3 IAF officers terminated for misfired BrahMos landing in Pakistan
The services of three Indian Air Force (IAF) officers were terminated by the Central government after a Court of Inquiry (CoI) found them "primarily responsible" for the accidental firing of the BrahMos missile on March 9 this year. They were noted to have deviated from the standard operating procedures (SOP). The officers were of the ranks of Group Captain, Wing Commander, and Squadron Leader.
Why does this story matter?
On March 8 this year, a BrahMos missile had been accidentally fired from a base in Haryana and it landed about 124 kilometers inside Pakistan's territory damaging civilian property with no casualty. Islamabad had summoned India's Charge d'Affaires (ambassador's deputy) and expressed its protest over the unprovoked violation of its airspace. Indian authorities had not responded to the allegations immediately.
Missile endangered several international, domestic flights: PAF
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) had said that the surface-to-surface missile was launched from Sirsa and was headed towards the Mahajan field firing range but changed its course in the direction of Pakistan after 70-80 kilometers. PAF had said that the missile — picked up at an altitude of 40,000 feet — endangered many international and domestic flights in both Indian and Pakistani airspace.
India had expressed regret after incident
Calling the incident deeply regrettable, on March 11 the Defence Ministry said that it was caused by a technical malfunction. The Hindu had reported at least two officers saying that it did not seem to be a technical issue but human error. There is a series of software locks with high redundancy followed by two manual keys before the countdown can be initiated.
Philippines has procured BrahMos from India
Air Force has surface-to-surface BrahMos missiles as well as air-to-surface missiles while Army has only the surface-to-surface version. BrahMos is a joint venture between Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) and Russia's NPO Mashinostroyeniya. Its name is a portmanteau of the names of rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva. The Philippines has procured the BrahMos missile system from India and plans to induct the missile next year.Share this timeline