On Tuesday night, the Indian Navy successfully tested a new long-range surface-to-air missile, called the Barak 8 missile defense system, which it developed jointly with Israel.
In a statement, the Indian Defense Ministry called the trial a “significant milestone in enhancing its anti-missile defense capability”.
Photos of test firing of LR-SAMs. pic.twitter.com/kHOFsOVJ3K
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The Israeli navy has installed the system on one of its Sa’ar 5-class warships. India tested it on board its warship, the INS Kolkata, but didn’t say whether or not the system would stay on the ship.
The system uses radar which has undergone upgrades in order to be able to defend Israel against advanced weaponry, like the Russian-made Yakhont P-800 anti-ship missile, which Hezbollah is believed to possess. The radar can detect and track missiles as well as guide them.
Barak 8 can be installed on naval vessels or on the ground. The system is capable of identifying and destroying aerial threats like UAVs (drones), jets, missiles, and rockets. It can reportedly bring down missiles larger than those which the Iron Dome is designed to destroy.
Israel is one of India’s primary sources for arms, numbering among its top three suppliers, but the fact is not widely known because of India’s reluctance to upset its large Muslim population or other Arab countries by publicizing its military relationship with Israel. However, ties between the two countries have grown increasingly stronger in recent months.