Adding yet another feather to its cap, the Defence Research and Development Organisation on September 21 successfully test fired its new surface-to-air Barak-8 missile from a defence base off the Odisha coast.
This long-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile will go a long way in galvanising India’s air defence capabilities. A product of the joint venture between India and Israel, one of the biggest highlights of the Barak-8 missile is a system that allows detecting, tracking and guiding of the missile. This technology is known as the Multi-Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF STAR) system
With target radii of 70-90 km, the missile is designed to counter any air-borne threat, in addition to intercepting supersonic aircraft and missiles. The radar system also allows for 360-degree coverage and can bring down an incoming missile within a close range of 500 meters away from a ship.
Apart from this, it incorporates state-of-the-art phased array multi-mission radar, an adaptable command and controlling system, which enables users to simultaneously engage multiple targets during saturation attacks and two-way data link.
Even though the current design is based on the original model of Barak-1 missile, the latest edition has a better targeting system.
In terms of the physical specifications, the missile is 4.5 metres in length, weighs around 2.7 tonnes and can carry a payload of 70 kgs.
Besides other private companies, many Indian companies like L&T, BEL, TATA group and BDL helped in the development of various sub-systems which have been put to use in the missile.
This, however, was not the first test trial of the missile. Three consecutive test firing of the medium-range missile was carried out earlier this year in June and July from the DRDO base in Chandipur. The test was successful as the missile had hit the last minute maneuvering target.
The Indian Navy, too, had test fired the long-range missile in December 2015. It was undertaken by the Western Seaboard of INS Kolkata.
Once the trials are over, the missile would be inducted into all three services- Army, Navy and Air force.
According to a report in the Economic Times, the multi-purpose missile is likely to bring orders worth billions of dollars. Following the three successful test launches, armies around the world have already made deals with the Israel Aerospace Industries to procure the missiles. The potential operators include Chile, Germany and Poland.
An upgraded version- Barak-8 ER (Extended Range), is also on the process of being developed. This model will see missiles with maximum range increased to 150 km coupled with modifications in the control and software systems.