India and Israel are likely to conduct the first at-sea trial of the Barak 8 medium range surface to air missile system (MRSAM), on board an Israeli Navy vessel. Jointly developed by the two countries, the weapon provides an area air defense protecting vessels against any adversary weapons the Indian or israeli may face, including missiles, aircraft and drones.
Upon a successful completion of the test in Israel, another test would be conducted on board the Indian P-15 destroyer Kolkata in September, leading to the induction of the system with Barak 8 / MRSAM missiles on Indian and Israeli Navy surface ships in 2016.
The system was jointly developed by IAI in Israel and DRDO in India, under a cooperation of IAI Missile and Space Division, IAI Elta, responsible for the radar, the Indian Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) responsible for certain propulsion systems and Rafael, developing the missile interceptor. For the production phase BDL is will produce the missile in a new plant established near the city of Hyderabad. Full rate production is likely to begin in 2016.
Once cleared for operations, the LRSAM will be fitted on the P-15 A Kolkata Class guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy, and Eilat Class (Saar V) corvettes of the israeli Navy. It will also be integrated on the new Saar 6 corvettes being built in Germany, expected to join the Israel Navy towards the end of the decade. The Kolkata already has the radar, fire controls and launchers for 32 missiles. One of the Israeli Saar V boats has received the MF-STAR radar to support the new missiles and is likely to be equipped with other elements of the system to support the upcoming test.
The missile’s first ballistic flight test (short-range) was successfully conducted in Israel in May 2010. The first control navigation test of the missile was conducted in 2012. The missile had undergone successful full-system trials in Israel in November 2014, testing both land and naval missile system during a single test series. As per the original plan, the short-range tests at sea are to be held in Israel and the long-range tests in India.
The core of the MRSAM/Barak-8 system is the MF-STAR active phased array radar, providing search, track, target acquisition and fire control for the vessel’s weapon systems, including air-defense functions. Some of the system’s capabilities are featured in the following video: