The Indian Navy on Wednesday successfully conducted the maiden firing of its newly developed Long Range Barak 8 Surface-to-Air Missile (LR SAM), crossing a significant milestone in enhancing its anti-air warfare capability.
The Defence Ministry in a statement described the new technology as a “quantum jump in air defence capability of Indian Navy”. The Barak-8 missile is being developed in joint collaboration by India and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
Two tests were held – one last night and another today morning. The weapons system successfully hit its target and completed a series of three tests that demonstrate its readiness.
The Indian ship used to fire the interceptors is significantly larger than the Sa’ar 5 type Israel Navy corvette used for a similar recent trial of the Barak 8.The Barak 8 missile system is designed to defend against hostile aircraft, missiles and rockets, protect naval ships and offshore gas rigs. Barak 8 radar can detect threats at over 100 kilometers.The missile deploys its own electromagnetic sensor as it approaches the target, guiding it on its last phase. Its radar can track multiple targets simultaneously, dividing its energy to cover half a sphere around a naval ship. Barak 8 could become fully operational in a matter of months.
The firing was undertaken on the Western Seaboard by INS Kolkata, wherein the missile successfully intercepted an Aerial Target at extended ranges,” an Indian Ministry of Defence press release said. “The successful conduct of the test has been the result of sustained efforts by all stake holders over the years, DRDL, Hyderabad, a DRDO Lab, has jointly developed this missile in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries,” said the release.These Surface to Air Missiles are fitted onboard the Kolkata Class Destroyers and would also be fitted on all future major warships of the Indian Navy. This missile along with the MF STAR would provide these ships the capability to neutralize aerial threats at extended ranges. “With the successful proving of these systems, Indian Navy has become part of a select group of Navies that have this niche capability, which would provide a fillip to our Maritime Operations,” said the release. The system is “already installed on at least one Israel Navy ship, and on an Indian Navy ship.”