Making a quantum jump in its air defence capability, the Indian Navy on Wednesday successfully test-fired the Barak-8 Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile from INS Kolkata.
Two missiles were fired on Tuesday and on Wednesday on high speed targets, during naval exercises being undertaken in the Arabian Sea, a Defence spokesperson said, adding that this was a significant step towards Indian Navy's transformation into a force capable of projecting power in its area of interest.
"The firing was undertaken on the Western Seaboard by INS Kolkata, wherein the missile successfully intercepted an aerial target at extended ranges," a defence ministry release said.
"With the successful proving of these systems, Indian Navy has become part of a select group of navies that have this niche capability, which would provide a fillip to our maritime operations," said the release.
Israel made MF-STAR radar system is capable of simultaneously tracking hundreds of airborne targets to a range of more than 250 km.
These Surface-to-Air Missiles are fitted onboard the Kolkata Class Destroyers and would also be fitted on all future major warships of the Navy. The missile along with the MF STAR would provide these ships the capability to neutralise aerial threats at extended ranges.
Barak-8 is designed to defend naval vessels against incoming missiles, planes and drones.
With the successful proving of these systems, the Indian Navy has become part of a select group of Navies that have this niche capability, which would provide a fillip to India's maritime operations.
The firing trial of the LR SAM has been jointly carried out by the Indian Navy, DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries. It is expected that India and Israel are likely to win orders worth billions of dollars for the multi-purpose Barak-8 missile system.
Designed to defend against a variety of short-to-long -range airborne threats, including fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, drones and projectiles, Barak-8 incorporates phased array multi-mission radar, two-way data link, and a flexible command and control system, enabling users to simultaneously engage multiple targets day and night.
A Barak-8 battery, including the Adir radar system made by IAI subsidiary Elta Systems, a command and control system, and the missile launchers, is already installed on the deck of Israeli Navy ship Lahav, from which the new interceptor was fired last week as part of a complete trial of the system.