India developed and successfully tested cheapest indigenously developed multi-barrel Pinaka rocket launcher
Sonia Chopra
Apr. 28, 2005

India tested the indigenously developed multi-barrel Pinaka rocket launcher from a test site in Orissa on April 28. The system, which has a range of 25 miles (40 Km), underwent two successful tests.

The Pinaka Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher System, is a state of the art weapon for destroying/neutralising enemy troop concentration areas, communication centres air terminal complexes, gun/rocket locations and for laying mines by firing rockets with several warheads from launcher vehicle. High operational mobility, flexibility and accuracy are the major characteristics, which give Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher System an edge in modern artillery warfare.

The indigenously built Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher Weapon Area System can fire rockets with a range of 39-40 km, in a salvo of 12 rockets with 1.2 tons of high explosives within 40 seconds. The complete system comprises a launch vehicle, a loader / replenishment vehicle, and a command post vehicle with a battery of six launchers. Pinaka can neutralise a target area of 350 square kilometres, and is meant as a supplement to the existing artillery system at a range beyond 30 km. It can be fitted with a variety of warheads ranging from blast-cum-pre-fragmented high explosives to anti-tank mines. This indigenously designed MLRS is far cheaper than the international competition, costing just Rs 23 million per system. By comparison the American M270 MLRS costs Rs 195 million, and the 9P140 URAGAN of Russia and the ASTROS-II of Brazil each cost Rs 38 million.

The Indian Army felt the need for a weapon system, which could soften or defeat targets between a certain range. The Ministry sanctioned two competence build up projects in 1981 for Rs 1.94 crore. Army formulated their General Staff Qualitative Requirement for the system in July 1983. They planned to induct certain number of regiments into service at the rate of one regiment per annum, equipped with the system, from 1994 onwards so that the existing system which had range limitation of 20 km could be replaced with the latest state of the art system. The Ministry issued sanction in December 1986 to develop the system at Rs 26.47 crore excluding cost of manpower. The development was to be completed in December 1992.


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