Pinaka was India’s long range replacement for the vintage BM-21 Grad MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System). It entered service in 1998 as a 40 km range system and consists of 12 rockets mounted on an 8×8 truck with NBC protection. An improved variant with 65 km range rockets is currently in service. These are highly networked rocket launchers and operate in conjunction with Weapon Locating Radars, Battlefield Surveillance radars, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and long range IR and Optical sighting systems which enhance their accuracy and effectiveness in combat. DRDO has teamed with Israel Military Industries (IMI) to install a GPS guidance system on the rockets to use them for precision attacks. They have also been combat proven in the cold and high altitude regions during the Kargil conflict in 1999.
Indian BMD program raised eyebrows when it was first announced and has come a long way since. It has been successfully tested against a short range ballistic missile and is reportedly deployable at short notice to protect major cities. Two interceptor missiles, the PAD (Prithvi Air Defence)and the AAD (Advanced Air Defence) along with the Green Pine radar form the core of this system. The PAD is an exo-atmospheric interceptor with a ceiling of over 80 km and a range of over 2000 km. It is used to intercept ballistic missiles which are travelling outside the Earth’s atmosphere. The AAD is an endo-atmospheric interceptor with a range of 250+ km and a ceiling of 30 km. It’s used to intercept short range ballistic missiles. Both these missiles initially guided by an Inertial Navigation System (INS) and have an active radar seeker for homing in on the target.
The core of this system is the 3rd generation Nag Anti-Tank missile mounted on a modified BMP-2 chassis. It contains 8 Nag missiles in armored box launchers plus a further 8 for reload with a complete optical and IR sensor suite to detect enemy tanks. These missiles are fire and forget and have a top-attack capability which allows them to target the vulnerable top part of the tanks. The Nag has a tandem High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warhead which enables it to penetrate any armour in the region. It has successfully detected targets at 5 km and engaged them in day and night conditions and has demonstrated its ability to destroy enemy tanks. The most unique ability of this system is its amphibious capability, which allows it to be cross any water body in the battlefield.