In a sign of the positive and growing relationship between Israel and India, a successful test of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Ltd.’s new Barak 8 aerial defense system, developed in cooperation with both countries, was conducted this week.
The system is a joint venture with the Indian Ministry of Defense, through the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), and the Indian Navy will be among the first to deploy the finished product.
The system is designed to shoot down incoming missiles or aircraft, and can be installed on land or sea platforms, making it incredibly versatile. Monday’s test represents the first combat simulation, and the system operated as designed.
“The current test validated all components of the weapon system to the satisfaction of the customer representatives,” IAI said in a statement.
“The radar tracked the target, and at the right moment the system went into action,” said Boaz Levi, executive vice president and general manager for IAI’s Systems, Missiles & Space Group, said.
“It built up an operational scenario and the mission missile was fired at the right time. It received updates throughout its trajectory.
It then opened its eye and acquired the target through an independent sensor, destroying it completely,” he added.
The deal with DRDO was signed in 2006, and the Indian government, in a statement, called Monday’s test “a milestone in the cooperation between two countries in developing advanced weapon systems.”
On the Israeli side, IAI worked with state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd to develop the long-range surface-to-air missile, and with its own subsidiary, ELTA Systems Ltd., in developing the radar and electronic components for the Barak 8. Defense Industry sources have put the value of the project at $1.4 billion.
The test itself was witnessed by representatives from both sides, including DRDO head Dr. Shri Avinash Chander, representatives of the Indian Defense Ministry, Israeli specialists and IAI president and CEO Joseph Weiss. The system could be in operation as early as 2015 and should offer protection from the Russian Yakhont missiles thought to be in the possession of Hezbollah.
Barak 8 Missile Test