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Indian Navy successfully test fires surface-to-air missile Barak-8

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INS Kolkata firing the Long-Range Surface-to-Air missile Barak-8. A Navy photo

MUMBAI (PTI): India on Wednesday successfully test-fired a long range surface-to-air missile jointly developed with Israel from its warship in its maiden attempt, joining a select group of countries which has such an anti-air warfare capability for their navies.

In a quantum jump for the country's air defence prowess, the Barak 8 missile fired by the Indian Navy from its warship INS Kolkata on the Western Seaboard successfully intercepted an aerial target at extended ranges, a statement by Indian Navy said.
The missile has a range of nearly 70 km.

The successful firing of the newly-developed Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LR SAM) that was described by the Navy as a "significant milestone" in enhancing its anti-air warfare capability paves the way for installation of the system on India's frontline warships. Only a small club of countries including the US, France, Britain and Israel possess such a capability.

Two missiles were fired on Tuesday and Wednesday on high speed targets, during naval exercises being undertaken in the Arabian Sea. Barak-8 is designed to defend naval vessels against incoming missiles, planes and drones.

Apart from the missile, the system includes a Multi-Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF STAR) for detection, tracking and guidance of the missile. The firing trial of the LR-SAM has been jointly carried out by the Indian Navy, DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

Yossi Weiss, CEO of IAI, has been quoted as having said that the trial was a "most impressive technological achievement" that will benefit both the Indian and Israeli navies, both of which are expected to receive the system in a fully operational mode soon.

Israel-made MF-STAR radar system is capable of simultaneously tracking hundreds of airborne targets to a range of more than 250-km.

DRDL, Hyderabad, a DRDO Lab, has jointly developed this missile in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries. The LR-SAM has been manufactured by M/s Bharat Dynamics Limited.

These Surface-to-Air Missiles are fitted onboard the Kolkata Class Destroyers and would also be fitted on all future major warships of the Navy. The missile along with the MF STAR would provide these ships the capability to neutralise aerial threats at extended ranges.

With the success of these systems, the Indian Navy has become part of a select group of Navies that have this niche capability, which would provide a fillip to India's maritime operations.

The firing trial of the LR SAM has been jointly carried out by the Indian Navy, DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries.

It is expected that India and Israel are likely to win orders worth billions of dollars for the multi-purpose Barak-8 missile system.

Designed to defend against a variety of short-to-long-range airborne threats, including fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, drones and projectiles, Barak-8 incorporates phased array multi-mission radar, two-way data link, and a flexible command and control system, enabling users to simultaneously engage multiple targets day and night.

A Barak-8 battery, including the Adir radar system made by IAI subsidiary Elta Systems, a command and control system, and the missile launchers, is already installed on the deck of Israeli Navy ship Lahav, from which the new interceptor was fired last week as part of a complete trial of the system.

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