Pinaka a feat of engg, manufacturing, QC: Lt Gen Naidu

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Chandrapur, Maharashtra, Feb 29 (UNI) Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS) Lt Gen M L Naidu has said that the fully indigenous Pinaka rocket that was formally inducted into the force today is a marvellous feat of engineering, manufacture, quality control and work discipline.

Speaking at a function to accept the first batch of 100 fully indigenously manufactured Pinaka rockets at the Ordnance Factory at Bhadravati (OFCH) near here, Lt Gen Naidu said that the development of the ammunition showed the country's caliber in terms of technical skills, hard work and dedication.

''We in the Indian Army look forward to getting more sophisticated ammunition from the ordnance factories in the country,'' he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Director General of Ordnance Factories (DGOF) and Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) Chairman Sudipta Ghosh said that the induction of the Pinaka rocket into the army signalled a milestone in the participation of the private sector in defence production.

''Nearly 40 per cent of the input in Pinaka had come from the private sector. This includes the platforms, which are being supplied by Tata Power and Larsen and Toubro,'' he said.

The ordnance factories would produce 1,000 Pinaka rockets per year at present, and the production would be hiked further in the near future, Mr Ghosh said, but did not specify to what number.

Addressing the gathering, Lt Gen S S Dhillon, Master General of Ordnance (MGO) said that the Indian Army would support any effort at indigenisation. The army was willing to pay the price in terms of delay and cost for indigenisation, provided the product was of the desired quality, he said.

Surendra Kumar, Director, Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said that the ceremony marked the first time that an indigenously developed and produced rocket system was being inducted into the Indian Army. The multi-barrel launching system was a unique feature, and 12 of the rockets could be fired in 40 seconds, he said.

The ARDE was working to extend the range of the rockets from the existing 38 kilometres to 50 kilometres without any changes to the exterior and without any increase in the cost, Mr Kumar said.

Work was also on to improve the accuracy of the rockets with the help of an external trajectory tracking system, he added.

Earlier, Mr Ghosh and OFCH General Manager S D Dimri handed over the documents on the Pinaka rockets production to Lt Gen Naidu.

The VCOAS later flagged off the first consignment of two pods containing 12 rockets to the Ammunition Depot in Bharatpur, Rajasthan.

The first batch of the 155 mm base bleed ammunition, used in the Bofors gun, was also handed over to the Indian Army at the ceremony.

Shortly before the function, Lt Gen Naidu and the others visited various production units of OFCH, including the sections filling and assembling the Pinaka rockets, the Prithvi warhead, and the 155 mm base bleed ammunition and 130 mm cargo ammunition.

UNI AB NM RL ND1816

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