The Defence Ministry signed an estimate of Rs. 5,000 crore deal to manufacture indigenous Pinaka multi barrel rocket launchers for the army, giving a major boost for the private industry. The deal is likely to generate several hundred jobs in the coming months, The Economic Times reported.
The contract, which has been in the making since 2017, will go to private sector companies L&T and Tata Aerospace and Defence, with a significant portion of work also falling into public sector unit BEML, which supplies the trucks for the rocket launchers.
Out of the six new regiments, L&T has been awarded the contract to manufacture four while the balance two will be made by Tata Aerospace and Defence. This would be one of the largest orders placed on the private sector in India from the Army.
The Pinaka program has been a home grown success story, with two regiments already in service and technology transfer successfully executed by DRDO to the private sector for manufacturing the systems as well as ammunition.
As reported by The Economic Times, the first ever rockets fully manufactured by the private sector have also been successfully test fired by the Army this month. The Pinaka rockets were tested at a firing range in Pokharan and achieved the desired results by accurately hitting targets. The rockets have been manufactured by Economic Explosives Limited (EEL) and are the first munition of its kind made by the private sector in India.
Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of its integrated guided missile development programme, Pinaka is an all weather, indirect fire, free flight, area saturation weapon system.
It consists of a Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher vehicle with 12 tubes, three replenishment vehicles, a loader-cum- replenishment vehicle and a fire control system. The weapon system has already entered the services.
DRDO has also successfully tested an extended range guided Pinaka rocket that can hit targets at a distance of 75 km, a significant boost from the current range of 40 km.