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BrahMos accidental firing: 3 IAF officers sacked for violating SOP

A Court of Inquiry found that deviation from the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) by three officers led to the accidental firing of the missile, the official statement said, adding that termination orders were served upon the officers on August 23.

BrahMos accidental firing: CoI finds deviation from SOP by three officers led to incident govt terminates services snt
New Delhi, First Published Aug 23, 2022, 6:55 PM IST

Over five months after a BrahMos missile was fired accidentally from an Indian Air Force base in Ambala and landed up in the Mian Channu area of Pakistan, a Court of Inquiry (CoI) on Tuesday found that deviation from the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) by three officers led to the March 9 incident. The defence ministry has terminated the services of the three officers immediately, and termination orders have been served upon the officers on August 23, 2022.

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Even though the Indian Air Force did not reveal the names and ranks of the officials whose services had been terminated, a Group Captain is believed to be among the trio. In April, the IAF had blamed more than one official from the missile squadron for the incident, for which it had said that there would be "swift and severe punishment".

The supersonic cruise missile had landed around 120 kilometres in Mian Channu in Pakistan’s Khanewal district. There was no detonation as it did not have any explosives. Expressing regret for the incident, the Indian government had ordered to probe the matter at a high level.

The Ministry of Defence had, in a statement, detailed how the incident happened. It had said that on March 9, 2022, during routine maintenance, a technical malfunction caused the accidental firing of the missile.

While stating that the incident was deeply regrettable, the defence ministry has expressed relief that there had been no loss of life due to the accident.

Pakistan had summoned India's charge d'affaires and registered a protest for unprovoked violation of its airspace. Pakistan's Inter-Service Public Relations Director-General Major General Babar Iftikhar had claimed that the missile had entered the Pakistani airspace at 124 km from India's Suratgarh and fell to the ground near Mian Channu city. Islamabad further claimed that the missile crash caused damage to civilian property. The Pakistan foreign office also sought a thorough and transparent probe into the incident and wanted its outcome to be shared with Islamabad.

(Image for representation purpose)

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