India, actively developing its armed forces and striving to counteract the missile development of China and Pakistan , began to pay attention to missile defense systems (ABM).
Initially, India developed its own Trishul and Akash missile programs . However, they did not live up to expectations after numerous tests, and amid growing demand for missile defense in 2009, India entered into an agreement with Israel to create a new medium-range missile defense system for $ 1.1 billion. The Barak-1 air defense system, which has already been used by both Indian and and the Israeli naval forces, was chosen as the basis for further development of a more advanced missile defense / air defense system, called the Barak-8.
The Barak-8 was developed jointly by the Israeli aerospace industry, the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization, the Israel Weapons and Technology Infrastructure Administration, Rafael, Elta Systems and others. Each Barak complex (missile container, radar, computers and installation) costs about $ 24 million.
The first test of the Barak-8 rocket took place in Israel in May 2010. The certification program of the complex included eight test firing conducted in Israel and India.
Marine Barak-8 / LRSAM
The Barak-8 air defense system is a medium-range air defense system. The complex includes a general command system, a weapon control system, a control, communications and intelligence system. The marine version of the Barak-8 LRSAM complex uses small missiles and a vertical launcher, which makes it occupy a small space on the deck of the ship. The missile is capable of intercepting supersonic marine anti-ship missiles, planes and drones.
The missile is designed to provide a low infrared signature at launch, which increases the survivability of the ship. It is equipped with an active radar finder and a two-way data channel with a weapon control system. The missile has a two-pulse rocket engine with vector thrust control and has a high degree of maneuverability at the target interception range. The second engine starts during the final phase, in which the radar finder is activated to determine the location of the enemy missile.
The Barak-8 has a length of about 4.5 m, a diameter of 0.54 m, a wingspan of 0.94 m and a weight of 275 kg, including a 60 kg warhead. The rocket has a maximum speed of Mach 2. The maximum working range was originally 70 km, but then was increased to 100 km. Interception is possible at a distance of up to 500 meters from the ship.
The Barak-8 is equipped with an EL / M-2248 MF-STARAESA multipurpose phased array radar that provides 360-degree protection against various air threats at a distance of 30–35 km. The radar uses the methods of a multipath, pulse Doppler and electronic counter to detect fast moving targets and targets with a low radar area, even in difficult weather conditions and interference. It is an active electronic control digital radar system that incorporates new and advanced technologies.
From 2016–2017 These complexes began to enter service with Israeli Sa’ar-5 corvettes and Indian Kolkata class destroyers. In the future, the Barak-8 will be installed on four Visakhapatnam-class missile destroyers under construction at the Mazagon shipyard, as well as on the existing aircraft carrier INSVikramaditya and under construction by INSVikranta.
Barak-8 ER / LRSAM
The Barak-8 variant is being developed with an extended range of up to 150 km. The low-launch Barak-8ER is likely to retain the same inertial navigation and active radar search system as the Barak-8. With increasing range, the size of the rocket will increase: its weight and size. If the weight is unknown, then the length should increase from the current 4.5 m to almost 6 m, although the flight length after the launch rocket drop may be slightly less than that of the Barak-8 base rocket. It is assumed that the remaining parameters of the rocket will not change.
Ground Barak-8 / MR-SAM
Also since 2009, the ground-based configuration of the MR-SAM rocket has been developed. The complex consists of a command and control system, radar tracking, stationary and mobile launchers. Each launcher will have eight such missiles in two containers. The system also features an advanced radio frequency finder. Former Indian Minister of Defense Manohar Parrikar said:
“ MR-SAM can detect approaching enemy aircraft at a distance of 100 km and destroy them at an altitude of up to 70 km .”
In 2017, India entered into a contract with Israel for the amount of $ 2.4 billion for the supply of these complexes. The Indian Air Force is supposed to get 450 missiles, and the army 500 missiles. The Indian army will replace the Russian Kvadrat and Osa-AKM air defense systems purchased in the 70s and 80s of the last century. It is expected that the complexes will be deployed by 2023, and the first deliveries will begin in 2020.
Boaz Levy , Executive Vice President and CEO of Systems Missiles & Space Group, an Israeli company, said:
“The Barak-8, with its naval and land versions, is on the list of the most successful Israeli military developments in the world.”