India on Wednesday successfully flight-tested the enhanced version of Pinaka rocket system. The system has been indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The test-flight was carried out from Integrated Test Range in Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha.
The DRDO said that this new rocket system has a longer range with reduced length compared to the earlier variant (Mk-1). The design and development has been carried out by Pune-based laboratories of DRDO, Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE) and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL).
“A total of six rockets were launched in quick succession and the tests met complete mission objectives,” the DRDO said after the test-fire.
All the flight articles were tracked by range instruments such as telemetry, radar and Electro Optical Tracking Systems (EOTS) which confirmed the flight performance, it further said.
The enhanced version of the Pinaka rocket would replace the existing Pinaka Mk-1 rockets. While Mk-1 had a range of 40 km, this enhanced variant can hit a target 45 to 60 km away.
The DRDO had last year tested Mk-2 of the Pinaka rocket system which has a range of 70-90 km, but this improved version of Mk-1, which was test-fired today, can fill a critical gap of hitting targets that are not so far away.
It has been developed as per the requirements of the armed forces which are using the rocket system along the China border (Line of Actual Control). The Chinese have deployed rocket regiments in the Occupied Aksai Chin area and this enhanced version of Pinaka will help Indian forces counter that.
Pinaka rockets, named after the bow of Lord Shiva, are part of the multi-barrel rocket launcher systems which are already being used by the Army and have been successfully deployed in operations in both China and Pakistan.