Indian Defence PSUs have yet again dampened the spirit of the Indian Armed Forces since the Defence Ministry has indicated that the last test of the Indo-Russian BrahMos missile was not fully successful. Added to this, it has also been revealed that the indigenous Tejas LCA is facing more delays and will not get initial operational clearance (IOC) before 2013.
Indian Defence Minister AK Antony has stated in the Parliament that one subsystem failed in the July 29 test of the Indo-Russian BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. While state-run DRDO claimed at the time that the test was successful, Defence Minister has officially admitted the failure of one unknown system.
Antony has revealed to the Parliament that the malfunction of one subsystem resulted in increase in velocity of the missile, crossing the limit and leading to aborting the mission. The defect has been rectified after analysis and further development flight tests will be conducted as a measure of self-reliance.
The flight test of the BrahMos missile on 29th July was only partially successful since it did not meet the entire gamut of mission parameters. BrahMos missile was launched in full operational configuration. However, the missile went vertically after the take-off and feel into the ocean without successfully reaching its pre-assigned target. Hence, the test-firing cannot be deemed a 100 per cent success.
The BrahMos missile system is fully operational with two regiments Indian Army and the induction of the first version of Brahmos missile system in the Indian Navy was started from 2005 with INS Rajput. The 290-kilometre range BrahMos missile can reach a speed of 3 Mach and can be launched from ships, silos and road and rail mobile launchers. It can carry a conventional warhead weighing 300 kg.
In another setback to the Armed Forces, the initial operational clearance (IOC) for India’s homegrown Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) has been further delayed to mid-2013. This will have an adverse impact on the IAF and postpone its active squadron service with the IAF to 2015 or beyond.
According to sources, Tejas LCA is now expected to obtain full IOC after participating in the IAF’s ‘Iron Fist’ air exercises at Pokhran in the Rajasthan desert in February 2013. The military drill at Pokhran will help the force gauge the precision and lethality of the combat aircraft. After securing IOC by mid-2013, final operational clearance (FOC) is expected to follow in 2015.