Pinaka rockets to be handed over to Indian Army on Feb 29

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Nagpur, Feb 26 (UNI) The first batch of the fully indigenously developed Pinaka rocket will be formally handed over to the Indian Army at a ceremony to be held at the Ordnance Factory near Chandrapur in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra on February 29.

Speaking to reporters here today, Director General Ordnance Factories (DGOF) and Chairman Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) Sudipta Ghosh said Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen M L Naidu will be the chief guest at the ceremony. The 155 mm ''Base Bleed'' ammunition will also be formally handed over to the Indian Army at the same function.

The Pinaka rocket has been developed by a team of engineers and technicians at the Ordnance Factory at Ambazari (OFAJ) near here on the basis of the design by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Mr Ghosh said.

The target was to hand over 300 rockets to the army this year, and 1,000 rockets per year from next year.

The 4.95-metre long rocket, which will be used by the artillery, primarily for neutralising enemy infrastructure like ammo dumps and airstrips, travels at a speed of 1,000 metres per second at full burn and has a range of 38 kilometres, the OFB Chairman said.

The 276-kilogram Pinaka will be propelled by a solid propellant in two tubes, and can carry a warhead of 100 kilograms, he said, adding that the warhead will carry a mixture of RDX and aluminium.

DRDO is developing another version of Pinaka with an extended range and with a single tube for the propellant.

A battery of six Pinaka rockets can neutralise an area of 1,000 metres by 800 metres. The platforms for the rockets will be supplied by Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and Tata Power, with each vendor providing 1,000 platforms, the DGOF said.

The main role of the system is to hit targets beyond the capabilities of existing conventional guns, he said, adding, ''The system is capable of delivering a high volume of indirect fire in a short period against critical, time-sensitive and high-value artillery targets. The weapon is designed to supplement conventional artillery in its modern requirement of accurate placement of massive firepower over large impact areas at long range''.

Mr Ghosh said the 155 mm ''Base Bleed'' ammunition has also been developed by OFAJ through in-house research and development for use with the Bofors gun. A total of 20,000 systems will be manufactured this year and 50,000 next year, he added.

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