When indigenous missile programs “Trishul” and “Akash” failed to live up to expectations after multiple trials and amidst the growing need for long range SAMs (surface to air missiles), India partnered with Israel to create a new medium shipborne air defence missile system. The Barak-1 system, which was already in service with both Indian and Israeli navies, was chosen to be further enhanced into a superior air defense missile system.
Initially developed as a shipborne air defense missile system for navy only, it subsequently evolved into a medium range SAM for land forces. The current version is called Barak-8, which has been jointly designed and developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Israel’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, Rafael, Elta Systems and other companies.
1. What makes Barak-8 a standout performer?
The Barak-8 Surface-to-Air Missile Defence system or LRSAM provides a 360-degree defence against various airborne threats. Complemented by a state-of-the-art multi-mission radar, flexible control and command system, and two-way data link, Barak-8 can engage multiple targets at the same time during day and night in all weather conditions.
As a versatile performer, this missile can defend against any Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), helicopters, and aircraft, anti-ship missiles, ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and fighter jets.
2. What are the different variants of the Barak-8 system?
Currently, there are three variants of the Barak-8 system.
The first one is called Barak 8 AMD/LRSAM, which is a naval air defence system, originally designed for the Israeli Navy and currently used by other countries including India.
The second variant is called MRSAM or a medium-range, land-based missile system, which comes with a tracking radar, a command and control system, and mobile launcher systems.
The third variant is known as Barak MX, which comes with a flexible configuration option, making it useful both in naval and land missions.
3. What is the range of Barak-8 system?
The Barak-8 has an operational range of 100 km. Its advance version or Barak-8ER can neutrilise targets up to 150 km. Besides its own Barak 8 Radar, this weapon system is also supported by multi-function surveillance track and guidance radars, which enables it to hit targets with precision.