Extended range Pinaka rockets successfully tested - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Stuff.
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Saturday, 11 December 2021

Extended range Pinaka rockets successfully tested



 

By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 11th Dec 21

 

One of the army’s most potent fire support systems, the Pinaka Extended Range (Pinaka-ER) Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), was successfully tested with rockets built by the private sector, announced the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Saturday. 

 

The Pinaka MLRS has been successfully developed by two DRDO laboratories in Pune – Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE) and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) – in partnership with two private sector firms, L&T and Tata Power Company Ltd (TPCL)

 

After validating the Pinaka MLRS’s performance, the DRDO transferred the technology to manufacture its rocket ammunition to a Nagpur-based “industry partner” called Economic Explosives.

 

Over the last three days, the DRDO and the army have carried out a series of successful performance trials of the rockets manufactured by Economic Explosives. “In these trials, enhanced range Pinaka rockets were test fired at different ranges with various warhead capabilities. All the trial objectives were met satisfactorily,” stated the DRDO on Saturday.

 

“24 rockets were fired for different ranges and warhead capabilities to meet the objectives of accuracy and consistency. With this, the initial phase of technology absorption of Pinaka-ER… has successfully been completed making the ‘industry partner’ ready for series production of the rocket system,” announced the DRDO.

 

The efficacy of the Pinaka MLRS was first demonstrated during the Kargil War in 1999, when the system, still under development, caused havoc when fired at Pakistani infiltrators’ positions.

 

A Pinaka regiment consists of 18 multi-barrelled launchers, each with 12 launcher tubes. These 216 tubes can bring down on the target seven tonnes of high explosive in just 44 seconds, catching enemy troops in the open without giving them time to take cover. 

 

Earlier, the army fielded the Pinaka Mark I, with a range of 37.5 kilometres and limited accuracy of about 500 metres. In 2016, the army asked the DRDO to provide a guidance kit to each individual rocket. ARDE took up the “Enhanced Pinaka” project, which has made the Pinaka a world-class rocket.

 

The Enhanced Pinaka has demonstrated a range of 75 km and an ability to strike within 10 metres of where it is aimed, allowing the army to destroy a terrorist camp, or an enemy post, logistics dump or headquarters, without needing to send soldiers across the border.

 

Two private industry partners – L&T and TPCL – built the army’s first two Pinaka regiments from 2006-10. In 2016, the MoD contracted for the army’s third and fourth regiments. In August 2020, a third order was placed for six regiments, which will raise the army’s Pinaka inventory to 10 units. These will be equipped with the Pinaka-ER rockets that are now being tested.

 

These 10 regiments will be followed by 12 units of the longer-range Pinaka Mark II MLRS, for which the defence ministry signed a Rs 2,580 crore contract in August 2020.

 

The DRDO briefed Business Standard on a visit to ARDE Pune in March 2020: “The Pinaka II rockets will be fitted with high-tech, inertial navigation systems, which guide each rocket individually to the target. An on-board computer calculates the rocket’s flight path, and, every 20 microseconds, the launcher vehicle sends a path correction message through a radio link. Based on that instruction, the rocket corrects its flight path with thrust vectors, i.e. gases coming out from the propulsion system through nozzles.”




1 comment:

  1. # how do the pinakas compare with norinco's PHL16[type PCL191] and the earlier PHL03. the PHL03 is reported to use "the 300 mm rockets of the BRE family, namely the BRC4, BRE2 and the guided fire dragon 140A which have a range of 130 km. a standard weight for each rocket is 800 kg with a 280 kg warhead. Maximum firing range depends on warhead type with around 70 - 130 km. standard warheads are high explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG), fuel-air explosive, and cluster warheads with anti-armor and anti-personnel submunitions. cluster warheads can also carry self-targeting anti-tank munitions. a full salvo of this system could potentially cover an area of up to 67 hectares". the 0.67 sqkm target spread is to achieve more dense impact points allowing greater destruction with less rockets. how does the pinaka deal with reverse slope enemy weapons systems. the current tactical doctrine is to use MBRL in deep strikes, ie attack and neutralize enemy air defence systems essential to allow air forces to have any semblance of air dominance in even the medium battlespace [beyond the range of conventional artillery]. in the galwan valley and elsewhere in western ladakh PLA deployments are effectively on the reverse slope. if pinaka were indeed successful in neutralizing NLI deployments in kargil then why did we have to bring in special israeli bunker destroying munitions.

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