Amid renewed India-China border tensions, came reports that the Chinese PLA has deployed PHL-03, a12-tube 300 mm long-range multiple rocket launcher rocket system that has a maximum firing range depending on its warhead type from around 70 – 130 km near LAC. PHL-03 due to its feature-like guidance system, which provides highly accurate targeting in complex terrains, raised several eyebrows on the Indian side with calls for further development of India’s Pinaka long-range MRLs (multiple rocket launchers) over 130-150km, but industrial sources close to confirm that no such demand has been made by the Indian Army yet to the State-owned DRDO, instead, a mobile high-altitude terrain optimized Pinaka is in development for LAC deployment.

The indigenous 214 mm Pinaka also has a range of 70 km. It also has a guided variant that has a 95+km range version. The original Pinaka Mark-1 had a range of 37-42km and had entered service in the late 1990s but production of which is now stopped. Enhanced Pinaka Mark-1 with a range of 45-50km has entered production now.

Pinaka Mk-II with a range of 60-70 km and a Guided Pinaka system with integrated navigation, control, and guidance system to improve the end accuracy that has a range of 75-90 km also has entered production now. In the future, the Pinaka Mk-1 enhanced Mk-1 and the Guided Pinaka will coexist in the Army’s inventory, in the proportion that the Army wants. A new Pinaka variant that is highly optimized for high-altitude terrain with enhanced capabilities for better use of the conditions has been under development upon request from the Indian Army that can be carried by lighter 6×6 all-terrain military truck, instead of the present 8×8 all-terrain High Mobility vehicle for improved mobility in the high-altitude terrain.

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