Army, Air Force To Get 120 Pralay Missiles As India's Rocket Force Begins To Take Shape
In a major boost to the striking capabilities of the Indian armed forces against China, the defense ministry has cleared a proposal to purchase 120 Pralay missiles for the Indian Air Force and Army.
These missiles will be a part of India's future Rocket force.
Pralay is a surface-to-surface missile (SSM) with a range of 150-500 kilometers. It can carry a warhead of anywhere between 350-700 kilograms.
The missile has a quasi-ballistic trajectory, a trajectory where the missile flies lower than a ballistic trajectory and maintains high speed throughout the flight. The missile is also capable of maneuvering during the flight. It increases the chances of the missile successfully penetrating enemy defences.
Pralay will primarily be used to hit targets like ammunition dumps, petrol, oil and lubricants depots (POL), command and control nodes, air bases, and hardened targets. Pralay's high terminal velocity will enable it to take out hardened targets.
The missile comes in a canisterised configuration. This not only reduces the time taken to launch the missile at a target but also makes the missile system highly mobile. This also allows the system to escape enemy attacks at short notice.
India's Rocket Forces
The idea to create a rocket force was first mooted by the late Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat.
The Chinese rocket force, called the People's Liberation Army Rocket Forces (PLARF), is believed to be the largest Rocket force in the world. It has thousands of rockets, ballistic, and cruise missiles in its inventory.
In the event of war between India and China, PLARF would first strike India's command and control nodes, ammo dumps, POL depots, air bases, and critical infrastructure to reduce India's ability to fight.
Currently, the Indian Air force, Navy, and Army have their own separate missile force with no integration between them.
The setup of Rocket force will herald a new era in India's missile force integration. It will create economies of scale and allow mass employment of firepower. Rocket forces will also act as a deterrent to PLARF.
The Indian armed forces already have extended-range BrahMos cruise missiles for precision strikes. However, the missile costs around 35 crore a piece and will most likely be reserved for some high-value targets.
Pralay missiles will not only enhance India’s striking capability in Tibet but also act as a cheaper option for the forces.
"The missile would be first inducted into the Indian Air Force likely to be followed by the Indian Army," a recent ANI report said.
Also Read: Pralay For China: India's First Step Towards A 'Cheap' Rocket Force
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