SP's LandForces - - NEWS IN BRIEF -

The In­dian De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s ( DRDO) Ar­ma­ment Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Es­tab­lish­ment (ARDE) lab­o­ra­tory has eval­u­ated sub­mu­ni­tion war­heads for the Pinaka I multi-bar­rel rocket launcher (MBRL) sys­tem at Pokhran field fir­ing range in Ra­jasthan. ARDE Di­rec­tor Dr K.M. Ra­jan said that the tests form a part of the proof tri­als for the pro­duc­tion lot of Pinaka I, which ran­domly picks up Pi­nakas to eval­u­ate the per­for­mance stan­dards of a spe­cific lot at reg­u­lar pe­ri­ods. Ra­jan said: “Com­plete sys­tems, sub­sys­tems and ef­fi­ciency for these sub­mu­ni­tion war­heads have been tested.” The suc­cess­ful tri­als are ex­pected to al­low for the use of these sub­mu­ni­tion war­heads in Mark-II ver­sion of Pinaka, which will have a 20-km op­er­a­tional range. De­signed to re­place the In­dian Army’s age­ing Rus­sian-built BM-21 Grad launch­ers, the Pinaka is ca­pa­ble of de­stroy­ing op­po­si­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion cen­tres, air ter­mi­nal com­plexes, and gun/rocket lo­ca­tions, as well as solid struc­tures and bunkers. The sys­tem fea­tures six launcher ve­hi­cles of 12 rock­ets each, as well as two com­mand post ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing a fire con­trol com­puter, Digi­cora MET radar, and six loader/re­plen­ish­ment ve­hi­cles with a pay­load of 100 kg.

An undis­closed DRDO of­fi­cial told The Times of In­dia: “We have seen Pinaka’s per­for­mance dur­ing the Kargil episode. Now this thermo-baric am­mu­ni­tion is able to op­er­ate from a mo­bile launcher at ex­treme tem­per­a­ture ranges of -10°C to 55°C with a quicker re­ac­tion time. It also has the ca­pa­bil­ity to carry var­i­ous kinds of war­heads. It has now be­come more lethal.”

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