Indian Missile Program Updates

Indian missile misfires into Pakistan


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : BrahMos Missile

Mains level : Not Much

India has acknowledged a malfunction led to accidental firing of a missile, which Pakistan says landed in its territory.

Conducting Missile Tests: NOTAM and NAVAREA Warnings

  • Under the pre-notification of flight testing of ballistic missiles agreement signed in 2005, a country must provide the other an advance notification on flight test it intends to take for any land or sea launched, surface-to-surface ballistic missile.
  • Before the test, the country must issue Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) or Navigational Warning (NAVAREA) to alert aviation pilots and seafarers, respectively.
  • Also, the testing country must ensure that the launch site is not within 40 km, and the planned impact area is not within 75 km of either the International Boundary (IB) or the Line of Control (LoC).
  • The planned trajectory should not cross the IB or the LoC and must maintain a horizontal distance of at least 40 km from the border.

Pre-notifications to the neighbours

  • The testing country must notify the other nation “no less than three days in advance of the commencement of a five day launch window within which it intends to undertake flight tests.
  • The pre-notification has to be conveyed through the respective Foreign Offices and the High Commissions, as per the format annexed to this Agreement.

What is the recent case of misfire?

  • Neither country has spelt this out; Pakistan has only called it a “supersonic” missile.
  • Some experts have speculated that it was a test of one of India’s top missiles, BrahMos, jointly developed with Russia.
  • Their assessment is based on information that it travelled 200 km, manoeuvred mid-air and travelled at 2.5 times to 3 times the speed of sound at an altitude of 40,000 feet.
Note:  BrahMos has a top speed of Mach 3, a range of around 290 km, and a cruising altitude of 15 km (around 50,000 feet). It can be fired from anywhere, is nuclear-capable, and can carry warheads of 200-300 kg.


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