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Barak 8: India Israel cooperation

Israel has successfully tested India's supersonic long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) — Barak 8. The weapon is the first LRSAM India and Israel has co-developed. The supersonic LRSAM, designed and developed jointly by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), was tested from an Israeli naval vessel recently.

What is Barak 8?

Barak 8 (the Hebrew word for Lightning) is an Indian-Israeli surface-to-air missile (SAM), designed to defend against any type of airborne threat including aircraft, helicopters, anti-ship missiles, and UAVs as well as cruise missiles and combat jets.

Barak 8 was jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), India's Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Israel's Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, Elta Systems, Rafael and other companies. Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) will produce the missiles. The first 32 missile will be fitted on the Indian Navy destroyer INS Kolkata.

Barak 8 is based on the original Barak 1 missile and is expected to feature a more advanced seeker, alongside range extensions that will move it closer to medium range naval systems like the RIM-162 ESSM or even the SM-2 Standard. Israel successfully tested its improved Barak II missile on July 30, 2009. In November 2009 Israel signed a $1.1 billion contract to supply an upgraded tactical Barak 8 air defence system to India.

Features of Barak8

Israel Aerospace Industries describe Barak 8 as "an advanced, long-range missile defense and air defense system" with its main features being:

•    Long Range
•    Two way data link (GPS S band)
•    Active Radar Seeker Missile
•    360 degree coverage
•    Vertical Launch
•    Multiple Simultaneous Engagements

Barak 8 has been described as giving potential use as a point defence anti-ballistic missile due to its combination of advanced capabilities.

India Isreal Cooperation

India and Israel have been engaging with respect to the technological cooperation in agricultural sector, renewable energy, water management, as well as continued Israeli support in capability building of Indian defence forces. Israel is one of the largest suppliers of military hardware to India and most of the cooperation is in the niche sectors. Both countries have shared history of facing terrorism from their respective neighbourhoods and this aspect has played a vital role in bringing them together in sharing security concerns and expertise. India has often described Israel as India’s reliable partner. The relationship between these two countries has flourished despite India’s continued support to the Palestinian cause.

India-Israel defence cooperation is beyond the traditional buyer-supplier relationship, since diplomatic relations were established between the two countries in 1992. The elite Special Forces of the two countries are likely to take part in joint exercises also.

In February 2006, Israel and India signed a joint development agreement to create a new Barak-NG medium ship-borne air defense missile, as an evolution of the Barak-1 system in service with both navies. In July 2007 the counterpart MR-SAM project began moving forward, aiming to develop a medium range SAM for use with India’s land forces. Both missiles would now be called Barak-8. These projects offer India a way forward to address its critical air defense weaknesses, and upgrade "protection of vital and strategic ground assets and area air defence."

The Navy's Barak-NG/ LR-SAM project aimed to give India’s naval defenses a much longer reach, with the intention of eventually making it India’s primary naval SAM. The project was later renamed Barak 8, and aims to deliver 60-70 km/ up to 42 mile range, thanks to a dual-pulse solid rocket motor whose second “pulse” fires as the missile approaches its target.  It’s also very useful for land-based systems, which will survive longer against enemy anti-radar missiles (ARMs) if they can turn themselves on and off to confuse enemy seekers, without worrying that they will lose all of their effectiveness.

Designed to defend against a variety of short-to-long -range airborne threats, including fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, drones and projectiles, Barak-8 incorporates a state-of-the-art 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 and in all weather conditions.


The successful test marks a milestone in bilateral cooperation of the two countries in developing advanced weapon systems. It is also considered as the major milestone in proving the missile system is compatible with the Ship Borne Tracking Equipments (SBTE).

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