INDIA. Mumbai: Continuing the development of Artillery Rocket Systems, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired extended-range version of indigenously developed Pinaka rocket from a Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) at Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha on Friday.
Twenty-five Enhanced Pinaka Rockets were launched in quick succession against targets at different ranges. All the mission objectives were met during the launches. The enhanced range version of the Pinaka Rocket System can destroy targets at distances up to 45 km. All the flight articles were tracked by Range instruments including Telemetry, Radar, and Electro-Optical Tracking systems deployed by ITR & Proof and Experimental Establishment (PXE).
The rocket system has been developed jointly by Pune-based Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) with manufacturing support from M/s Economic Explosives Limited(EEL), Nagpur. The development of the Enhanced Pinaka system was taken up to achieve longer range performance.
Enhanced range 122 mm caliber rocket
Similarly, the DRDO successfully test-fired enhanced range versions of indigenously developed 122mm Caliber Rocket from an MBRL, Chandipur on Friday. Four enhanced range versions of 122mm rockets were test-fired with full instrumentation and they met the complete mission objectives. These rockets have been developed for Army applications and can destroy targets up to 40 km. All the flight articles were tracked by Range instruments, including Telemetry, Radar, and Electro-Optical Tracking System deployed by ITR and PXE. The rocket systems have been developed jointly by ARDE and HEMRL with manufacturing support from EEL, Nagpur. This enhanced rocket system would replace the existing 122mm Grad rockets.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO on the successful launch of the rockets. Similarly, DRDO Chairman and Secretary, Department of Defence R&D Dr. G Satheesh Reddy commended the efforts of the teams involved in the successful trials.
In the meanwhile, the Defence Minister reviewed the progress of construction of the first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) built by M/s Cochin Shipyard Ltd., at Kochi on Friday. He was accompanied by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command Vice Admiral AK Chawla. He visited the construction site and was briefed about the successful Basin Trials completed during November 2020.
The IAC would be commissioned as INS Vikrant in the first half of 2022, which would be the most potent sea-based asset. The ship shall operate MiG-29K fighter aircraft, Kamov-31 Air Early Warning Helicopters, the soon-to-be-inducted MH-60R multi-role helicopter, and the indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters. It would offer an incomparable military instrument with its ability to project Air Power over long distances, including Air Interdiction, Anti-Surface Warfare, offensive and defensive Counter-Air, Airborne Anti-Submarine Warfare, and Airborne Early Warning.
During Singh’s visit, an exhibition showcasing the Indian Navy’s various ongoing innovations and indigenization aligning with the nation’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic was also organized. The major exhibits included the Oxygen Recycling System (ORS), which is at present under clinical trials at Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology, Navrakshak PPE and masks currently being used in PM CARES Hospitals; Remote Patient Monitoring System and several such other innovations which had provided affordable, effective and user-friendly medical solutions.
Singh was also apprised about the assistance rendered to civil agencies such as the Fire Safety Audit of hospitals and specialized training on PSA Oxygen Plants in addition to an overview of the Samudra Setu II and Oxygen Express Operations. He also interacted with 10-year-old Veer Kashyap, a student of Navy Children School Kochi, who had won the Pradhan Mantri Bal Puraskar 2021 for developing an innovative board game ‘Corona Yuga’ for educating and creating awareness about the pandemic among the public at large.
The IAC that will be named INS Vikrant, after its decommissioned sibling, can carry a total of 30 aircraft (fighters and helicopters). The biggest ship made in India and carrying a price tag of Rs 20,000 crore, it has an overall length of 263 m and a breadth of 63 m. The towering vessel has 15 decks and a displacement (weight) of 40,000 tonnes. Propelled by four gas turbines, it is expected to touch up to a speed of 30 knots (approximately 55 kmph). Its endurance is 7500 nautical miles at a speed of 18 knots(32 kmph).
India’s first aircraft carrier INS Vikrant was decommissioned in 1997. India’s second aircraft career INS Viraat was commissioned on May 12, 1987 and was decommissioned in 2017. Both the aircraft careers originated from UK. The existing aircraft career-INS Vikramaditya joined the Indian Navy on November 16, 2013. The warship is a modified Kiev-class aircraft carrier purchased by India from Russia, which was renamed in honour of Vikramaditya, the legendary emperor. The plan for the ongoing IAC project was floated in 1989, but the design work began in 1999 after the then defence minister George Fernandes greenlighted the project.