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The Indian Air Force (IAF) has submitted its explanation to the Delhi High Court regarding the accidental firing of a BrahMos supersonic cruise missile into Pakistan in March 2022. This incident, attributed to human error during routine maintenance, has sparked legal action and highlighted the potential dangers of such mishaps.

According to the IAF’s report, the accidental launch occurred due to a crucial oversight. The BrahMos missile’s combat connectors remained attached to the junction box, bypassing critical safety protocols. This technical error resulted in the unintended firing of the missile.

The IAF acknowledges the incident’s financial repercussions. The Court of Inquiry estimates the loss to the government exchequer to be Rs. 24.9 crore. Additionally, the accidental launch strained relations between India and Pakistan.

The IAF’s Court of Inquiry placed the blame on three members of the Combat Team – Group Captain Saurabh Gupta, Squadron Leader Pranjal Singh, and Wing Commander Abhinav Sharma. The Court’s report emphasizes the potential threat posed by the misfire and the damage it caused to national and military reputation.

However, Wing Commander Sharma has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court, shifting responsibility to his superiors, Air Commodore JT Kurien and a Squadron Leader. He accuses them of neglecting safety protocols that could have prevented the incident.

The IAF refutes this claim, asserting that Wing Commander Sharma was present throughout the maintenance process within the Mobile Autonomous Launcher and witnessed all actions taken by his Operations Officer.

The Delhi High Court’s verdict in this case is awaited. It will determine culpability and potentially set a precedent for future incidents. The IAF’s explanation sheds light on the technical cause of the misfire and the ongoing legal dispute regarding accountability.