Development trials of the Indian Army's domestically manufactured Pinaka multiple launch rocket system started this week in the country at the Chandan firing range in Pokhran, Rajasthan.
Missile manufacturer Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) spokesman Ravi Gupta was quoted by The Times of India as saying that the current trials conducted by DRDO scientists and army were aimed at advanced stage development of the Pinaka system.
The trials are scheduled to continue and the missile is expected to enter operational service later this year, Gupta added.
An unidentified army official told said that the Pinaka system has been designed to nullify a large geographical area with rapid firing of rockets.
"With a strike range of 40km, Pinaka could fire a salvo of 12 rockets in 44 seconds," the official added. "It was also put into field testing for assessing its capability during the Kargil conflict."
Designed to replace the army's ageing Russian-built BM-21 Grad launchers, the Pinaka 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 100kg.
The rocket has a range of 40km, and also incorporates several types of warheads, which are capable of destroying the enemy communication centres, air terminal complexes, gun/rocket locations, as well as solid structures and bunkers.
Image: The Indian Army's Pinaka MBRL system will replace the ageing BM-21 Grad launchers. Photo: courtesy of Jjamwal.