The Israel Navy has reportedly carried out test-firing of the Barak 8 medium-range surface-to-air missile from a Sa’ar 5-class corvette INS Lahav for the first time.
During testing, which was conducted in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries, the missile successfully "intercepted a small drone simulating an enemy craft."
According to analysts, the missile would be deployed to secure the country’s offshore gas rigs. Israel conducted the first test of Barak-8 missile in May 2010.
An unnamed military official was quoted by Associated Press as saying: "The system extends the range of Israel’s aerial defence and that the system, being developed with India, should be operational in about two years."
The missile is being co-developed under a partnership agreement between the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD) and India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
Featuring Israel’s MF-STAR radar system and rocket motor from India, the Barak-8 system is aimed at offering improved protection against a range of aerial platforms and land and naval scenarios.
The Indian Navy has completed integration of the Barak-8 long-range surface-to-air missiles on its Kolkata-class guided-missile destroyer, INS Kolkata.
Testing from the Indian destroyer is supposed to be carried out this month.
Capable of accommodating a crew of 74, the Sa’ar 5-class vessels are armed with either a Raytheon / General Dynamics mk15 Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS) or an Oto Melara 76mm gun, as well as six 324mm mk32 torpedo tubes for ATK mk46 torpedoes.