Army`s Smerch rocket launchers facing hitches

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - 18:51

New Delhi: Army has detected problems in its
Russian-origin Smerch multi-barrel rocket launchers (MBRL) and
complained to Moscow about it.

There are problems in the barrels of some of these rocket
launchers and we have told the Russians about the issues
related to firing of the system, senior Army sources said here.

The Smerch rocket launchers are the latest inductions of
the Indian Army after a deal was signed for their procurement
in December 2005 for more than Rs 2,600 crore.

The sources said the Russians will be visiting India to
look into the issue and try to rectify the problems in the
system.

The issue is understood to have come up for discussion
during the Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission on
Military-Technical Cooperation meeting between the Defence
Ministers of the two countries earlier this month.

The system has had several defects in its launch
vehicles, outlaying fire controls and data transmission, which
led to delays in its operationalisation in the service, the
sources said.

The Smerch long range rocket systems have a range of over
60 kms, almost three times the distance of the present Indian
artillery rocket systems.

India had signed two deals in December 2005, and March
2007, with Russian firm Rosoboronexport for importing 42 of
the MBRL systems along with launcher, transloader and command
and control systems.

Smerch MBRL along with the Russian-origin Grad 122 mm
rocket systems and indigenous Pinaka form the important part
of the Indian Army`s firepower.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - 18:51

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