EXCLUSIVE: The Indo-Israeli Barak-8

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The Barak-8, the next generation long-range surface-to-air missile that India and Israel are currently developing as part of a co-development contract signed in 2007. Not that it matters, but I broke the story about India and Israel signing up to co-develop the next-generation Barak in early 2007 when I was with the Express. IAI has published very little about the missile in the past, and continues to keep its specs under wraps. Here's some stuff, hot of the IAI press:

The new generation Barak-8 Air and Missile Defense weapon system currently provides a complete solution to every type of airborne threat, whether that threat be from aircraft, tactical missiles, helicopters, or unmanned aerial vehicles. The system has two versions - maritime and land-based - each relying on an advanced, phased-array radar integrated with an advanced launch system containing “smart” missile interceptors, and a state-of-the-art command and control (C2) system, altogether providing full 360° coverage.

Barak-8 is unique in that it has a built-in ‘intelligence’ within the missile battery’s C2 system. The C2 system can ‘talk’ with other missile batteries, with external radars, and with air traffic control systems, creating an optimized scenario for detecting, engaging, and destroying the target. It is manifested by the threat being automatically neutralized through the most appropriate missile battery launching the missile. Especially impressive is that a radar connected to a given missile battery that may have detected the threat may not necessarily be part of the same battery that will respond to the threat. This allows us to maximize the system’s capabilities and create the most optimal interception scenario. It should be noted that the advanced, digital, phased-array radar was specifically developed by IAI Elta Systems, Ltd.

The system is designed from the start to intercept planes and tactical missiles such as air-to-ground missiles and naval anti-ship missiles. The Barak-8 is based on advanced concepts of defense system architecture, including advanced seekers, warheads, high performance maneuvering capabilities, and the ability to be optimally controlled. The missile can receive and process continuous updates on the position and flight trajectory of the target, and use these updates to adjust its own flight to best intercept and destroy the target. The unique missile propulsion system allows the missile to maintain energy, even after it has been airborne for an extended time, and reserve sufficient energy for the end-game or the target’s final engagement and hit. It must be remembered that the enemy missile is also trying to maneuver and evade the Barak-8.

The battlefield does not only have one or two threats that the Barak-8 must neutralize; in fact, there are a wide range of threats, coming from all directions and creating a number of potential targets, including our own forces’ airplanes.

Everything that was mentioned up until this point applies to any number of threats. Of course, no one battery, no matter how sophisticated, will be able to deal with dozens of missiles simultaneously. Integration and network coordination of resources creates synergy among the batteries and helps to successfully deal with a battlefield saturated with targets. For instance, within a given formation or fleet of naval ships, each equipped with a Barak-8, they communicate with one another through the secure communication channels and data link within the integrated system. In an automated manner, the system knows how to optimally allocate targets throughout various batteries of the naval formation, and among the various batteries of the network; and eliminate every threat, be it missiles, planes, or helicopters.

Similarly, land-based versions of the Barak-8 system can be easily and quickly deployed across tens of kilometers between the individually deployed batteries, and provide 360° coverage over the widest possible protected area against cruise missiles, airborne munitions launched from planes or ships, and other threats.

The system has the ability to interconnect with other systems and can thereby receive information on the threat from a wide variety of sources. It’s in its final stages of development, to be completed in 2010-2011. IAI already has customers for both the maritime and the land-based defense systems (Read India!).

Photos Copyright IAI

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