India on Wednesday successfully flight-tested the enhanced version of Pinaka multi-barrel rocket system (MRLS) in Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha. 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 km and will be deployed by the Indian Army. A total of six rockets were launched in succession using Pinaka and the tests met complete mission objectives. All the flight articles were tracked by range instruments such as telemetry, radar and Electro Optical Tracking Systems (EOTS) which confirmed the flight performance. The enhanced version of the Pinaka rocket would replace the existing Pinaka Mk-1 rockets and can fill a critical gap of hitting targets that are not so far away, within a close range. The guided Pinaka is more of a missile that can be pin-pointed on the target. 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.
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). The rockets have been manufactured by Nagpur-based M/s Economic Explosives Limited, to whom the technology has been transferred. Part of the multi-barrel rocket launcher systems, Pinaka rockets have been successfully deployed by India for operations in China and Pakistan.