Pinaka is a multiple rocket launcher produced in India and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the Indian Army. The system has a maximum range of 40 km for Mark-I and 65 km for Mark-II, and can fire a salvo of 12 HE rockets in 44 seconds. The system is mounted on a Tatra truck for mobility. Pinaka saw service during the Kargil War, where it was successful in neutralising enemy positions on the mountain tops. It has since been inducted into the Indian Army in large numbers.
The Pinaka project has been a significant success for the DRDO and its development partners in developing and delivering a state of the art, high value project to the Indian Army’s demanding specifications. Whilst DRDO was responsible for the overall design and development, its partners played a significant role in developing important subsystems and components. They include Tata Power Co Ltd Strategic Electronic Division (Tata Power SED) and Larsen & Toubro Ltd to state owned Ordnance Factories Board, for the rockets as well as other private and public firms.
The first Pinaka regiment was raised on February 2000. Each regiment consists of three batteries of six Pinakas each, plus reserves. On 29 March 2006, the Indian Army awarded Tata Power SED and Larsen & Toubro’s Heavy Engineering Division a contract worth 200 crore (US $45 million), to produce 40 Pinaka MBRLs each. Tata Power SED declared that it would be delivering the first units within six months. The Indian Army has placed an intent for Pinaka Weapon System worth ₹ 1,300 crores.
On October 29, 2015, the Defence Acquisition Council chaired by the Defence Minister of India, cleared purchase of two more Pinaka regiments at a cost of INR.3,300 crores (US$500 million). On March 18, 2016, the Cabinet Committee on Security(CCS) cleared the purchase of two additional Pinaka regiments.
As of 2014, about 5,000 missiles are being produced every year while an advanced variant is under development with enhanced range and accuracy.
The Pinaka will be operated in conjunction with the Indian Army’s Firefinder radars and indigenously developed BEL Weapon Locating Radar of which 28 are on order. The Indian Army is networking all its artillery units together with the DRDO’s Artillery Command & Control System (ACCS), which acts as a force multiplier. The ACCS is now in series production. The Pinaka units will also be able to make use of the Indian Army’s SATA (Surveillance & Target Acquisition) Units which have been improved substantially throughout the late 1990s, with the induction of the Searcher-1, Searcher-2 and IAI Heron UAVs into the Indian Army, as well as the purchase of a large number of both Israeli made and Indian made Battle Field Surveillance radars. These have also been coupled with purchases of the Israeli LORROS (Long Range Observation and Sighting System) which is a combination of FLIR/CCD system for long range day/night surveillance.
Presently, three regiments of Pinaka have now been inducted by the Army. The Indian Army will induct an additional number of regiments of the Pinaka during its next planning period (2012–2017) as the older Grad MLRS regiments are retired.