India is developing a sub-sonic stealth cruise missile "Nirbhay" with a range of 1,000 kms, according to the Defense Research and Development Organization ( DRDO).
"The missile is getting into some shape," DRDO chief Dr. V.K. Saraswat said on Saturday at a seminar in the southern city of Bangalore.
Nirbhay will be a terrain hugging, stealth missile capable of delivering 24 different types of warheads depending on mission requirements, sources said.
It will be launched from multiple platforms on land, sea and air, and will supplement BrahMos in the sense that it would enable delivery of warheads farther than the 300-km range of BrahMos.
The DRDO chief said that the flight-trial of air-to-air missile "Astra", with a range of 45 to 100 km, is being prepared.
"India's armed forces are looking for long duration loitering missiles which can enter 'enemy territory', search targets such as radars, concentration of assets and 'a variety of movements of enemy', 'home-on" the targets and 'bang' them.
"We need to develop loitering missiles," he said
Meanwhile, a senior India cabinet minister has termed India's rise in defense budget allocation as "absolutely necessary and inevitable".
"Had the neighboring countries been stable, peaceful and were oriented in a friendly manner towards India, our allocation of such a big fund for defense in the budget would not have arisen," Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram said Saturday.
India has earmarked 1,470 billion rupees (about 30 billion U.S. dollars) for its defense budget this year.