The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) tested Pinaka Mark-II guided rocket system on 4th November which is an enhanced version of the Pinaka Mark-I system. Pinaka Mk-II rocket has an advertised range of 60 km range compared to 38 km of the Mk-1 version. Developed by Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), a lab of DRDO, the latest version of Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher (MBRS) was flight tested from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.
Pinaka MBRS is designed to fire different types of warhead & fuzes from a multi-tube launcher vehicle. The warheads include HMX (high explosive fragmentation), cluster munition–incendiary, anti-personnel, anti-tank and mine-laying. The support equipment consists of a replenishment-cum-loader vehicle, a replenishment vehicle and a command post vehicle. There are two pods containing 6 rockets each, capable of firing in salvo mode within 48 sec neutralizing the area of 700 x 500 m. For the MKII, ARDE made a minor modification of the existing MK-1 launch vehicle and ground systems for firing this new rocket.
“A total of 6 rockets were launched in quick succession and the tests met complete mission objectives. The enhanced version of PINAKA rocket would replace the existing Pinaka Mk-I rockets which are currently under production,” said the DRDO release.
The Pinaka rockets are manufactured by Economic Explosives Limited, a company located in Nagpur with the transfer of technology.
DRDO’s Artillery Command & Control System (ACCS) which integrates the Indian Army’s artillery units also integrate Pinaka MBRS. Currently, the Indian Army uses the Firefinder radars and Swathi Weapon Locating Radar to guide the rockets. Pinaka MBRS can also be used with the Indian Army’s SATA (Surveillance & Target Acquisition) Units.
Pinaka MBRS system replaces the antiquated BM-21 Grad MLRS regiments of Russian origin.