Enhanced version of the Pinaka Mark (Mk)-1
Recently, an enhanced version of the Pinaka Mark (Mk)-1 missile was successfully flight-tested from the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha.
- The Pinaka, a multi-barrel rocket-launcher (MBRL) system named after Shiva’s bow, can fire a salvo of 12 rockets over a period of 44 seconds.
- One battery of Pinaka system consists of six launch vehicles, accompanied by loader systems, radar and links with network-based systems and a command post. One battery can neutralise an area of 1 km by 1 km.
- As a key tactic of long-range artillery battle, the launchers have to ‘shoot and scoot’ to ensure they themselves do not become the targets, especially being detectable due to its back blast.
- Multiple Variants: DRDO has also developed and successfully tested the Mk-II and guided variants of the Pinaka, which has a range of around 60 km, while the Guided Pinaka system has a range of 75 km and has integrated navigation, control and guidance system to improve the end accuracy and enhance the range.
- The navigation system of Guided Pinaka missile is also aided by the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).
- The enhanced version of the Pinaka Mk-1 system was taken up to achieve longer-range performance compared to the earlier design with lesser length.
- The design and development has been carried out by Pune-based DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) laboratories - Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL).
- The Enhanced Pinaka Mk-1 will eventually replace the Pinaka Mk-1 missiles, which are currently used by regiments of the Indian Army along India’s frontiers with China and Pakistan.
- While the Mark-1 has a range of 38 km, the enhanced version of Mark-1 has a range of 45 km and some key additional features.
- The latest test is in continuation of a number of missile trials conducted by the DRDO in the last two months.
- The test comes months after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced that its acquisition wing signed contracts with three Indian private companies for supply of six regiments of Pinaka Rocket System, to be deployed along borders with Pakistan and China.