Indian Missile Test Failure

India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) announced it conducted a ballistic missile intercept test, to evaluate part of the country’s multi-layered ballistic missile defense. The test involved a target missile – a modified Prithvi missile – launched from a naval ship in the Bay of Bengal and it mimicked the trajectory of a ballistic missile. The formal announcement said the test was successful. News reports published pictures of the Advanced Air Defense (AAD) Interceptor being launched from the missile test range off Odisha coast.

But news reports aired a week later said it was a complete failure, in fact, the Hindu reported yesterday; the interceptor did not launch at all. “The interceptor never took off to intercept the incoming “enemy” missile which merely fell into the Bay of Bengal,” informed sources told The Hindu. “Post-flight analysis is going on. We do not know whether there was a problem in detecting the missile, whether radars tracked it and communicated it to the interceptor,” said the sources.

naccurate reports on successful missile defense tests are particularly susceptible to false reporting, as are test reports on strategic weapons, since they can create false over- or under-estimation of defensive and offensive power, which could lead to over- and under-estimation of enemy capability under a pretense of strategic power and defensive ability.

A similar failure happened in Israel two years ago, as a critical test of the Arrow missile defense system claimed a success but in fact failed, due to a system malfunction.