Pinaka Multi Barrel Rocket Launch System Of India, Capable Of Neutralizing Military Threat-Alternative To BM-21 Grad
Pinaka Multi Barrel Rocket Launch System Of India. Pinaka is a multiple rocket launcher produced in India and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation for the Indian Army.
Development of the Pinaka multiple launch rocket system began in 1986 and was to have been completed in 1994. However failure in development of critical components led to a six-year delay in the introduction of the system. First multiple launch rocket systems entered service in 2000 and it is currently in a low-rate production. Some sources claim that 80 of these systems are currently in service. The Pinaka multiple launch rocket systems will eventually replace the ageing BM-21 Grad.
The Pinaka launcher has two pods with 12 tubes for 214 mm rockets. The standard rocket is around 4 m long and weights around 275 kg. The standard rocket is fitted with HE-FRAG warhead. Eight types of warhead were to be developed, including incendiary warhead and cluster warheads with anti-tank and anti-personnel submunitions. It is worth mentioning that the Pinaka has twice the firepower and delivery range of the BM-21 Grad. The Pinaka’s rockets have a range of up to 40 km. Its CEP should not exceed 1 – 2% of the range. A further accuracy improvement is underway.
It was announced that a 7.2 m long rocket with a maximum range of 100-120 km in under development. It is capable of carrying 250 kg payload. These rockets might be fitted with guidance systems for better accuracy.
Rockets can be launched from the driver’s seat or remotely up to 200 m from the vehicle. Launcher has its own fire control system and can work autonomously. It can also perform shoot-and-scoot missions.
The Pinaka multiple launch rocket system is mounted on the Tatra Kolos high mobility truck, license produced at Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML). Cab is fitted with NBC protection system for the crew.
A battery consists of six launchers, six reloading vehicles and command vehicle, fitted with a fire control system and meteorological radar. A full salvo of the battery covers area of 350 000 m².
The Pinaka is reloaded by escorting reloading vehicle, which carried 4 pods with a total of 24 rockets. Reloading takes 15 minutes however it might be cut to 4 minutes after redesign of the loading platform.
It is worth mentioning that indigenously designed Pinaka multiple launch rocket system costs eight-fold less than the US M270 MLRS. It is also significantly cheaper comparing with Brazilian ASTROS II.