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Rocket systems, BrahMos add offensive punch along LAC in Tawang sector

Growing arsenal: Smerch, procured from Russia, is the longest range conventional rocket system in the Army’s inventory with a maximum range of 90 km.   | Photo Credit: Dinakar Peri

India’s military posture in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh has added an offensive punch with the Army deploying Pinaka and Smerch long range, multi-barrel rocket launch systems as well as BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles in the region.

In a rare demonstration, the Army showcased its Pinaka and Smerch units deployed on the Arunachal Pradesh-Assam border to a group of visiting journalists from Delhi.

“The Pinaka and Smerch rocket systems have been deployed closer to the LAC,” said a senior officer at the demonstration. The BrahMos has also been deployed in the Tawang sector, the officer stated.

In addition to the rocket systems, deployment of BrahMos missiles, which have a range of over 290 km, gives the Army the ability to hit targets deep inside China in case of any Chinese misadventure in this sector.

90 km range

Smerch, procured from Russia, is the longest range conventional rocket system in the Army’s inventory with a maximum range of 90 km, said Col. Gaurav Sood explaining about the rocket systems at the demonstration.

A battery of four launchers can fire a salvo of 48 rockets in 40 seconds, neutralising an area of 1200mX1200m, explained Major Sreenath VE, Battery Commander of a Smerch unit.

Pinaka, indigenously designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, has a range of 38 km. “A battery of six launchers of Pinaka can fire a salvo of 72 rockets in 44 seconds, thereby neutralising an area of 1000mX800m,” said Lt. Col. Samarth.

The upgraded version of the Pinaka ammunition systems were already in production line and could fire up to a range of 75 km with superior precision, he added.

Both Pinaka and Smerch have 12 rockets in each launcher. “In high attitude areas, the ranges are enhanced significantly which further augments the deep strike capability of the weapon system,” Col. Sood added.

Currently, the Army has five Grad rocket regiments, three Smerch regiments and four Pinaka regiments. Another six Pinaka regiments are in the process of being procured.

Integrated rocket force

The Chief of Defence Staff had recently talked of creating an integrated rocket force in addition to the proposed integrated theatre commands, which a senior official had stated was a concept under examination.

As reported by The Hindu recently, the Army has significantly augmented its firepower along the 1,300 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the eastern sector and also beefed up overall defences in the region, especially in the Tawang sector, by inducting new weapon systems and technological infusion.

Tawang, which is strategically important and was the target of China during the 1962 war, is 35 km from the LAC in the Bumla axis.


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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 5:11:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rocket-systems-brahmos-add-offensive-punch-along-lac-in-tawang-sector/article37132832.ece

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