The Indian government has given the go ahead
for the $1.8 billion purchase of the Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM
) from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). A land-based version of the Barak-8
, the MRSAM was developed by IAI and India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in collaboration with Rafael and IAI/Elta, and worked with various Indian companies including BEL, L&T, BDL and other private vendors, and will be operated by the Indian Army. The company will also supply additional LRSAM air & missile defense systems for the first build in India Indian aircraft carrier.
In February 2006, therefore, Israel and India signed a joint development agreement to create a new Barak-NG medium shipborne 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. In between, “India to Buy Israeli “SPYDER” Mobile Air Defense System” covered India’s move to begin buying mobile, short-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems for its army, based on the Python and Derby air-to-air missiles in service with its air force and naval aircraft. 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.” This DID FOCUS article will cover the Barak-8 and closely related programs in India, Israel, and beyond.