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Pinaka guided rockets successfully test fired; All you need to know about this deadly weapon system

By Vishal S

New Delhi, Mar 11: The DRDO made Pinaka guided rocket system was on Monday successfully test fired in Rajasthan's Pokhran. Two tests of Pinaka guided extended range rockets were carried out at Pokhran Range, reported news agency ANI.

The earlier Pinaka system, which was an unguided one, has now been upgraded into a guided version, with a navigation, guidance and control kit developed by the Research Centre, Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad.

Pinaka guided rockets successfully test fired; All you need to know about this deadly weapon system

Last year in June, the Pinaka rocket, capable of decimating 900 square meters of an area from a 20-80 kilometers, was successfully test fired with enhanced range and guidance system from Chandipur in Odisha.

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The weapon system is now equipped with state-of-the-art guidance kit comprising of an advanced navigation and control system.

"The indigenously developed guided Pinaka, developed by DRDO, will significantly boost the capability of the artillery to make precision hits," the defence ministry said after today's test, as per a PTI report.

About the tests, it said the weapon systems impacted the intended targets with high precision and achieved desired accuracies. "Telemetry systems tracked and monitored the vehicle all through the flight path. All the mission objectives have been met," the ministry said.

The Pinaka rocket will gradually replace the Russian SMERCH, which can flatten an area of 1.1 sq km. The Indian Army intends to have 22 Pinaka regiments by 2026 including 12 regiments of guided Pinaka missiles. Each regiment would consist of three batteries of six Pinaka launchers mounted on Tatra trucks.

The Indian Army has 62 SMERCH batteries, which provide lethal support to infantry and tanks in launching attacks, Sputnik News had reported earlier.

Pinaka rocket's development and features:

The first Pinaka regiment was raised on February 2000. Each regiment consists of three batteries of six Pinakas each, plus reserves. On 29 March 2006, the Indian Army awarded Tata Power SED and Larsen & Toubro's Heavy Engineering Division a contract worth Rs 200 crore, to produce 40 Pinaka MBRLs each. Tata Power SED declared that it would be delivering the first units within six months.

The Pinaka rocket is used as an area destruction weapon that can virtually decimate 900 square meters of an area from a 20-80 kilometer range by firing a salvo of 12 rockets in 44 seconds. The guided rocket is powered by the solid-propellant motor and can be fitted with three warheads: a pre-fragmented high-explosive (PFHE), an incendiary, or a reduced HE (RHE) practice warhead. Flight stabilization is provided by six clipped-deltas, side-folding fins at the rear of the rocket. Pinaka is a complete MBRL system, each Pinaka battery consists of: six launcher vehicles, each with 12 rockets; six loader-replenishment vehicles; three replenishment vehicles; two Command Post vehicle (one stand by) with a Fire Control computer, and the DIGICORA MET radar.

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A battery of six launchers can neutralise an area of 1,000 m × 800 m. The Army generally deploys a battery that has a total of 72 rockets. All the 72 rockets can be fired in 44 seconds, taking out an area of 1 km2. Each launcher can fire in a different direction too. The system has the flexibility to fire all the rockets in one go or only a few.[10] This is made possible with a fire control computer. There is a command post linking together all the six launchers in a battery. Each launcher has an individual computer, which enables it to function autonomously in case it gets separated from the other five vehicles in a war.

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