India has reportedly signed a $250 million deal to export arms and ammunition to Armenia.
Amid rising tensions with Azerbaijan, Armenia will be bolstered with India’s precious asset, the Pinaka multiple launch rocket system. India has reportedly signed a $250 million deal to export arms and ammunition to Armenia. This is the first time that India is exporting Pinaka missile system to another country. According to the Economic Times newspaper, India will be sending indigenously developed multi-barrel Pinaka launchers, anti-tank rockets, and other range of ammunitions to the former Soviet region.
The deal also comes when India has recorded its highest-ever defense export and is chasing an even higher target. By 2025, the Defense Ministry wants to produce 1.75 lakh crores of weapons, including 35,000 crores ($5 billion) for export. India has been looking to boost its arms exports and has taken various measures to enhance domestic production under its ‘Make in India’ policy.
Pinaka is a multi-barrel rocket launcher primarily developed for the Indian Army, researched and manufactured since the 1980s. The Pinaka has undergone several test launches since 1995, and has been used by the Indian armed forces. As of 2014, about 5,000 rockets are being produced every year. India is continuing to develop enhanced versions of this system to extend the range and improve accuracy.
Each Pinaka battery consists of: six launcher vehicles, each with 12 rockets; six loader-replenishment vehicles; three replenishment vehicles; two Command Post vehicle with a Fire Control computer, and the DIGICORA MET radar. The Army generally deploys a battery that has a total of 72 rockets. All of the 72 rockets can be fired in 44 seconds, taking out an area of 1 km2.
Each launcher can fire in a different direction too. The system has the flexibility to fire all the rockets in one go or only a few. This is made possible with a fire control computer. There is a command post linking together all the six launchers in a battery. Each launcher has an individual computer which enables it to function autonomously in case it gets separated from the other five vehicles in a war.
The standard rocket is around 4 m long and weights around 275 kg. The standard rocket is fitted with HE-FRAG warhead. Eight types of warhead were to be developed, including incendiary warhead and cluster warheads with anti-tank and anti-personnel submunitions. It is worth mentioning that the Pinaka has twice the firepower and delivery range of the BM-21 Grad. The early version of Pinaka had a range of 40 km, and more in improved versions.
On the latest version, Pinaka II, which is equipped with a navigation, guidance, control kit and has considerably enhanced the range and accuracy of the missile. The range of the missile is estimated to be between 60Km-80Km at all ranges.
Indian defense exports are impressive. Notably, in 2020-21, India exported equipment worth $90 million compared to $23 million in 2014-15. In January this year, India inked a $375 million deal with the Philippines to provide the BrahMos cruise missile to the country’s navy. The Philippines navy will use this as an anti-ship shore-based missile that has a range of 290-km.