The Indian defence ministry on Monday sealed a deal with two leading domestic defence majors to procure Pinaka rocket launchers for six Army regiments at a cost of Rs 2,580 crore. The contracts have been signed with Tata Power Company and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) with Public Sector Undertaking Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML) also part of the project. They said the Pinaka regiments will be deployed along India’s border with China and Pakistan to further enhance operational preparedness of the armed forces.
The Bharat Earth Movers will supply the vehicles on which the rocket launchers will be mounted. In a statement, the Indian Defence Ministry said the six Pinaka regiments comprise 114 launchers with Automated Gun Aiming and Positioning System (AGAPS) and 45 command posts. The multiple rocket launcher will have 70 per cent indigenous content and that the project has been approved by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.It said the missile regiments are planned to be operationalised by 2024.
Pinaka is a multiple rocket launcher produced in India and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the Indian Army. The system has a maximum range of 40 km for Mark-I and 75 km for Mark-II, and can fire a salvo of 12 HE rockets in 44 seconds. The system is mounted on a Tatra truck for mobility. Pinaka saw service during the Kargil War, where it was successful in neutralising enemy positions on the mountain tops. It has since been inducted into the Indian Army in large numbers.
Each Pinaka battery consists of: six launcher vehicles, each with 12 rockets; six loader-replenishment vehicles; three replenishment vehicles; two Command Post vehicle (one stand by) with a Fire Control computer, and the DIGICORA MET radar. A battery of six launchers can neutralise an area of 1,000 m × 800 m. The Army generally deploys a battery that has a total of 72 rockets. All of the 72 rockets can be fired in 44 seconds, taking out an area of 1 km2. Each launcher can fire in a different direction too. The system has the flexibility to fire all the rockets in one go or only a few.