Delhi: Ordnance factories have emerged as another player that can now contend for getting a contract to make enhanced Pinaka rocket systems for the Army reported TOI.

The rockets jointly made by Yantra India Limited (YIL) and Munitions India Limited (MIL ) — the new PSUs formed out of ordnance factories — successfully completed test fire of the enhanced range rockets at Pokhran on Tuesday. This clears the way for advanced stages like users trials and financial bidding as and when the Army issues a request for proposal (RFP) for the rockets.

Lately, Solar Group, a private company from Nagpur, had successfully test-fired enhanced Pinaka rockets, making it eligible for further processes, including user trials and bidding for orders on basis of RFP. Now both Solar and the PSUs can compete for the orders.

The trials lasted for two days during which 24 enhanced range rockets were fired at four different ranges. All the objectives were met and the trials were 100% successful, stated a press release.

The enhanced Pinaka rockets have a range of 45 km as against 39 km of the basic version, which is also being made at the ordnance factory.

The rockets have been made on the basis of design by Armament Research and Design Establishment (ARDE), and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), which come under DRDO. 

“Now, with the validation done in terms of design, user trials which are done along with Army, can be carried out. Success of the current trial means that there is one more established manufacturing agency for the rockets,” said an official here.

Currently, the Army is using the Pinaka Mk1 rockets, which have a range of 39 km. The bulk production is being done at ordnance factory Ambajhari, which has now become YIL, along with MIL that has factories at Itarsi and Chandrapur under it.

The Army plans to eventually replace Pinaka MK-1 with the enhanced version.

YIL had also recently tested the Pinaka rockets with dual purpose improved conventional munition (DPICL) warhead, and is now awaiting user trials for this version. Also known as area denial munition (ADM), this version has bomblets which explode creating a larger impact. As against the benchmark of 90% bomblets going off, the YIL rocket got a score of over 96%.

The hardware for the rockets is made by YIL which is based at Nagpur, and explosives are made by MIL that has its headquarters in Pune.

Similar trials are planned for the Pinaka guided rocket version also.