Aligning with the vision of PM Narendra Modi to make India Atmanirbhar, the Indian Air Force gears to induct the Medium Range Surface to Air Missiles (MRSAMs), Barak-8 missile system in Jaisalmer. The land-based air defence system is based on the Israeli Barak 8 SAM system which uses the mobile multimode radar similar to the one employed for the Israeli Iron Dome. Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) partnered with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to jointly enhance the Barak-1 system which was already in service with both countries. Initially, the weapon was developed as a shipborne air defence missile system that was meant for the navy only, but later, it evolved into a system for land forces.
Barak-8 missile: A strategically vital technology
The Barak-8 weapon that is being compared by Iron Dome, is a Surface-to-Air Missile Defence System providing a 360° protection against various airborne threats. Exploring the technological depth, Barak-8 or LRSAM is equipped with the capability to target enemy aircraft at a 50-70 km range. The weapon can engage multiple targets simultaneously, day and night, in all weather conditions. Barak-8 is employed with advanced phased-array radar, flexible command system, two-way data link, and mobile launchers. A multifaceted system, Barak-8 can provide protection against any Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), helicopters and aircraft, anti-ship missiles, ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and fighter jets.
Different Variants of the Barak-8 system:
Barak-8 system consists of three different variants:
– LRSAM: The first variant is known as Barak-8 AMD or LRSAM. A naval Air Defence System, it was originally designed for the Navy of Israel and currently it is being used by other countries including India.
MRSAM: Medium-range, land-based missile system, the second variant comes with various equipment including a tracking radar, flexible command and control system and mobile launcher systems.
Barak MX: The third variant is equipped with such technology that makes it optimal for both Naval and land missions.
It is pertinent to note that the Barak-8 Missile System has been made under the ‘Make In India’ initiative, and it will give a major boost for the Make In India initiative in Defence System. A contract of around $777 million for seven ships was inked with the state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited back in 2018.