India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has revealed that its Pinaka extended range multi-barrel rocket launcher system achieved a firing distance of 45 kilometers (27 miles) in a recent trial.

According to the agency, the launcher system fired a total of 24 rockets with various warheads at different ranges to determine accuracy and consistency.

A senior DRDO scientist mentioned that reaching more than 40 kilometers (24 miles) is a “big feat,” since previous versions could only strike targets 37 kilometers (22 miles) away.

The development of the enhanced Pinaka system was taken up to achieve longer range performance. All the flight articles were tracked by various range instruments in order to check the accuracy of the rockets hitting the target.

“The new version is equipped with advanced technology to enhance its strength. Second, the metal weight is lesser compared to the earlier version. These factors are crucial for operational preparedness,” the scientist told the New Delhi-based media outlet.

Four enhanced range version of 122mm Calibre rockets, developed for the Indian Army and which can destroy targets up to 40km, were also test-fired with full instrumentation and they too met all mission objectives. This enhanced rocket system would replace the existing 122mm Grad rockets.

The rocket system has been developed jointly by Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) in Pune and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) with manufacturing support from M/s Economic Explosives Limited in Nagpur.

Once all the tests are complete, mass production of the system will be carried out in Nagpur. The launcher will also be inducted in phases “in the coming months.”