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.

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