John wrote:Once again Smerch is not in the same class as Prahaar. It is Pinaka (2) not Prahaar that competes with it
On the contrary Pinaka 2 is not a competitor to the Smerch, its just an enhancement of the existing Pinaka. But the Smerch and the Prahaar will be competing with each other.
There is a big difference Abhik, and the Prahaar gives us an ATACMs-like capability that the smerch cannot match.
a) Smerch are unguided rockets, and the max range is 70-90 km. The entire rocket weighs 800 kg, with a 243 kg warhead.
b) Prahaar is a guided missile, with a max range of about 150 km. Weight - 1300 kg, 200 kg warhead. This puts it bang in the Theatre / Tactical BM category, along with the Iskander, LORA and ACATMS. Very different from an unguided rocket that requires large scale attacks to be successful
Also, with a weight thats 1.5X that of the Smerch Rocket (2.25X Kinetic energy), and an accuracy that'd be far higher than even a GPS corrected Smerch, the amount of clinical destructive power that the Prahaar can bring to the battlefield is much higher than the Smerch.
The other aspect is in terms of range is the extra amount of destructive battlefield initiative that a Prahaar will give vis a vis even a 120 km ER Smerch. When you can hit an extra 40 km into the enemy territory using a highly mobile, easy to mobilize and use system, that essentially prevents him from deploying a lot of the systems that give him battlefield advantages in that theatre - things like Supply Depots, SAM Systems and Radars, Long Range Arty, etc. A longer reach always helps. Mind you, a lot of these things require high precision attacks with a lot of killing power, which a guided missile is, as opposed to a more area focussed system like rockets.
The Prahaar will complement the Smerch and Pinakas. It wont compete with it. Especially since the Prahaar will be much more expensive than a dumb rocket, and thus, would not justify extensive usage. Doesnt mean its use wont be required though - US fired close to 500 ATACMS during Desert Storm.
My only small grudge is about them making the Prahaar long and thin - the ATACMS is shorter and stubbier, which allows it to be fired from the M270 MLRS itself. Imagine being able to deploy Prahaars from the Pinaka launchers. That would make any Porki dhoti shiver, along with making deployment easier, and detection much harder.