Big Shock for China-Barak 8 Missile Defence System to be installed on INS Vikrant Aircraft Carrier
Israel has recently signed a $2 billion deal to supply a missile defense system to the Indian Army, which can destroy aircraft, missiles and drones within a radius of 70 km.
Reports have it that the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will jointly build 16 launchers and 560 missiles, including the Barak-8 mid-range missile system.
Israel Aerospace Industries, a defense company in Israel, has received the contract to supply mid-range advanced missile systems to India in what is being called ‘the largest defense contract between the two countries’.
Apart from this, there has also been an agreement for the installation of this missile system in 40 INS Vikrant aircraft carriers.
This defense agreement of worth $2 billion was finalised before Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Israel, and is believed to be crucial in strengthening the bilateral defense strategic partnership between the two countries.
Earlier in February, the Cabinet Committee on Security, under supervision of PM Modi, had approved the missile defense system project. It will cost Rs 16 thousand 830 crore.
Barak 8 also known as LR-SAM or as MR-SAM is an Indian-Israeli surface-to-air missile (SAM), designed to defend against any type of airborne threat including aircraft, helicopters, anti-ship missiles, and UAVs as well as cruise missiles and combat jets out to a maximum range of 70 km, however, reports suggest the missile has been increased to a maximum range of 90 km following “range upgrade discussions” between India and Israel during November 2014.Some news agencies have referred to the missiles range at 100 km.Both maritime and land-based versions of the system exist.
The Barak-8 has been designed to defend against a variety of short-to-long-range airborne threats, including fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, drones and projectiles. It incorporates a state-of-the-art phased array multi- mission radar, two-way data link, and a flexible command and control system that enables it to simultaneously engage multiple targets day and night and in all-weather conditions. Due to the comprehensive simulation and preliminary subsystem testing, only three flight tests are sufficient to clear the system for operational induction. Additional tests will follow the initial phase to further explore the system’s performance and capability enhancements.
Barak 8 is based on the original Barak 1 missile and is expected to feature a more advanced seeker, alongside range extensions that will move it closer to medium range naval systems like the RIM-162 ESSM or even the SM-2 Standard. Israel successfully tested its improved Barak II missile on July 30, 2009. The radar system provides 360 degree coverage and the missiles can take down an incoming missile as close as 500 meters away from the ship.
This missile was primarily developed by Israel to equip its warships to protect them from the Yakhont missiles which its neighbor was procuring. Israeli ships carried only short range SAMs and didn’t have modern radars capable of handling a dedicated attack by its enemies using Yakhont missiles. The answer to this problem was the extremely agile and accurate Barak-8 which packed the best available technology into a medium sized missile. With a max range of 90+ km, it operates in conjunction with the MF-STAR radar which can detect sea skimming missiles at 30-35 km range. It combined a medium range and short range missile into one missile, having a minimum engagement range of just 300 m and max of 90+ km. There are claims that a single Barak-8 can stop a BrahMos as close as 500 m from a ship. One of the reasons behind the claims is that the Barak-8 is very accurate and has an active homing radar seeker, which enables the ship to technically forget about the missile after its launch and the missile finds the target on its own although the ship does provide guidance and mid-course updates.
The Barak 8 missile system can operate by night as well as by day in addition to all weather conditions. It is capable of successfully dealing with simultaneous threats engagements, even in severe saturation scenarios.
The missile also tracked a low-flying high-speed target at enhanced range with pin-point accuracy. Barak 8 is an advanced air defense system being jointly developed by Indian government-owned Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The 4.5-meter-long missile can carry a payload of 60 kg. Missile system also includes a multi-functional surveillance and threat alert radar for detection, tracking and guidance of the missile. It is powered by a dual-pulse solid propulsion system developed by DRDO.
It has been reported that an ER (extended range) variant of the Barak 8 is under development, which will see the missiles maximum range increased to 150 km. Designed to engage multiple beyond visual range threats, the low launch signature Barak-8ER is understood to retain the same autopilot/inertial navigation system and active radar seeker guidance as the Barak-8, although some modifications to the software and to the missile control surfaces are likely. The booster increases the length of the missile at launch from its current 4.5 m to nearly 6 m, although the length in flight after the booster has been jettisoned may be slightly less than the base Barak-8 missile, if a TVC is not present. The missile diameter and fin spans are thought to be the same as the base Barak-8. The booster weight is currently unknown, although the missile’s weight after the booster has been jettisoned is the same as that for the current Barak-8 configuration.
Levy said that initial operational capability (IOC) for Barak-8ER will first be declared for the naval variant, followed by IOC for the land variant. He declined to comment on a launch customer for Barak-8ER, but noted “existing Barak-8 customers will be interested in this configuration because it offers additional capability to their current system”. The missile is expected to equip the Indian Navy’s future Visakhapatnam-class destroyers.