Akash Missile
A file image of the Akash Missile|Commons
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QRSAM tested at Balasore rolled uncontrollably, fell into the Bay of Bengal Monday. This is at least the second failure for the missile in four tests.

New Delhi: India’s missile development programme is going through a rough patch, with another snag hitting the home-made quick reaction surface-to-air missile (QRSAM) during tests at the Balasore range in Odisha Monday.

The QRSAM system, being developed as an add-on to the Akash air defence missiles that are already in service with the Army and Air Force, has now undergone four tests, of which at least two have been unsuccessful.

Sources said during the latest test, the missile took off from its launcher successfully, but rolled uncontrollably during flight before ditching into the Bay of Bengal. The missile is being developed by DRDO’s Hyderabad missile complex, and top officials were present at the test site during the trial.

It is learnt that the DRDO leadership team on missile systems is studying the failure and is trying to find the root cause of the problem. Previous trials of the missile were conducted in June, July and December last year.

As reported by ThePrint, during the 22 December test, the missile hit turbulence within 1.5 seconds of taking off, as an actuator did not respond to a software command. The QRSAM is supposed to take down fast moving incoming air targets like missiles and fighter jets at extremely short notice.

India has been planning to showcase the Akash as a Made in India missile that is available for exports. In fact, the missile is being showcased at the Defence Expo near Chennai this week to possible customers who will be visiting the show. In addition, the Indo-Russian Brahmos missile is also being displayed at the India pavilion during the event, as an export option to friendly foreign nations.

The QRSAM is a recent DRDO project that was undertaken to meet demands of both the Air Force and the Army. The services had requested for imports to meet urgent requirements for air defence missiles, which were turned down after DRDO assured that it could develop the system indigenously.

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2 Comments Share Your Views


  1. Does any one in “The Print” know even the basics of system development and systems engineering? I wonder where these authors come up with such foolish and outlandish conclusion as reflected in its head line that Indian missile development is going through a rough patch. The other day the venerable Mr.Gupta came up with the story of non delivering empire of Kalam too. If nobody, seriously, over at the print know even the basics of engineering, one could just go through that often quoted and misquoted saying of Edison regarding the trials and tribulations of discovering the suitable filament for light bulb. FYI print: NO SYSTEM IS BOUND TO SUCCEED FROM THE GET GO. IF SO THERE IS NO NEED FOR TESTING AT ALL. TESTING IS TO FIND OUT THE KINKS AND RECTIFY IT, AS NO AMOUNT OF SIMULATION IS EQUAL TO A REAL FLIGHT. A FAILURE OR TWO IS A SAMPLE POINT ON A SERIES OF TESTS NOR THE TREND AND NOT EVEN REMOTELY THE RESULT. Or I suspect the people at print are fully aware of the above fact and peddeling the biased half truths to the benefit of somebody??

  2. Manu is from the Coupta school of disinformation. Cannot expect any better in terms of the coverage or understanding of finer aspects of product development.

    Manu, it may be a waste of my time trying this, but as a simple exercise in journalistic integrity, have you researched the typical number of failures in interceptor missiles? Iron dome for example (since you may want to use Google with a specific keyword, just for a start).

    Couptaji, two and a half decades later, you are still a peddler and a survivor. Here’s to our days of rum on a charpoy in rural Punjab. Kudos.


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