The EPRS (Enhanced Pinaka Mk-I Rocket System) was successfully fired in a series of tests conducted last week in Rajasthan’s Pokhran range. Now that these tests have been completed, the missile system developed by the DRDO’s Pune facilities is ready for user trials and series production.
At least 24 EPRS rockets were fired over the past two weeks, according to DRDO officials, in various ranges and configurations. Accuracy and consistency were met by the rockets in all of their tests. Agency officials claim that the industry partners are now ready for user trials and series production of the rocket system following the completion of the first phase of EPRS technology absorption by the industry.
As a tribute to the god Shiva’s bow, the Pinaka rocket system was named after it by the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory in Pune (HEMRL).
The Area Denial Munition (ADM), developed by the ARDE for Pinaka and manufactured by industry partners under technology transfer, was also successfully tested as part of the same trials. ADMs are a type of ammunition used to keep the enemy from occupying or passing through a specific area. A variety of munitions and fuzes for use in the Pinaka rocket system were put to the test during these trials as well.
For the past decade, the Indian Army has been using the Pinaka variant of the EPRS, an upgraded version of the weapon. Through the use of advanced technology, the range has been widened to meet the evolving needs of the battlefield. It was only after Pinaka’s enhanced range version was proven to be effective that the technology was transferred to Munitions India Limited (MIL), the newly formed Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU) with its Pune headquarters and the private player Economic Explosives Limited with its Nagpur headquarters.
Recent flight tests have utilised rockets developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and produced by MIL. The Pokhran Field Firing Range was also used to test various munitions and fuzes that can be used in the Pinaka rocket system.
The DRDO began work on the Pinaka multi-barrel rocket system in the late 1980s as an alternative to the Russian-made Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher systems known as the “Grad,” which are still in use by some regiments. This weapon was first put to the test in the Kargil conflict of 1999, where it performed admirably after passing all of its preliminary tests. Following this, in the 2000s, a number of regiments were established to implement the system. When compared to the original Mark-1, the enhanced version tested in the last fortnight has a range of 45 kilometres and a number of important additional features.
As well as developing the Pinaka Mk. II (60 km range), the DRDO also developed and successfully tested the Guided Pinaka system (75 km range). Navigation, control, and guidance systems have been integrated into the device to improve the final accuracy and extend the range. The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) assists the Guided Pinaka Missile’s navigation system (IRNSS).