BALASORE: The Mark-II version of Pinaka rocket system was successfully tested from a defence base off the Odisha coast on Thursday. At least three rounds of the rocket were test-fired from the Proof and Experimental Establishment (PXE) at Chandipur-on-sea.
The tests were of an extended version of the rocket. While the older version of the rocket has a range of 40 km, its extended version can destroy targets at a distance of nearly 65 km. All three rockets were fired from a multi-barrel rocket launcher (MBRL).
The rocket launcher can fire 12 rockets with 1.2 tonne of high explosives within 44 seconds and destroy a target area of 4 sq km at a time. The quick reaction time and high rate of fire of the system gives an edge to the Army during a low-intensity conflict situation.
Pune-based Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) of DRDO conducted the tests. Three more rounds of test have been planned for Friday. The advanced version of the rocket system is expected to be inducted in the Armed Forces very soon.
PXE Director R Appavu Raj confirmed that all three tests were successful meeting the mission objectives. “The rockets travelled nearly 61 km as coordinated thus proving the efficiency and capability of the system. The tracking radars have monitored the movements of the rockets till the point of impact,” he said.
Pinaka is the first indigenous rocket system successfully designed, developed and produced by the ARDE with the help of private industries. The system’s capability to incorporate several types of warheads makes it deadly for the enemy as it can even destroy their solid structures and bunkers, a defence official said.
This rocket system, which has undergone several tough tests since 1995, has been inducted into the armed forces and the trials were conducted with some improvements in the system. The unguided rocket system has been developed to neutralise large areas with rapid salvos.
On December 20 last year, six rockets were successfully test-fired. However on August 7, two rounds of second generation Pinaka rocket were test-fired from a multi-barrel rocket launcher which had failed to provide desired result as expected by the mission team.
In July, similar trials of the Pinaka Mark-II version from Chandhan area in Pokhran field firing ranges of Rajasthan were stated as ‘successful’ by the DRDO. The trials were conducted by the DRDO and Indian Army.
Pinaka’s performance was lauded during the Kargil War, where it was successful in neutralising enemy positions on mountain tops.