India’s much-hyped April missile interceptor test may not have been the great success the military initially claimed, the New Indian Express reports.
Immediately after the April 27 test, an unidentified Indian Defense Research and Development Organization senior scientist was quoted by the Indian Statesman as calling the maiden test of the Prithvi Defense Vehicle “a complete success as it met all of its objectives without any flaws.”
But the Express newspaper reported on Thursday that the interceptor never struck its target. The Prithvi vehicle passed the target, and its warhead failed to detonate, according to sources at the Wheeler Island Integrated Test Range
“The interceptor did not directly hit the target missile,” an anonymous official said. “So it cannot be claimed that a hit-to-kill took place during the mission.”
Additionally, the Prithvi interceptor did not reach its intended height of a minimum of 75 miles.
“The missed distance between the interceptor and the target was more than what was expected,” the official said. “But we still can say that the mission was partially successful as the interceptor could be fired in time. In an automated operation, a radar-based detection and tracking system successfully detected and tracked the enemy ballistic missile.”
DRDO head Avinash Chander is now asserting there never was a plan for the interceptor’s warhead to explode, and that the principal purpose of the test was to monitor the trajectory of the missile target.
Meanwhile, the Indian military is preparing to conduct a test as soon as next month of the nuclear-ready Nirbhay cruise missile, the Times of India reported. This would be the second trial of the weapon, which is said to be capable of being launched from air, sea and land.
The maiden test of the weapon last year ended in failure when the launched missile deviated from its programmed flight course and had to be remotely destroyed. The Nirbhay is reportedly designed to carry nuclear payloads as far as 621 miles and has been compared to the U.S. Tomahawk missile.
What We're Following See More »
Agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives " used a web of shadowy cigarette sales to funnel tens of millions of dollars into a secret bank account," according to a federal racketeering lawsuit filed by a group of tobacco farmers who claim they were "swindled out of $24 million." The agents allegedly used shipments of snack food disguised as tobacco. The Justice Department is reportedly investigating the matter, though as of now it is unclear how widespread the practice was or if it is still ongoing.
Sen. Susan Collins, who sits on the Intelligence Committee, "said on Wednesday she's open to using a subpoena to investigate President Donald Trump's tax returns for potential connections to Russia." She said the committee is also open to subpoenaing Trump himself. "This is a counter-intelligence operation in many ways," she said of Russia's interference. "That's what our committee specializes in. We are used to probing in depth in this area."
"Top lawyers who helped the Obama White House craft and hold to rules of conduct believe President Donald Trump and his staff will break ethics norms meant to guard against politicization of the government — and they’ve formed a new group to prepare, and fight. United to Protect Democracy, which draws its name from a line in President Barack Obama’s farewell address that urged his supporters to pick up where he was leaving off, has already raised a $1.5 million operating budget, hired five staffers and has plans to double that in the coming months." Meanwhile, NPR has launched a "Trump Ethics Monitor" to track the resolution of ten ethics-related promises that the president has made.
Over a meatloaf lunch at the White House last week, Donald Trump offered the job of Labor secretary to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a longtime loyalist. Christie promptly turned down the offer, once again signaling that he has no desire to move to Washington, D.C. to join the Trump administration. The job ended up going to Alexander Acosta, who is expected to sail through the Senate confirmation process.