Naval Barak-8 is a long-range surface-to-air missile jointly developed by Israel and India. Image courtesy of Georges Seguin.
Kolkata Class guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy will be armed with the Naval Barak-8 long-range surface-to-air missiles (SAMs). Image courtesy of Chanakyathegreat.
Eight-cell missile launcher of the Barak-8 surface-to-air missile. Image courtesy of Tal Inbar.

Naval Barak-8 is a long-range anti-air and anti-missile naval defence system being developed jointly by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) of India. Surface-to-air missiles (SAM) can counter attack aircraft, UAVs and incoming anti-ship missiles. The missile is expected to enter service with the Indian Navy in 2013.

In January 2006, India and Israel signed a $350m agreement to co-develop a new generation long-range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM) for Indian Navy ships.

In April 2009, Israel signed a $1.1bn contract to deliver an upgraded Barak-8 air defence system to India. Deliveries are expected to be concluded by 2017.

Development and tests of the long-range anti-air / anti-missile

"In January 2006, India and Israel signed a $350m agreement to co-develop a new generation long-range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM) for Indian Navy ships."

Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and Elta Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of IAI, were subcontracted for the Barak-8 joint development programme. Rafael provides missile interceptors, while Elta is responsible for the radar system.

The first test of Barak-8 missile took place in Israel in May 2010. The next test is planned to be conducted in Israel in 2012. The weapon qualification programme will involve eight test firings conducted in Israel and India prior to entry into service.

Components of the missile system, including the four-plane MF-STAR radars and shipboard electronic modules were delivered to India for final assembly.

Naval Barak-8 missiles will be installed on the three Project 15A Kolkata Class guided-missile destroyers under construction at the Mazagon shipyard in India. Delivery of the first frigate is scheduled for 2012, and Barak-8 missiles aboard the frigate are expected to become operational in 2013.

Four Project 15B Kolkata Class destroyers will also be armed with extended range surface-to-air missiles (ER-SAM). The extended-range missile can strike targets within the range of 100km.

Naval Barak-8 design and features

Barak-8 is a safe carry and launch missile for ships and is based on the small missile and proven vertical launcher concept. It can be easily fitted to existing or new warships, as the installation of the vertical launcher requires small deck space.

"In April 2009, Israel signed a $1.1bn contract to deliver an upgraded Barak-8 air defence system to India."

The system components include vertically launched missile, a dual-pulse rocket motor, active radar seeker and a two-way data link.

The missile is capable of intercepting supersonic sea-skimming anti-ship missiles and high altitude targets. It can simultaneously engage multiple targets in severe saturation scenarios. The multitarget capability will be achieved by a high performance warhead with an effective hit-to-kill mechanism.

The missile demonstrates exceptional interception characteristics throughout a very wide operational envelope. The same interceptor missile can be equipped with an additional booster motor for increasing the range. An advanced stand alone data link supports multiple simultaneous target intercepts and optimised wide area protection.

The missile will have a length of about 4.5m, diameter of 0.54m and a wingspan of 0.94m. It can travel at a maximum speed of Mach 2, with an operational range of 70km.

MF-STAR radar used on the jointly developed naval defence system

The MF-STAR radar will provide mid-course guidance updates for the missile initially after the launch from the ship. MF-STAR is a multifunction surveillance track and guidance radar for modern naval ships.

The radar uses multibeam, pulse Doppler and electronic counter-counter measures (ECCM) techniques to detect fast moving and low-RCS targets, even in complex environments / conditions and jamming environments.

The radar system provides 360° degree coverage and allows interception of incoming missile as close as 500m away from the ship. During the terminal phase, the second motor will be fired and active radar seeker will be activated to home on to the target.

Propulsion of the Israeli / Indian surface-to-air missiles

Propulsion power for the missile will be provided by a dual pulse rocket motor developed by DRDO. The prototypes were delivered to IAI for final assembly, along with other systems to produce the complete missile.

The rocket motor provides high manoeuvrability at target interception range throughout the wide envelope of the missile.

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