India Missile Misfire: How Can an Accident Like This Happen?
The Big StoryMarch 14, 202200:17:39

India Missile Misfire: How Can an Accident Like This Happen?

In an extremely rare incident, India on 9 March "accidentally" fired a missile into Pakistan airspace, raising questions immediately about the safety mechanisms of such armament.

India, in its statement on 11 March, expressed “deep regret” over the incident and said that a “technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile”. This statement, however, came 2 days after the incident and a day after a statement from Pakistan’s Major General Babar Iftikhar. The Pakistani statement read that such “irresponsible incidents” reflected India’s “disregard for air safety and callousness towards regional peace and stability”.

Neither country has so far spelt out what kind of missile was used. The missile in question travelled a total of 200 kms, with 124 kms of that in Pakistani airspace at an altitude of 40,000 feet and at a speed of 2.5 to 3 times the speed of sound. Based on this information, experts speculate that the missile is probably BrahMos, one of India’s top cruise missiles.

Fortunately, the missile was not armed and did not cause any casualties. But a lot of us must be thinking the same question – how can an accident like this happen? What is the protocol when incidents like this take place?

To help answer these questions, we spoke to Kartik Bommakanti, a fellow at Observer Research Foundation specialising in space military issues.

Host and Producer: Himmat Shaligram
Editor: Shorbori Purkayastha

Music: Big Bang Fuzz

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