In 2007, India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) revealed that the Nirbhay would be capable of delivering 24 different warhead types. DRDO sources say that while the engine is Russian, the rest of Nirbhay is fully indigenous, including sensors, guidance and flight-control systems. In 2008, reports suggested the Nirbhay was a loose derivative of the indigenous Lakshya target drone, which is operational with the armed forces. A mockup of the Nirbhay was to have been displayed at Aero India in February 2011, but was pulled at the last moment after a change of heart at DRDO.
A former rear admiral from the Indian navy's gunnery says, “The Nirbhay is rightly a hushed-up program. It shouldn't draw too much attention until it has begun testing in earnest. Three years ago, there was a lot of confidence in the program and scientists were confident they could deliver such an ambitious weapon. It is a clean break from anything India has developed before.”
The Nirbhay has never been seen or photographed, and India wants to keep it that way until the actual debut test. DRDO sources say the missile is being built to be used from land, sea and air. The Center for Military Airworthiness and Certification has revealed that it has been asked to integrate the Nirbhay to an Indian air force Sukhoi Su-30 MKI airframe, while the land variant's mobile launcher was recently revealed to be an Indian-built Tata Prahaar vehicle unveiled at New Delhi's DefExpo trade event in March.