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India fires three officers for accidental BrahMos launch

The BrahMos missile crash in Pakistan occurred on 9 March 2022. India has not disclosed which variant of the missile was involved in the accident. (Janes)

An investigation by India into the accidental launch of a BrahMos supersonic cruise missile earlier in March has attributed human error for the incident. Three senior officers of the Indian Air Force (IAF) have been dismissed from their positions.

A notice from the IAF on 23 August described the launch, which occurred on 9 March 2022, as “accidental”.

“A court of inquiry (CoI), set up to establish the facts of the case, including fixing responsibility for the incident, found that deviation from the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) by three officers led to the accidental firing of the missile,” the IAF said.

Speaking to Janes on 13 May, an IAF source said that the CoI was focusing on the actions of a group captain and several other officers. Indian media reports have previously stated that two other officers under investigation were a wing commander and a squadron leader.

“These three officers have primarily been held responsible for the incident. Their services have been terminated by the central government with immediate effect,” the IAF said. “Termination orders have been served upon the officers on 23 August.”

In its initial statement issued on the accidental launch on 11 March, India's Ministry of Defence (MoD) blamed a technical glitch for the launch. “In the course of a routine maintenance, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile,” the MoD had said.

However, the IAF told Janes

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