|Vol.7 No.5 October1999 ISSN:0971-4413|
DRDO has achieved another significant breakthrough in free flight artillery rocket system technologies with the indigenous development of a Multibarrel Rocket System Pinaka. With the capability of firing a salvo of 12 rockets in less than 40 s, to a range of 40 km, it will provide a biting tooth to the Indian Army.
Pinaka envisages the use of six launcher vehicles as a battery with two pods mounted on each vehicle. Each pod, in turn, houses six rockets. A battery of six launchers can neutralise an area of 700 m x 500 m. Replenishment-cum-loader vehicles, command post vehicle with fire control computer support the fire power of the battery.
Pinaka is a multidisciplinary system and its development has involved expertise in several areas, including high energy propulsion, specialised submunition warheads, advanced servo-controlled launcher system and fire control computer. The major sub-systems are:
Rocket:For structural stability and to achieve the desired range and accuracy, the overall configuration of the rocket including nose shape of the warhead section has been optimised through extensive aerodynamic studies and analyses.
The propulsion system consists of flow formed motor tubes fabricated from high strength special steel and lined with silica phenolic material. It helps to withstand higher flame temperature arising from composite propellant. High energy composite propellant grain having conventional internal star configuration in association with tapered port gives neutral burning. Optimised nozel design allows attainment of a very high thrust.
Warheads:Several warheads with ET/CVT fuzes are used for providing different target effects. These include prefragmented high explosive (HE), antitank bomblet, antitank minelet, antipersonnel minelet, incendiary practice and pilot shot. High explosive formulations have been developed for these warheads using state-of-the-art casting and pressing technologies. A dual purpose blast-cum-fragmentation high explosive composition is used for monolithic prefragmented warhead, which is 25-30 per cent more powerful than the conventional composition.
An HMX-based composition has been developed and evaluated for antitank bomblets and minelets, which gives respectively the penetration of 100 mm plus and 150 mm in armour.
Vehicle:The launcher system comprises of an indigenously built TATRA 8x8 vehicle with payload of 12 tons. An on-board generator coupled to the vehicle power take off supplies primary power for launcher operation. A microprocessor-based thyristor controller is provided for automatic, fast and accurate laying of launcher in elevation and azimuth. A joy stick controller is provided near sight bracket. A manual back-up is also provided. The operating range is 0 to 55 deg in elevation and +90 to -90 deg in azimuth. The operating speed is 5-6 deg/s and the accuracy is better than 1 m rad.
Launcher:Two pods, each containing six launcher tubes are mounted side by side on a cradle. Each launcher tube, which is disposable, is made by filament winding from E glass/epoxy composite for cost-effective solution. The pods containing rockets are hermetically sealed after their assembly and check-out in a factory. They are loaded/unloaded into the launcher vehicle by a loader crane provided in the replenishment vehicle.
The launcher can operate in the following modes:
Autonomous mode. The launcher is fully controlled by a fire control computer (FCC). The microprocessor on the launcher automatically executes the commands received from the FCC, giving the operator the status of the system on displays and indicators.
Stand-alone mode: In this mode, the launcher is not linked to the FCC operator, and the operator at the console enters all the commands for laying of the launcher system and selection of firing parameters.
Remote mode: In this mode, a remote control unit carried outside the cabin up to a distance of about 200 m can be used to control the launcher system, the launcher site and to unload the fired rocket pods from the launcher.
Manual mode: All launcher operations including laying of the system and firing are manually controlled. This mode is envisaged in the situations where the microprocessor fails or where there is no power to activate the microprocessor-based operators console.
It is used to transfer rocket pods up to the launcher site, to unload the fired rocket pods from the launcher.
Command Post Vehicle
It is used to carry out command, control and direction of fire functions.
Status: Pinaka system is undergoing user-cum-troop trials.
Armaments,Indian Small Arms System, MultiBarrel Rocket System- Pinaka ,Fin Stabilized Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot, Illuminating Ammunition ,Bund Blasting Device,30mm HE Grenade for AGL,Charge Line Mine Clearing Equipment ,Propellant Technology, 84mm Light Weight RL Weapon ,Warheads ,Lead Zirconate Titanate Based Piezoceramics ,Armament Research Board