New Delhi: The MRSAM-Barak-8 missile system, jointly developed by India and Israel will be inducted September 9 by the Indian Air Force in Jaisalmer. The two countries, earlier this year had successfully carried out tests at a facility in India which validated that all the components of the weapons system were working. The induction of MRSAM-Barak-8 missile system will help the IAF in boosting its combat capabilities and protect from enemy aircraft.
MRSAM/Barak-8 missile system has been jointly designed and developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). It may be noted that in 2017, the IAI and India had inked a USD 1.6 billion contract for MRSAM for India’s ground forces. The companies involved in this project include Bharat Dynamics Limited, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Larsen & Toubro (L&T), and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
According to IAI, the MRSAM fills a medium-range gap (70 kilometres) in India. It is an advanced system that provides ultimate protection against different aerial platforms. It has two way data link, advanced phased-array radar, interceptors with advanced RF seeker, command and control, and mobile launchers. The MRSAM is used by IAF and the Navy. The naval version is called LRSAM, and it is based on the Barak 8.
The Barak-1 system is already in service with the Indian and Israeli navies. This system was chosen to be enhanced into a superior air defence missile system. It evolved into a medium range SAM for land forces and this version is called Barak-8 and this has been jointly designed and developed by IAI and DRDO, ELTA Systems, Rafael, and other companies.
This system provides a 360 degree defence against various airborne threats and can engage multiple targets in all weather conditions as well as day/night. The system can be used to defend against helicopters, ballistic missiles, anti-ship missiles, fighter jets, cruise missiles and UAVs.
There are three variants of the Barak-8 system. The first variant, Barak 8 AMD/LRSAM is a naval air defence system. It was originally designed for the Israeli Navy and is now being used in other countries including India. The second variant, MRSAM comes with mobile launchers, tracking radar, command and control system. The third variant, Barak MX comes with a flexible configuration option. It can be used both in land and naval missions.