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Indian Army approves advanced rocket development

The Pinaka 214 mm (12-round) MBRL is an all-weather, indirect fire, free-flight artillery rocket system. The system is designed for shoot-and-scoot operations and is based on a locally manufactured Tatra 8×8 truck chassis. (BEML Limited)

The Indian Army has approved the development of advanced rockets for its Pinaka Multi‐Barrel Rocket Launchers (MBRLs), a source at India's state-owned rocket manufacturer Munitions India Limited (MIL) told Janes on 24 January.

The army has granted official permission to the Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO's) subsidiary Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) to develop two advanced rockets for the Pinaka MBRL with maximum strike ranges of 120 km and 300 km respectively, the source said.

Once developed, MIL will be responsible for the production of these advanced rockets under a transfer of technology (ToT) agreement with the DRDO.

The 120 km range rockets will have the same 214 mm calibre as other Pinaka rockets, and the ARDE is formulating a Preliminary Services Qualitative Requirement (PSQR) – which specifies essential parameters (key performance attributes) and desirable parameters (for later development) of any weapon system in Indian procurements – to initiate the development of this rocket, the source said.

However, the source did not elaborate on the development status of the 300 km range rocket.

In November 2023 the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) approved the procurement of 6,400 rockets, which are capable of neutralising tanks and armoured personnel carriers, worth INR28 billion (USD337 million) for the Indian Army's Pinaka MBRLs.

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