SOURCE: PRAVIN DHAUSKAR / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
DRDO Chief Dr S Christopher while speaking to media has hinted that Pinaka MK-1 multiple barrel rocket which first bagged major orders from Indian Army a decade ago (2007) and currently in production at Ambajhari ordnance factory outside Nagpur producing 5000 Rockets a year feels its right time to consider it for export.
DRDO already has demonstrated Guided Pinaka MK-II with under 75km range recently and is anticipating orders for Advance and improved variants in future. DRDO Chief feels export of MK-1 version can keep current existing production open for few more years allowing the country to recover its investment in its development.
DRDO already has commenced developmental work on Pinaka MK-III which will feature 90 to 120 km ranged rockets similar to Russian-supplied Smerch Rockets already in service with Indian Army. MK-II might soon be going for user trials leading to orders from Indian Army which will be marking a gradual shift to MK-II from MK-I.
Pinaka MK-1 has a maximum range of 39-40 km and fires a salvo of 12 HE rockets in under 40 seconds, with a beaten zone of 3.9 square kilometres.