Artillery: India Develops a Cheaper MLRS

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p> February 18, 2008: After 25 years of development, the Indian army has begun receiving locally produced Pinaka self-propelled multiple rocket systems. These 12 barrel weapons fire 214mm rockets from tubes mounted on a truck. Maximum range is 40 kilometers. Pinaka will replace a similar Russian designed system that fired 122mm rockets and cost a bit more, at $850,000 per system. U.S. MLRS (multiple launch rocket system) systems cost over four million dollars each.  Over the next two years, the army will receive 80 Pinaka systems. The 12 foot long rockets weigh 610 pounds each and contain a 220 pound warhead. Longer range (120 kilometers) rockets are also in development. A Pinaka regiment (18 launchers) was organized eight years ago, but mostly for show. Indian weapons development projects have long been criticized for being poorly run, and endless.