India has successfully test-fired a new Long Range Surface-To-Air Missile (LRSAM) jointly developed with Israel on 29 December 2015 achieving a significant milestone in enhancing its anti missile defence capability. The missile, a variant of Israeli Barak 8 is capable of countering aerial threats at extended ranges was fired from stealth warship INS Kolkata.
|Stealth Destroyer INS Kolkata (Photo Courtesy - Indian MoD)|
The missile successfully intercepted aerial targets at extended range maneuvering air-breathing target mimicking an attacking combat aircraft. The test validated all the elements related to the naval and land-based variants of the missile including the phased array radar, battle management system, communications and the interceptor.
While earlier two tests were successfully conducted onboard Israeli ships, this is the first time that the missile was fired on board an Indian warship. With the successful mission, Indian Navy has become part of an elite group of countries that have this niche capability. Only a small club of countries including the United States, France, Britain and Israel possess such capability.
According to Indian Defense Ministry press release the value of the Barak 8 project was $1.4 billion. This Barak 8 project is a joint effort by the Navy, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).