Army not to induct BrahMos without further trials | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Army not to induct BrahMos without further trials

After its failure last month, Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor has said his force would prefer further trials of BrahMos missile to be sure of the weapon's success, rather than hurrying up induction.

delhi Updated: Feb 10, 2009 02:54 IST

After its failure last month, Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor has said his force would prefer further trials of BrahMos missile to be sure of the weapon's success, rather than hurrying up induction.

"No," he said when asked if the army would induct BrahMos' new vertical-launch version once it was ready.

"We (the Army) are consumers here. We will like to go through further trials to prove its success. We will congratulate them whenever the missile passes the test. It is wrong to waste public money," General Kapoor told said in an interview.

The 290-km range supersonic cruise missile, developed jointly by India and Russia under a joint venture, failed to hit its intended target during tests in the Pokhran ranges in Rajasthan desert last month.

Asked if the DRDO had complaints over the Army "leaking" information on the failed BrahMos test, Kapoor clarified that the army had reservations over DRDO's initial claim that the missile trial was a success.

He said he was present during the missile testing in Rajasthan recently and watched the test-firing from about a kilometre away. The target was 53 kilometres away from the missile launch site, he said.

"Immediately after 83 seconds of the missile's flight was over, it was communicated on the radio that it was a 'hit'. But I refused to accept the congratulations from one of the senior Russian officials there till I had personally seen the target having been hit by the missile," Kapoor said. But after getting to the target spot it was clear that the missile had not hit the target and hence Kapoor called up his officers in Delhi to inform that the missile test had failed.

Some of the journalists present to witness the missile test went by the radio communication that it was a hit and hence the conflicting reports in the next day's newspapers, Kapoor added.

"Since it was widely reported that the Army chief was witnessing the missile test, what would I have said about the trials when I return? So I called up my officers and asked them to clarify to the media that the missile had failed to hit the target," he said.

The army already has a regiment armed with the BrahMos missile, which is an inclined-launch version different from the one that failed the recent test.