Misfortune struck the Akash missile project once again during a user associate trial from the Integrated Test Range off the Odisha coast on Wednesday. The missile, test-fired by the Indian Air Force personnel, reportedly failed to destroy the target.
After twin successes in February, the sophisticated surface-to-air nuclear capable missile missed the ‘missed-distance’ proximity. It was the missile’s first trial of the three-trial series. Defence sources said the missile was launched from the launching complex-III of the ITR at Chandipur-on-sea around 2.43 pm. Prior to firing of the missile, a pilot-less target aircraft (PTA) was flown from the launching complex-II around 2.30 pm.
“The missile was to destroy the PTA at an altitude of nearly 2 km as per the pre-designated coordination. But the mission failed as the weapon could not destroy the target. Though it attained the desired altitude, it failed to pass through missed-distance proximity,” said an official from the launching complex.
The official said generally the missile does not directly hit the target, it passes through the missed-distance proximity, which may be 10 metres, 20 metres or 100 metres as per the coordination, causing auto-detonation of the proximity fuse in the target.