Pinaka is an indigenously-built Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the Indian Army. It is used to neutralize the enemy’s positions that are strategically important for the enemy. The advanced versions of this system can also be used to conduct surgical strikes even without entering into the enemy area. Since its inception, the rocket launcher has undergone a lot of improvement. Pinaka MBRL is one of the most successful projects of DRDO.
Here is a list of 10 facts about Pinaka Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher:
1. The development of Pinaka started in the 1980s when the army stated its requirement of a long-range multiple rocket launcher.
At that time, Russian BM-21 ‘Grad’ Launchers were in service. The army wanted to develop its own rocket launcher system and so the government sanctioned the project with an initial budget of Rs 26 crore. The project got completed in the mid-1990s and after successful trials, Pinaka was inducted into the army in 1998.
2. It was developed by Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), a Pune based laboratory of DRDO.
ARDE in association with two private companies, the Tata’s and Larsen & Toubro, indigenously developed the Pinaka Multi-barrel Launcher.
3. The launcher can fire 12 rockets with 1.2 tonnes of high explosives within 44 seconds and destroy a target area of 4-square km at a time.
4. It was tested in the cold and high altitude regions during the Kargil conflict in 1999.
It was successful in neutralizing enemy’s positions on the mountain tops. After the army’s nod, DRDO went ahead in full scale production of the Pinaka system.
5. Pinaka is capable of working in different modes – autonomous mode, stand-alone mode, remote mode and manual mode.
6. The complete weapon system is mounted on an 8×8 wheeled heavy-duty, diesel-powered military truck developed by Tatra, a Czech vehicle manufacturer.
7. The second variant of Pinaka, known as Mark-II, has a maximum range of 75 km.
The first version of Pinaka had a maximum range of 40 km. It is being replaced by a newer version known as Pinaka Mark-II which has a maximum range of 75 km. It is equipped with navigation, guidance and control kit to enhance the accuracy of the system.
8. One unit of Pinaka costs around 2 crore, which is ten times less than the cost of a similar system of the West.
9. DRDO is working with Israel’s IMI to develop Pinaka Mark-III which will use IMI’s Trajectory Correction System (TCS) that will enhance the accuracy of the attack.
The Pinaka Mark-III version is under development and once completed it will replace the Russian SMERCH rocket launcher. It will be able to hit target upto 120 km and will use GPS and Israel’s TCS technology to enhance the precision of attack.
10. The Indian Army currently operates two regiments of the indigenously-developed Pinaka launcher.
The army is keen on increasing the number of Pinaka regiments and has plans to induct 8 more till 2022.