BHUBANESWAR: India successfully test-fired an advanced version of Pinaka rocket system and 122-mm caliber rocket from a test facility off Odisha coast. As many as 25 extended range Pinaka rockets and four 122-mm rockets were launched in quick succession against targets at different ranges.
Indigenously developed by DRDO, the rockets were fired from Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) on salvo mode meeting all the mission objectives.
Defence sources said while 22 rounds of Pinaka rocket were test-fired on Thursday, three rounds of the same system and four rounds of 122-mm rockets were tested on Friday. The enhanced range version of the Pinaka system can destroy targets at distances up to 45 km.
This was the first mission in the last three months and it was conducted amid the Covid-19 restrictions. “The flight test of rockets were tracked by range instruments including telemetry, radar and electro-optical tracking system deployed by ITR and Proof and Experimental Establishment,” said a defence official.
Pinaka has been developed jointly by Pune-based Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) with manufacturing support from Economic Explosives Limited, Nagpur. The new rocket will replace the existing Pinaka Mk-I rockets.
The 15-foot long rocket weighs around 280 kg and can carry warheads up to 100 kg. The trials were conducted with some improvements in the system making it more lethal. The unguided rocket system can neutralise large areas with rapid salvos.
DRDO Chairman G Satheesh Reddy said the quick reaction time and high rate of fire of the system will give an edge to the armed forces during a low-intensity conflict situation. The development of the extended range Pinaka system was taken up to achieve longer range performance, he added.
Developed by ARDE and HEMRL, the upgraded 122-mm rocket system will replace the existing 122-mm Grad rockets. The rockets have been developed for Army applications and can destroy targets up to 40 km.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO and Industry on the successful launch of both the rocket systems. He also commended the efforts of the teams involved in the mission.
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