Thursday, 25 April 2013

Missile misses target again

In a joint exercise by Indian Air Force (IAF) and DRDO, a Russian short range surface-to-air missile was test fired from a defence base off the Odisha coast on Wednesday. The OSA-AK missile reportedly failed to hit a tow body suspended from a pilot less target aircraft (PTA) as it fell down before reaching the target.

Sources said air force personnel conducted the test, a part of target simulation exercise in the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur on sea during noon.

The missile was fired from the launching complex - III and the PTA was flown from the launching -II of the ITR.

While three rounds of the missile were fired at 11.25 am, 11.45 am and 12.45 pm, the missile was to hit the tow body during the third attempt.

“The missile fell down immediately after take off. Though in initial two attempts the 10-km range missile travelled a certain distance, but during the target simulation exercise it failed to reach the target,” said a source.

It was the third attempt in last three days which also proved futile.

While on Monday the pilot less target aircraft fell down before releasing the tow body and flying for a stipulated period due to technical snags, a similar attempt on Tuesday also failed as the missile could not be fired.

A defence official said the aim and objective of the exercise was to gauge the effectiveness of the missile and killing capabilities mid air.

The Russia-manufactured missile has already been procured by India for the IAF fighter air-crafts.
OSA-AK missile has been developed to be used against aircrafts, surface-to-air missiles and air-to-air missiles.

The missile has already been inducted in the army and it was first user trial by the IAF.

Sources added that if all the preparations go according to the plan, another exercise will be conducted within a day or two.

Thereafter, the missile would be fired from the fighter air crafts targeting the PTA.

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