Thursday, April 01, 2010

Prithvi Target Missile Failure Due to Flight Control Component Failure, No Design Problems: Investigators

The embarrassing malfunction of the Prithvi target missile that ended up aborting India's Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile test on March 15, was caused by the material malfunction of a minor component in the flight control system, scientists associated with the investigation have told LiveFist. While analysis is still on to confirm precisely which component or components failed -- resulting in the Prithvi aborting ascent towards desired altitude and instead diving towards the Bay of Bengal -- the investigation team has put it down to poor quality assurance, a malady that caused a lot of heartache in the last few years.

Quality control is aggravating things immeasurably in India's missile programme. Missiles that are absolutely fine on the drawing board -- and successful in most tests -- are ending up with a dud reputation as a result of poor quality assurance of minor components, some of them laughably minor, but thunderingly significant at ballistic missile velocities, as was made shudderingly clear in the Agni-III's disastrous debut test and the Agni-2 test in November last year.

7 comments :

Anonymous said...

you are jumping to laughable conclusions on the basis of a couple of test failures ..if the problem was serious, the recent prithvi, dhanush, agni trials from serial stocks would also have suffered..the akash would not have been ordered by the IAF in more quantities either...brahmos tests would not have been successful using serial missiles..

secondly, agni-3's failure was not due to component failure via QA..but a design flaw which was subsequently fixed via more heat shielding..

the agni 2 and the prithvi test target failures are to be expected..if you are familiar with statistical control.. out of a large sample, there are invariably a couple of systems which can and do fail...hence the need for a stated inventory which includes a buffer to guard against the occasional failure..

your statement "quality control is aggravating things immeasurably in indias missile program" is hence without merit..


the prithvi test artifact which failed..is not a standard prithvi but a hand tooled one custom made for Ballistic missile test purposes...as such severa of its systems dont come from standrd production lines...and dont reflect on the mass manufactured std p1 p2 and d units..

if you want to see how strict QA is ..visit DRDL or RCI and see the draconian QA measures imposed on both subsystems suppliers and integrators...

even with all this..components will and do fail...it happens when we buy stuff from abroad from leading OEMs and it will happen here as well...what can be and is done...is to minimize the defects in a batch...and limit it to a few systems at best out of a large production run via vigorous QA measures...and then conduct sampling to take out the defective units...but 1 -2 do get through...hence redundancy is built into system design and weapons platforms to compensate...in India as well as abroad...

so far india's missiles have shown a defect versus production run curve which is better to any imported system...ask the prithvi team about their missiles..the level of ruggedization and redundancy is significant..

so kindly rely on the facts..

cheers...

Anonymous said...

I do not think the first Agni III test failure had anything to do with faulty components. There was a design issue which was fixed.

Anonymous said...

QC is not a priority in India. We think that QC can be built into anything after the product has been made by applying a thick coat of most expensive and gaudy paint.

Anonymous said...

Lame! How do we know there are no faulty components on the "battle-ready" Prithvis? Damn thing is going to go up and fall on our own heads! Hope I won't be living in the flight path.

subhajit gupta said...

The need of the hour is the implementation of strict quality control practices along the entire spectrum of Indian defence production.

Anonymous said...

>>>Lame! How do we know there are no faulty components on the "battle-ready" Prithvis? Damn thing is going to go up and fall on our own heads! Hope I won't be living in the flight path.

Check the number of Prithvis tested and the number of flaws viz components and you'll have your answer..which is, Prithvi QC works.
And no, you wont live in the Prithvi flight path unless you live in the Chandipur test range or the intended target, Pakistan.

praneetbajpaie said...

What is the latest update on the aad, pad