The personnel of Pune based Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) conducted a series of tests of an advanced version of multi-barrel rocket system Pinaka from a defence base off the Odisha coast on Thursday.
At least three rounds of Pinaka rockets were test-fired from a Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) located at the firing point – II of the Proof and Experimental Establishment (PXE) at Chandipur here. The tests were carried out in between 11 am to 12 noon.
The tests termed as sample tests were aimed to assess the stability of rockets in flight as well as accuracy and consistency. Though the system can fire rockets with a range of 39-40 km, but this time, sources said, it was tested for nearly 30 km.
A defence official said it was a routine trial and all the rounds yielded desired results. “The Pinaka MBRL is capable of acting as a force-multiplier. The tests were made after some developmental changes in the system. We would carry out a few more tests on Friday,” he said adding the rocket system would supplement the existing artillery system.
The tests were conducted with logistics supports from the PXE. According to the reports, the rocket launcher, which is also known as the Weapon Area System (WAS) can launch 12 rockets with one tonne of high explosives within 40 seconds.
“Its quick reaction time and high rate of fire provides the army an edge during low-intensity war-like situations. The unguided rocket system put under trial here could be used to destroy a higher geographical area with its salvo of rockets,” said a defence scientist.
Pinaka rocket is a state of the art weapon for destroying enemy troop concentration areas, communication centres, air terminal complexes, gun or rocket locations and for laying mines by firing rockets with several warheads from the launching vehicle.
Last month seven Pinaka rockets were successfully test-fired from the same test range. ‘Pinaka’, which has undergone several tough tests since 1995, has already been inducted into the armed forces. It was successfully used during the Kargil war.
Officials of ARDE, PXE and Integrated Test Range (ITR) were present during the trials.