cruise missile an Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) official told during the DefExpo 2020 exhibition in Lucknow

Now Known as the Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM), the weapon, which is essentially the Nirbhay missile fitted with the indigenous Small Turbo Fan Engine (STFE), is being developed by Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE). ADE has planned two developmental tests using the ITCM to demonstrate the STFE and a new radio frequency seeker.

The ADE official also confirmed that new variants of the missile are either planned or already being developed, including the ground/ship-launched Long Range Land Attack Cruise Missile (LRLACM), the Submarine Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) - or Nirbhay SLCM - and the future air-launched version, possibly known as Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) or Nirbhay ALCM.

"The GTRE tested the engine for max power setting at Bangalore for 90 minutes continuous operation. During peak winter, the engine was tested at Leh at (-15 degree Celsius)", a media statement read.

The 110 kg STFE straight jet engine has an on-board gas generator for powering on the engine, which generates 425 kgf of thrust and is credited with a 2 kW power off take. Measuring 900×360 mm, the engine has already completed stand-alone ground testing, a GTRE official told Jane's.

ADE's priority is to complete trials of the LRLACM by 2021, with preparations already under way for the test in April. This will be followed by another test before an actual live firing set to take place in January/February 2021.

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