Pinaka Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher: Features, Significance

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 2, 2023, 16:53

Pinaka is an indigenous developed rocket system named after Lord Shiva's bow. An extended version of the Pinaka multi-barrier rocket launcher system Extended Range (ER), Area Denial Munitions (ADM), an indigenous developed fuses have been successfully tested in various ranges. The development of the Pinaka Rocket Launcher was started by the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) in the late 1980s.

The Multi-Barred Rocket Launcher (MBRL) system is capable of firing a salvo of 12 rockets over 44 seconds. This enhanced version of Pinaka had been taken up to achieve longer range performance compared to its earlier version. Flight articles are tracked by range instruments such as Telemetry, Radar and Electro-Optical Tracking Systems (EOTS). It is planning to deploy it along borders with Pakistan and China. This induction is said to be completed by 2024. It includes Launchers with Automated Gun Aiming and Positioning Systems (AGAPS), Command Posts and Vehicles.

Features at a glance

  • The area that can be neutralised by its battery is 1 km×1 km.
  • It’s launching’ shoot and scoot' (fire and move). This is done to ensure they do not become the target, especially being detected backblast. This ultimately ensures a long-range artillery battle.
  • It provides a lethal and responsive fire. The targets can vary. For example, exposed enemy troops, Armored and Soft skin vehicles, Communication Centers, Air terminal complexes and fuel and ammunition dumps and many more.
  • The weapon system consists of Rockets, Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher, Battery Command Post, Digicore MET Radar, Loader Cum Replenishment Vehicle, Replenishment Vehicle.
  • Devices that could be used at night for vision are also there for drivers and crew.
  • Other than blast shields, Cabin pressure is also increased additionally to protect the crew.
  • At a short notice, it can lay down anti-personnel and anti-tank mines.

Pinaka Variants

The Multiple Variants of Pinaka are mentioned below:

  • Mark -I have a range of 38 km.
  • The enhanced version of earlier Mark I has a range of 45 km along with some additional features.
  • The Pinaka Mark-II Rocket has been updated as a missile. It is integrated with the navigation, control and guidance system to make it more accurate and enhance the range.
  • The range is exMark-IIo 70-80 km.
  • A new guided rocket is added with an Israeli designed Trajectory Control System (TCS) to make it more accurate.
  • The navigation system of the missile is aided by the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).

Significance of MBRL System

  • Earlier in the Kargil war of 1999, it was used first on the battlefield.
  • Even now, it is used by the regiments of the Indian Army along the borders of China and Pakistan.
  • China has already deployed a large number of rocket regiments in support of artillery guns. In response, this updated Pinaka version can be used to counter the Chinese Army.
  • Pinaka is also considered as one of the moves of India to make itself independent and not rely on other countries from the perspective of the military as this Pinaka is an indigenous weapon.

Modes of Operation

The modes of operation through which Pinaka operates are given below.

  • Autonomous mode: Under this model, control of the launcher is in hands of the Fire Control Computer (FCC).
  • Stand-Alone mode: Under this model, commands and the parameters of firing are given by the operator. The launcher is not linked with Fire Control Computer.
  • Remote mode: During this mode, there is a remote control unit that can be carried up to a distance of 200 metres. Launcher sites, launcher systems and unload the fired rocket pods from the launcher is controlled by remote.
  • Manual mode: Operations are controlled manually under this model.

Manufacturer of Pinaka MBRL

To meet the requirements of the military, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) joined its hands with many companies. The partner manufacturers are listed down.

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation ( DRDO)
  • Ordnance Factories Board ( OFB)
  • Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division
  • Larson and Toubro ( L&T)
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FAQs About Pinaka Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher

How many Pinakas are there in India?

Ans. Concurrently, there are 7 regiments of Pinakas inducted by the Indian Army.

What is the range of the Pinaka multi-barrel rocket?

Ans. Mk-II and guided variants have a range of around 60 km.

Who developed the Pinaka missiles in India?

Ans. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).