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India tests enhanced Pinaka rockets

India's DRDO has undertaken trials of the enhanced version of the MK I rocket used by the Pinaka MBRL. (DRDO)

The Indian Army and the country's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have trialled enhanced versions of 214 mm rockets used by the locally developed Pinaka Multi‐Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL).

The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on 9 April that the flight tests, carried out at its Pokhran firing range in Rajasthan, featured the Pinaka Mk-I (Enhanced) Rocket System (EPRS) and the Pinaka Area Denial Munition (ADM) rocket.

According to the MoD, “A total of 24 EPRS rockets were fired [from] different ranges during the last fortnight. Required accuracy and consistency was achieved by the rockets meeting all trial objectives satisfactorily.”

It added that the trials demonstrated that local industry has successfully integrated Pinaka EPRS and ADM technologies and that the rockets are “ready for user trials [and] series production”.

Developed by the DRDO's Armament Research and Development Establishment in Pune, the Pinaka rocket system has been in service with the Indian Army for more than a decade. The new system‘s EPRS and ADM rockets are intended to meet “emerging requirements”, said the MoD.

Development and production of the new variants is also supported by state-owned firm Munitions India Limited (MIL) and private-sector company Economic Explosives Limited (EEL), based in Nagpur.

The MoD said new tests of the system featured rockets built by MIL. EEL has been producing Pinaka rockets under a contract awarded in 2020.

The EPRS rocket is expected to replace the Indian Army's existing Pinaka Mk I rockets, which have a range of between 38 km and 48 km. The EPRS rocket is expected to have a strike range of between 65 km and 90 km.

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