The Pinaka multi-barrel guided weapons system is capable of destroying a target measuring 900 square metres, as it can dump 7.2 tonnes of high explosives onto a target 80 km away in 48 seconds, with an accuracy of 25 metres.
In order to provide firepower to India’s 1.3 million-strong army, the Indian defence ministry has signed a $380 million deal with Tata Power Company, Larsen & Toubro and Bharat Earth Movers Ltd to procure six Pinaka rocket systems, comprising 114 launchers, to deploy along China’s border.
“These Six Pinaka Regiments will be operationalised along the Northern and Eastern Borders of our country, further enhancing the operational preparedness of our Armed Forces,” a statement issued by the defence ministry reads.
This is the first time the government has allowed private firms to manufacture Pinaka rockets, which will gradually replace the Russian SMERCH, capable of flattening an area of 1.1 square kilometres.
The Indian Army intends to have 22 Pinaka regiments by 2026, including 12 regiments of Pinaka guided missiles. Each regiment would consist of three batteries of six Pinaka launchers mounted on Tatra trucks.
The units were designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO); Pinaka can deliver nuclear warheads at short range as well.
Last month, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had announced an absolute ban on the import of 101 tyoes of defence equipment including high technology weapons systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircraft, light combat helicopters, and radar arrays.