India today tested its indigenous Manik Turbofan engine meant for the Nirbhay subsonic cruise missile under the project name Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM). Manik is a 450 kgf thrust class Small Turbo Fan engine by Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) meant to power the Indian cruise missiles and UAVs. Manik, the Small Turbo Fan Engine (STFE) is a generic twin spool engine without an afterburner. It is an expendable, single use, short life turbofan engine.
The Manik engine tested today was for a range of 150 km. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which is developing the Nirbhay missile and the engine, is planning to replace the foreign engine used by the missile and this is the first step towards the aim.
This test is one of the many tests being conducted for the Nirbhay Missile, which has been plagued with technical failures.
As per open sources, the two-stage ICTM has a length of six meters, a diameter of 0.52 m, a wing span of 2.7 m, and a launch weight of about 1.5 tonne, which corresponds to the dimension of the Nirbhay Cruise Missile. The 150 km test should validate the vertical climb of the engine. The subsequent dive and horizontal flight may not have been tested.