French army chief General Pierre Schill in India visit, to witness Pinaka firepower demonstration

Team India Sentinels Tuesday 27th of February 2024 10:04 PM

Gen Manoj Pande (L) presenting Gen Pierre Schill with a memento at the former’s office. (India Sentinels photo via special arrangement.)

New Delhi: France’s army chief, General Pierre Schill, arrived in the national capital for a significant bilateral visit, on Tuesday. The Indian Army chief, Gen Manoj Pande, formally received him at South Block.

During his three-day India visit, he aims to bolster military cooperation between the two countries.

Gen Schill’s visit started with a wreath-laying ceremony at the National War Memorial at the national capital, where he paid homage to the fallen heroes of the Indian armed forces. Following this, a ceremonial guard of honour was presented to him at the South Block lawns.

Gen Pierre Schill paying tributes at the National War Memorial to Indian servicemen who fell in the line of duty. (India Sentinels photo via special arrangement.)

The highlight of Gen Schill’s visit will be the firepower demonstration he is scheduled to witness at the Pokhran Field Firing Range in Rajasthan. Here, the indigenously developed and manufactured Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher will take centre stage. The Pinaka system, produced by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), boasts a maximum range of 40 kilometres for the Mark-I version and 60 kilometres for the enhanced Mark-I version.

In a rapid salvo, it can fire 12 high-explosive rockets in just 44 seconds. Mounted on a Tatra truck for mobility, the Pinaka played a crucial role during the Kargil War, neutralizing Pakistani positions on the mountain tops.

A Pinaka multi-barrel rocket system. (File photo)

Gen Schill’s visit underscores the shared commitment of France and India to strengthen their strategic collaboration across defence, security, and technology. He will also interact with representatives from the defence industry. Additionally, he will visit the Sapta Shakti Command in Jaipur to engage with senior military officers.

On Thursday, Gen Schill will address officers at the prestigious National Defence College (NDC).


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