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DEFEXPO 2004 - Part 2
By B Harry
Feb 8, 2004, 16:03

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(Click to expand images}

The DRDO Pinaka is an all weather, indirect fire, free flight, Area-Saturation Weapon system that has begun to enter service with the Indian Army. It consists of a Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) Vehicle with 12 tubes, three Replenishment Vehicles, a Loader cum Replenishment Vehicle and a Fire control system containing a Command Post and the DIGICORA MET Radar. A battery of six launchers can turn an area of 1000 x 800 m into Swiss cheese in less than 44 seconds.

Although advertised with a maximum range of 38 km, the Pinaka has achieved ranges up to 42 km during tests. Each rocket is of 214 mm calibre, is 4950 mm long, weighs 276 kg and carries a 100 kg warhead. Minimum range is 10 km and the overall CEP is less than 1-2% of the total range.

Projects like the Akash, Trishul and Pinaka have taken a lot of contribution from the private sector. Larsen and Toubro (L&T) ltd. claim credit for building the 2-axis DC servo drive for the Pinaka while TATA Advanced Materials Ltd. (TAML) have developed launcher tubes and containers for the rockets and missiles. TATA Power's Strategic Electronics Division (SED) also developed the prototype Pinaka launcher which underwent extensive user field trials.

IMI's trajectory correction system for the Pinaka.

This new 122 mm rocket is being developed as part of an upgrade package to the Indian Army's BM-21 LRAR MBRLs. The new round which uses a case bonded composite propellant and a low calibre thrust chamber, offering an enhanced range of 35 km compared to the current 20 km range. For the heavier role, the Indian Army has also purchased thirty-six 300 mm 9A52-2 Smerch-M MBRLs along with an equivalent number of 9T-234-2 transloaders based on the same MAZ-543-A1 chasis.

The Akash medium range air defence system consists of a 3D Central Acquisition Radar (CAR) radar for high resolution surveillance upto 180 km in range and 18 km in height, battery level Rajendra (not pictured) phased array radars to carry out target tracking, missile acquisition, guidance and launcher control, and mobile multirole launchers configured on either wheeled or tracked vehicles. At present, the SAM has an intercept range of 25 km, with limited ATBM capability being developed.

The pictured model shows the Radar Sensor Vehicle (RSV) of the 3D-CAR. The S-band radar is a multi-beam planar array which forms a Cosecant square beam in transmit and 6 stacked pencil beams in receive modes. The second TATRA vehicle (not pictured) of the system acts as the Data Center and houses two radar consoles, an IFF control panel, communication equipment and a rest room. A third TATRA vehicle acts as the power unit, with two 25 KVA, 3 phase 50 Hz, Diesel Gensets. The signal processor and data extractor are mounted with the RSV itself. The whole system takes less than 20 minutes to deploy and can be operated at high altitude regions of upto 4000 m above sea-level and temperatures between -20° to +55° C. Designed to operate in an ECM-intensive environment, the system also presents jamming analysis using omni channel and clutter/weather/ECM video maps.

The Airforce version of the Akash launcher configured on a wheeled vehicle built by TATA. L&T also offer SAM launchers configured on TATRA vehicles, all of them implementing embedded control systems.

DRDO's latest experimental tank designated 'Tank-Ex' is an Arjun/T-72 hybrid integrating the weapon system and armor of the former with the automotive system of the latter. Most of the Arjun's features including the 'Kanchan' armor and 120 mm rifled gun, not to mention GPS, NBC protection, Thermal Imager integrated into the gunner's main sight and a standby articulated sight, have been included. The tank has a combat weight of 47 tonnes, a power to weight ratio of 21 HP/tonne, ground pressure of 0.94 kgf/cm² and achieves a maximum speed of 60 km/h on road.

The Tank-Ex will offer a huge leap in ergonomics and compartment space when compared to the conventional T-72, thanks to the implementation of the Arjun's crew station design. A crew of four, including the driver, is now carried. 32 rounds of FSAPDS and HESH ammunition are carried, with 18 ready rounds in the rotating turret. Tank-Ex is yet to enter user trials.

The Bhim implements a self-propelled 155mm/52-cal artillery gun on the Arjun tank hull. It has a high power-to-weight ratio (24.8 HP/tonne), hydro pneumatic suspension and a large onboard ammunition supply of 50 rounds. The vehicle has a combat weight of 56.4 tons, a sustained rate of fire of 3 rounds/min ( 8 rounds/min under intense fire mode or a burst of 3 rounds in 20 sec.) and a max range of 52.5 km (VLAP). Five crew members are carried.

© Copyright 2002-3 by ACIG.org

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