Missile Defence System – UPSC GS3

CAG has submitted a report highlighting weakness in India’s Missile Defence System.
Highlights of the report tabled by CAG in Parliament:
  • Deficient in quality – The strategic missile system, a medium range supersonic surface to air missile system to counter aerial threats were “deficient in quality,”
  • Over 70 % of the under vehicle scanners (UVS) installed at Indian Air Force (IAF) bases were non-functional
  • The IL series of aircraft, which provide vital transport support to IAF during contingencies, “has notbeen upgraded, and continue to fly with 1985 vintage avionics.” Air to air refuelling is a crucial capability both during combat as well as peace time operations. IL-78 aircraft are dedicated for this purpose. However, due to inadequate infrastructure and support facilities the air to air refuelling capability was hampered.
Importance of Strategic missile system:
  • Strategic missile system is vital for the country’s air defence and deterrence capability.
  • Audit found that the system delivered by Bharat Electricals Limited (BEL) was deficient in quality.
  • Out of 80 missiles received up to November 2014, 20 were test fired during April-November 2014. Six of these missiles i.e., 30 % failed the test.
  • Preliminary failure analysis report revealed that the missiles fell short of the target, had lower than the required velocity, and also there was malfunctioning of critical units like Servo Control Unit and Connector.
  • Two missiles had failed to take off because the booster nozzle had failed. These deficiencies posed an operational risk during hostilities.

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