BrahMos missile accidentally fired on March 9 had landed in Pakistan

A month after a BrahMos missile was accidentally fired from a base near Ambala, the Indian Air Force has changed its standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Probe examines all protocols

A probe into the accidental firing of BrahMos missile from a base near Ambala on March 9 looked at multiple angles

All missile storage and missile inspection protocols were examined before the new SOPs were laid out

Fresh rules have been set for storing missiles, launchers and the inspection process. There are now a new set of alarms to detect error and alterations have been brought in for manual and electronic lock-codes needed to set off a missile.

The accidental firing on March 9 was a “one in a million error”, sources said, adding that the new SOPs would remove the chances of such an accidental firing.

The BrahMos missile accidentally fired on March 9 around 7 pm from a base near Ambala had landed in Mian Channu, 124 km inside Pakistan. Any sabotage or wrongdoing has been ruled out, said the sources.

A probe team led by Air Vice Marshal looked into the role of at least four IAF officials connected with the firing incident. A Court of Inquiry has found the Commanding Officer, a Group Captain-level officer, and a few others “blameworthy”. They are likely to face disciplinary action for the serious operational lapse. The BrahMos can fly at three times the speed of sound and once launched, there is no self-destruct system. The incident occurred when the Command Air Staff Inspection was carrying out a check.