DRDO unveiled the MRSAM fire unit at Defexpo 2016. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
DRDO unveiled the MRSAM fire unit at Defexpo 2016. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update

The Indian Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO) unveiled at Defexpo 2016 the fire unit of Medium Range Surface-to-Air (MRSAM) missile system, developed and manufactured for the Indian Air Force and Army. The development of this system, a land-based version of the Long-Range SAM (LRSAM) Barak-8 naval area defense system, was designed and developed by the DRDO and will be produced competitively by Larsen &Turbo and Tata Power SED, both private sector enterprises.¬†The missiles, developed by Israel’s IAI and Rafael will be produced in India by Bharat Dynamics (BDL).

Three fire units will comprise a battery, self supported with target acquisition and communications. The fire unit comprises two stacks of four Barak-8 missiles, for a total of eight launch tubes. Stacks are reloaded separately, for rapid replenishment. The IAF plans to buy 60 fire units, with the Army buying additional lots to fulfill its requirement for medium range air defense.

India is also interested in acquiring the Russian S400 (SA-21 Triumf), which partly fulfills similar missions, although the operating methodology, range and capabilities of the Russian system are different from those offered by MRSAM. DRDO plans to test fire missiles from the new launcher for the first time in April, 2016.

The MRSAM fire unit holds eight ready to launch missiles in two stacks. The missiles are fired vertically from their canister-launchers. To protect the fire unit assembly DRDO developed a unique thermally protected flame deflector that directs the rocket flames away from the trailer. This heat deflector can endure at least 60 launches, without damage. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
The MRSAM fire unit holds eight ready to launch missiles in two stacks. The missiles are fired vertically from their canister-launchers. To protect the fire unit assembly DRDO developed a unique thermally protected flame deflector that directs the rocket flames away from the trailer. This heat deflector can endure at least 60 launches, without damage. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update