In a big boost for security forces, India on Monday successfully tested two Pinaka guided extended range rockets off the Pokhran Range in Rajasthan. According to reports, both the rockets hit their targets at 90-km range. Pinaka is a multi-barrel rocket launching system developed by Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), for the Indian Army with a range of 38 km. Production of Pinaka rockets by Ordnance Factories (OFs) was started back in 2007-08.
"India today successfully carried out two tests of Pinaka guided extended range rockets off the Pokhran Range in Rajasthan. Both the rockets hit their targets at 90-km range," the news agency ANI reported.
Correction: Two tests of Pinaka guided extended range rockets were carried out by India at Pokhran Range, not Balasore as reported earlier. Error regretted https://t.co/cTLKifB7mt— ANI (@ANI) March 11, 2019
Pinaka, the multiple rocket launcher being used by the Indian Army, is capable of firing a salvo of 12 HE rockets in 44 seconds. The system is mounted on a Tatra truck for mobility. Pinaka was used extensively during the Kargil War to destroy enemy positions on the mountain tops.
Each Pinaka battery consists of six launcher vehicles, each with 12 rockets; six loader-replenishment vehicles; three replenishment vehicles; two Command Post vehicle (one stand by) with a Fire Control computer, and the DIGICORA MET radar. A battery of six launchers is capable of neutralising an area of 1,000 m × 800 m.
The battery which is generally deployed by Army has a total of 72 rockets, which can be fired in 44 seconds. Each launcher can be used to fire rockets in a different direction too. The system has a fire control computer too, which provides it the flexibility to fire all the rockets in one go or only a few.
Each launcher comes equipped with an individual computer, which allows it to operate autonomously if it gets separated from the other five vehicles. The launcher can operate in autonomous mode, stand-alone mode, remote mode and manual mode.
Though the process to introduce the indigenously manufactured Pinaka rockets commenced in 2007, its supply to the Indian Army was halted till July last year due to some errors. The excessive short-ranging of Pinaka rockets were observed during proof firing in March 2011, October 2011, April 2014, March 2015 and December 2015.
Further, problems such as bursting of rockets, burning chunks of propellant were observed during practice field firing of one lot in March 2016 and static and dynamic proof trials of two lots in June 2016.
Post that, an upgraded version of Pinaka rocket, with a guidance system and an enhanced range, was successfully test-fired in Odisha May 2018. The range of that rocket was 70 km.