The Indian Navy's INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier has successfully conducted the first firing of the new Barak surface-to-air missile system.
Firing tests were carried out in the Arabian Sea as part of the Operational Readiness Inspection programme of the Western Fleet, and saw the Barak surface-to-air missile fired against a live low-flying, high-speed target, reported the Press Trust of India (PTI).
The trial was intended to demonstrate India’s maritime defence capabilities, and was carried out by Western Naval Command flag officer commanding-in-chief vice-admiral Girish Luthra from 21 to 23 March.
An Indian Navy official noted that the Barak missile was successful in engaging and destroying its target, and was quoted by Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) as saying: “The missile marks a significant milestone in providing air interception and defence capabilities, thus enhancing operational capabilities of the navy's aircraft carrier and the fleet.”
The Barak missile system has been recently installed on the aircraft carrier, which is a 44,500t modified Kiev-class vessel originally developed in 1987 to serve the Soviet Navy and was named Baku.
The vessel was later renamed Admiral Gorshkov under the Russian Navy, and was acquired by the Indian Navy in 2004.
INS Vikramaditya is the largest vessel that was added to the Indian Navy fleet on 16 November 2013.