Saturday, 30 April 2011

DRDO on Course to Integrate Barak-8 on the First Vessel in 2012

DRDO will be test firing Barak 8 missile this year.

“Testing will be conducted in India and is part of the responsibilities of our strategic partner in this program, India’s Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO)” IAI(Israel Aerospace Industries) officials informed us. The missile is on schedule to complete development and be integrated on board the first combat vessels by 2012.

After being inducted into service, the system will continue development and phased improvement, toward its full operational capability phase. Barak 8 is designed to be fielded on both Israel and Indian Navy vessels.

In 2006 Israel and India embarked on a strategic cooperation in developing a new naval air defense system that will address the specific, common requirements of both Israel and Indian navies. The system, known as Barak-8 introduces a revolutionary concept of ‘network-centric air defense’, incorporating the best technologies India and Israel could offer.

Such technologies include superior missile interceptors, the latest technology phased array radars, state-of-the-art command, control and communications, integrated with missionized land-based and airborne command and control, coupled with unmanned aerial sensors.

Three years ago the program expanded this concept, adding another dimension to the Indo-Israeli cooperation, embarking on the Medium-Range Surface-to-Air missile (MRSAM) system, protecting strategic targets on land. Both programs are progressing well as IAI’s partners in India are actively involved and taking part in every phase of the development.

IAI has kept the missile specs under wrap but somethings that I have been able to glean from their publication is given below
Barak 8 is a multi-tasking missile it intends to provide a solution for all kind of threats which include choppers, UAV's, fighters and missiles. Barak 8 batteries have integrated very advanced radars thus giving them the nickname of smart interceptors. Each battery has its own mobile command and control van. The Radar itself works on 360 degree angle thus providing a shield in all directions.

The fun part of this system is its inbuilt intelligence. As mentioned above it believes in network centric defense thus the Command and Control of each battery can communicate with other batteries, other air defense radar's thus accumulating as much information as it can to decide how best to react to the threat. So if One battery has detected the threat then it will not be surprising that some other battery responds based on the optimized result scenario calculated by the system.It should be noted that the advanced, digital, phased-array radar was specifically developed by IAI Elta Systems, Ltd.Building on the network centric approach the missile once launched is fed continuously data about the target and it decides itself as the best way to intercept 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.

As we all know a single battery or individual batteries cannot take on 10-20 missiles fired simultaneously at you but due to this network centric approach of the system it creates a web of batteries thus making it possible to engage multiple targets by dividing the work among these batteries in the web. Let us imagine a scenario of a big wave fighter aircrafts moving towards you and one of your mobile radars in this system detects them, on its own it will be impossible for the battery to stop these planes but the data is immediately fed to all the other systems. the communication is through secured data link. Once this is done the system allocates different targets to different batteries in the network within the range

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.

It’s in its final stages of development, to be completed in 2011-2012.