The Indian arms developer DRDO has test-fired the guided version of India’s indigenous rocket artillery system, Pinaka, just as its rival Pakistan successfully tested new air-to-surface munitions.
Pinaka was originally developed by India as a domestic replacement for Russian multiple rocket launchers. Pinaka Mark II, or Guided Pinaka, is a different kind of weapon meant to deliver precise strikes at a long distance thanks to a guidance system installed on its rocket.
On Monday, India’s Defense Research and Defense Organization (DRDO) conducted its latest test of the guided projectile at the Pokhran test range in the western state of Rajasthan, firing two projectiles. A third test took place on Tuesday.
The guided surface-to-surface missile has been in development for years, with the first successful test reported in January 2013. It has the same 100kg warhead as the older MRL rocket with a greater reported range of up to 75km.
The Indian test coincides with Pakistan showing off a new domestically produced “smart,” extended-range munition deployed by a JF-17 Thunder, a Chinese-Pakistani fighter jet.
Last month, the two regional rivals saw the biggest flare-up of tensions in years after the Indian Air Force launched an air raid in Pakistani territory to target a suspected militant camp. Pakistan retaliated the next day with an air mission on its own, during which one Indian MiG-21 jet was shot down. The period of escalation seems to have quietened down a bit, but both nations seem to be in the mood for some flexing of their military muscles in the aftermath.
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