The Barak 8 missile system, due to be installed on both Israeli and Indian battleships, tested successfully Monday, good news for the navy’s flagship project.
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The Barak 8, an upgraded version of the Barak system both countries already use, is designed to defend naval vessels against incoming missiles, planes and drones.
The test was conducted by Israel Aerospace Industries, which is developing the system with the Defense Ministry, India’s defense R&D organization, Israel’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, Elta Systems, Rafael and other companies.
Deployment has been delayed by problems in perfecting the missile’s engine, but researchers say the issues are being resolved and the system is expected to be installed on Israel Navy vessels in about a year.
During the test, the system detected the target and destroyed it with an interceptor missile. “The weapons system and all its components met all the objectives set for it,” Israel Aerospace Industries said in a statement.
The system includes a radar system dubbed Barak Adir (Mighty Lightning), whose detection capacity is particularly long-range.
The radar is already installed on one warship, but the overall system is still in the testing phase. The missiles have an interception range of around 70 kilometers.
Israel Aerospace Industries described the system as “an air defense breakthrough that provides a response to a variety of threats in sea and land theaters.”
As a senior naval officer has put it: “The goal is to enable naval boats to be part of a broader defense umbrella against the full range of aircraft and missiles, along with anything that threatens seafaring vessels, whether it’s an attacking plane or missile, including naval cruise missiles.”
A vessel bearing the Barak 8 system near offshore gas rigs would be well placed against an advanced cruise missile like the Russian-made Yakhont, for example.
Shri Avinash Chander, a senior Indian defense official, called Monday’s test “a significant milestone” in the defense cooperation between his country and Israel.
Boaz Levi, vice president at Israel Aerospace Industries and director of its missile and space-systems division, called the test an example of the cooperation between the Defense Ministry, Israeli defense contractors, and clients in Israel and abroad.