Bengaluru: India on Wednesday successfully test-fired an enhanced version of Pinaka rocket system.
According to Ministry of Defence, the Pinaka rocket system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was flight-tested from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.
Six rockets were launched in quick succession and all the tests met complete mission objectives.
"We are happy with the results. The flight data from each firing will be now analysed to see the progress we have made in this new version," an official said.
All the flight articles were tracked by range instruments such as telemetry, radar and electro optical tracking systems, confirming various flight performances.
Enhanced version of the Pinaka rocket would replace the existing Pinaka Mk-I rockets which are currently under production.
DRDO took up the development of enhanced Pinaka system to achieve longer range performance compared to earlier design with reduced length.
The design and development has been carried Armament Research and Development Establishment and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory, both based out of Pune.
MoD said the rockets tested today were manufactured by Economic Explosives Limited based out of Nagpur, to whom the technology has been transferred.
In August this year, the MoD had signed contracts worth Rs 2,580 crore with multiple companies for supply of Pinaka regiments to the Indian Army, giving a renewed push to the self-reliance initiatives.
Accordingly, separate pacts were inked Bharat Earth Movers Ltd,. Tata Power Company Ltd and Larsen & Toubro for the supply of six Pinaka regiments.
These regiments comprise 114 launchers with Automated Gun Aiming & Positioning System, 45 Command Posts and 330 vehicles.
MoD said that the regiments will be operationalised along the northern and eastern borders to enhance the operation preparedness of our armed forces.
As per the current plan, the induction of these regiments will be completed by 2024.
"Several new systems are on board the enhanced version making it more lethal weapon. There will be more tests lined up to test some of the advanced features as well," an official said.
The rocket takes its name from Lord Shiva's bow.
DRDO chairman Dr G Satheesh Reddy had told Onmanorama early this year in an interview that his team is committed to the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"The PM has given the mandate of defence export of $5 billion in the next five years. We have taken several steps to reduce the important content in defence manufacturing by looking at various means to boost the indigenous contribution," Dr Reddy had said.
In the last one month alone, DRDO test-fired over a dozen missiles, catching up with the time lost this year following the COVID-19 outbreak.