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The recent induction of the Israeli Rampage air-to-surface missile by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy has sparked discussions about indigenous alternatives. The Rampage, derived from the EXTRA artillery rocket system, offers long-range precision strikes against high-value targets.

This development presents an opportunity for India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to develop a homegrown competitor. DRDO is already working on a 250km range Pinaka artillery rocket system for the Indian Army. The question arises – could this Pinaka project be leveraged to create an air-launched version for the IAF and Navy?

While the development of the 250km Pinaka is underway, it’s unclear whether DRDO plans to create an air-launched variant specifically designed for the IAF and Navy. This presents an opportunity for India to achieve self-reliance in this critical area.

Experts believe DRDO should seize this moment to prioritize the development of an indigenous air-to-surface missile derived from the Pinaka system. This would not only reduce dependence on foreign suppliers but also boost domestic defense production capabilities. Ideally, this could lead to halting local production of the Rampage altogether and prioritizing the Indian-made system.

The induction of the Rampage highlights the need for India to accelerate its efforts towards self-reliance in air-to-surface missile technology. DRDO’s development of the 250km Pinaka system presents a promising opportunity. By prioritizing the creation of an air-launched variant, India can take a significant step towards achieving self-sufficiency in this crucial domain.