BALASORE: The Indian Navy successfully conducted the maiden test firing of a brand new Gen-Next Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) Barak-8, achieving a significant milestone in enhancing its anti missile defence capability. The missile has been developed by India in a joint collaboration with Israel.
In a quantum jump in air defence competency, the Navy test fired two Barak-8 missiles – one on Tuesday night and another on Wednesday morning from the stealth destroyer warship INS Kolkata on the Western Seaboard. The missiles successfully intercepted aerial targets at extended ranges.
While earlier two tests were successfully conducted onboard Israeli ships, this is the first time that the missile was fired onboard an Indian warship. With the successful mission, Indian Navy has become part of an elite group of countries that have this niche capability.
Defence sources said the missile successfully intercepted manoeuvring air-breathing target mimicking an attacking combat aircraft. The test validated all the elements related to the naval and land-based variants of the missile including the phased array radar, battle management system, communications and the interceptor.
“In a joint effort by the Navy, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the test firing was a 100 percent success as it destroyed aerial targets as coordinated. All the weapon system's components met mission parameters successfully,” a statement issued by Ministry of Defence (MoD) stated.
The LRSAM has been manufactured by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL). Apart from the missile, the weapon system includes a Multi Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MFSTAR) for detection, tracking and guidance of the missile.
“The Hyderabad based Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), a DRDO Lab has jointly developed this missile in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries. The successful conduct of the test has been the result of sustained efforts by all stake holders over the years which would provide a fillip to our maritime operations,” stated the press release.
Barak-8 is an Indo-Israeli surface-to-air missile (SAM), designed to defend against aircraft, anti-ship missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In January 2007, India and Israel had signed a US$330 million deal to co-develop an all new generation of the Barak SAM.
The weapon system is intended to be mounted either on naval vessels or on the ground, in a battery formation. It can identify and destroy airborne threats like jets, missiles and rockets, including projectiles launched simultaneously. The missile can destroy targets up to 150 km away.
The state-of-the-art missile has a length of about 4.5 meters, a diameter of 0.54 meters, wingspan of 0.94 meters and weighs around 275 kg including a 60 kg warhead which detonates at proximity. The missile has maximum speed of Mach 2 with an operational range of over 75 km. It possesses high degrees of maneuverability at target interception range.
This surface-to-air missile now fitted onboard the Kolkata Class Destroyers would also be integrated on all future major warships of the Indian Navy. This missile along with the MF STAR is expected to provide these ships the capability to neutralize aerial threats at extended ranges.