India test-fires long range Pinaka rocket system, will be deployed to counter China

India on Wednesday successfully flight-tested the enhanced version of Pinaka multi-barrel rocket system (MRLS). Indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the enhanced Pinaka along with guidance Pinaka will cover the range between 60 to 90 kilometres and will be deployed by the Indian Army.

The test-flight was carried out from Integrated Test Range (ITR) 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), which will now be phased out. 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).

Watch: DRDO successfully test-fires advanced version of Pinaka rockets

“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 36 km, this enhanced variant can hit a target 45 to 60 km away and has been developed as per requirements of the Indian Army.

The DRDO had last year tested guided 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. The guided Pinaka is more of a missile that can be pin-pointed on the target.

“The enhanced Pinaka has been developed to counter the People’s Liberation Army threat in East Ladakh with the Chinese deploying large number of rocket regiments in support of artillery guns. The rocket regiments are central to Chinese war fighting for saturation bombardment of the targets. The enhanced Pinaka and guided Pinaka have both been cleared for deployment on the borders,”said a senior DRDO official.

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