The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has sanctioned a proposal worth Rs 2,800 crore to procure approximately 6400 rockets for the Multi-Barrel Rocket Launchers systems to augment the arsenal of the Indian Army, as per reports.
Indigenous Startups Involved
Sources within the Defence Ministry’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) revealed to an Indian media agency that the recent council meeting endorsed the procurement of two types of rockets- Area Denial Munition Type-II and Type-III.
The rockets are slated to be acquired exclusively from indigenous sources, with two primary contenders vying for the contract, one of which is Economic Explosives Limited of Solar Industries and the other is Munitions India Limited, a key ammunition producer formed through the corporatization of the erstwhile Ordnance Factories.
Nomenclature and Use
Named after the celestial bow of Lord Shiva, called Pinaka, the domestically developed Pinaka Weapon Systems has undergone years of worth of Research and Development (R&D) through the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) ingenuity. Notably, it marks one of the pioneering military systems exported to foreign countries, especially to Armenia which has a strategic partnership with India and it required Pinaka Rockets to defend against Azerbaijan’s aggression in the Nagorno-Karabakh War.
It was extensively used in the Kargil War/ Kargil Conflict to attack Tiger Hill, the most decisive and strategic area that was necessary to be captured if India was to win the war.
Involvement of Private Sector
Integral to this project are the private sector entities such as Larsen and Toubro (L&T), and TATA Defence and Economic Explosives Limited, which have established production lines dedicated to the Pinaka system. These facilities are actively supplying bulk orders to the Indian armed forces.
Modernisation of Artillery Systems
The Indian Army’s Regiment of Artillery in its broader artillery modernisation strategy aims to acquire 22 regiments of the Pinaka MBRL. These regiments encompass launchers equipped with automated gun aiming and positioning systems alongside dedicated command posts. The recent trials of the Pinaka rockets conducted at the Pokhran firing ranges in Rajasthan showcased multiple successful test firings underscoring the system’s efficiency and operational readiness.
Features of the MBRL
The Pinaka Multi Barrel Rocket Launchers (MBRL) is a battle-proven, all-weather, indirect area fire Artillery Weapon System. Its mission is to deliver a large volume of fire within a very short time against critical and sensitive area targets. The quick response and relatively high pointed accuracy of the launcher enable it to deliver a large volume of fire against critical targets within a very short time.
It has two pods mounted side by side and each pod consists of six launcher tubes for launching rockets stacked in a 2X3 Matrix. The main features of the rocket are Shoot to Scoot Capabilities with Auto Levelling and Stabilization. It can fire a salvo of 12 rockets in 44 seconds. The Indian Army generally deploys a battery that can fire a total of 72 rockets. A battery of six launchers can neutralize an area of 1000mX 800M.