The Mk-1 Enhanced Rockets have 25% more range (47.5 km from 37.5 km) and 5 years more shelf life (15 years against 10 years) than the earlier developed Mk-1 Pinaka Rocket. “These also have a superior construction technique with changed propellant casting, which leads to better reliability,” an EEL officials says.
A public private partnership (PPP) that has been in the works for almost three years is behind the enhanced range of the indigenous Pinaka multi barrel rocket systems that was demonstrated at a testing range in Balasore on Wednesday.
While the Pinaka system was designed over two decades ago, its rockets have now got an enhanced range of over 47 km, showing a 25 percent increase. Also, the new rockets will have a service life of 15 years against the older version of 10 years.
“A total of six rockets were launched in quick succession and the tests met complete mission objectives. Rockets tested have been manufactured by M/s Economic Explosives Limited, Nagpur, to whom the technology has been transferred.
All the flight articles were tracked by range instruments such as telemetry, radar and electro-optical tracking systems which confirmed the flight performance,” the Defence Ministry said.
The enhanced version of the Pinaka rocket would replace the existing Pinaka Mk-I rockets which are currently under production, the ministry said.
On August 31, in a further boost to the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative in the defence sector, a Rs 2,580 crore ($3.7 million) deal was signed with three companies – one state-owned and two private entities – to provide six additional regiments of the Pinaka missile system to the Indian Army.
The contract comprises 114 Launchers with Automated Gun Aiming & Positioning System (AGAPS) and 45 Command Posts to be procured from Tata Power Company Ltd (TPCL) and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and 330 transporters to be procured from Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. (BEML).
The Pinaka is a complete MBRL (Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher) system, with each regiment consisting of three batteries. Each Pinaka battery consists of: six launcher vehicles, each with 12 rockets; six loader-replenishment vehicles; three replenishment vehicles; two Command Post vehicles (one stand by) with a Fire Control computer, and the DIGICORA MET radar. A battery of six launchers can neutralise an area of 1,000 m × 800 m.
To be operationalised along the country’s northern and eastern borders to further enhance the operation preparedness of the armed forces, the induction of the additional six Pinaka regiments is planned to be completed by 2024, the Defence Ministry said. The Indian Army currently deploys seven Pinaka regiments.
The project, under the Buy (Indian) categorisation, with 70 per cent indigenous content, has been approved by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The Pinaka system has been indigenously designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and productionised by BEML, TPCL and L&T in “a flagship project showcasing public private partnership under the aegis of Government of India (DRDO & MoD) enabling Aatmnirbharta in cutting edge defence technologies,” a Defence Ministry statement said.