Air Defense: July 31, 2005

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India has had yet another successful test of its Trishul surface to air missile. Thats the good news. The bad news is that Trishul has been in development for over twenty years (since 1983). First test firing took place in 1991, and the manufacturer declared test firings completed by 1998. The armed forces, however, rejected the missile, as not ready for service. So development continued, until 2003, when the project was cancelled. But the project, which has cost nearly $200 million so far, had political friends. Development was allowed to continue, even though neither the army or the navy wants it. The missile has a range of some nine kilometers, and has suffered mainly from reliability problems, particularly with its guidance system. 

 


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