In connection with the BrahMos missile misfire incident on March 9, 2022, the services of three Indian Air Force (IAF) officers—a Group Captain and two Wing Commanders—were terminated on August 23, post an inquiry.
“A BrahMos missile was accidentally fired on March 9, 2022. A Court of Inquiry (Col), 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 Air Force said in a statement.
“These three officers have primarily been held responsible for the incident. Their services have been terminated by the Central Govt with immediate effect. Termination orders have been served upon the officers on 23 Aug 22,” it added.
The BrahMos missile had been accidentally fired from an airbase and landed inside Pakistan in Mian Channu. The Pakistan government had registered its objection to the incident. The missile flew more than 100 km inside Pakistan’s airspace, at an altitude of 40,000 feet and at three times the speed of sound, before it landed. There was no warhead on the missile, so it did not detonate.
Pakistan warned India “to be mindful of the unpleasant consequences of such negligence and take effective measures to avoid the recurrence of such violations in future”.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on March 15 stated that a high-level probe was ordered into the incident. The Defence Ministry had called the incident “deeply regrettable” and blamed it on “technical malfunction”.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Singh had said, “A missile was unfortunately accidentally launched on March 9. The incident occurred during a routine inspection. We later came to know that it had landed in Pakistan. I would like to inform the House that the government has taken serious note of the incident. A formal high-level inquiry has been ordered.”