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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