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In response to the evolving strategic landscape in the Himalayan region, the Indian Army has prioritized the development of advanced long-range rocket launchers, focusing on capabilities tailored to address Chinese threats. The decision comes as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China deploys rockets with a range of 160 kilometers along the border.

The Indian Army, in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), is actively working on the technical specifications for these upcoming rocket systems. The goal is to enhance India’s rocket capabilities, with proposed ranges of up to 150 kilometers and an advanced variant of a Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) boasting a range of 250 kilometers.

As the Himalayan region continues to witness heightened tensions and evolving security concerns, it has become imperative for the Indian military to develop a rocket system capable of addressing these challenges effectively. The Indian Army has identified the need for long-range rocket launchers that can effectively counter the Chinese deployments along the border. Currently, India relies on the Pinaka and Smerch rocket systems. While the Pinaka rocket, developed indigenously, boasts a range of 95 kilometers, the Russian-supplied Smerch has a range of 90 kilometers. However, given the strategic depth of the Himalayan theater, these ranges are considered insufficient to address potential threats effectively.

India’s military planners have recognized the need for rocket systems with significantly longer ranges to ensure the capability to strike deep into the Tibetan Autonomous Region, including areas as far as Xinjiang, China, in the event of a conflict. This necessitates the development of advanced rocket launchers that can engage targets at extended distances. While a proposal to develop a 300mm 120+km Pinaka-III rocket system had been previously overlooked, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has now granted permission to initiate work on an advanced variant known as the Guided Pinaka-III, as well as another variant that could be named Pinaka-IV. These rocket systems will offer the extended ranges required to address deep targets, providing the Indian military with enhanced capabilities.

To expedite the development and production of these advanced rocket systems, the Indian Army and DRDO are exploring collaborations with private sector companies within the country. This approach aims to leverage the capabilities and resources of the private sector, facilitating the mass production of these advanced rocket launchers. This collaboration aligns with India’s broader goals of fostering domestic defense manufacturing and enhancing self-reliance in defense production.

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