New Delhi (Sputnik) — India's defense scientists have successfully test-fired an upgraded version of the 214 mm Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher that will replace the Russia-made SMERCH. The test was carried out from a multi-barrel launcher at about 10.35 a.m. (Indian Standard Time) from a firing point of the Proof & Experiment Establishment (PXE) under DRDO.
"This conversion has considerably enhanced the range and accuracy of Pinaka," defense sources told Sputnik.
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.
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.