'The missile destroyed the target with a direct hit'

India successfully tests ship-borne air defense system created with Israel

In latest trial of the jointly produced Barak 8 maritime interceptor, Indian Navy fires surface-to-air missile at low altitude target

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

A Barak-8 missile, developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is launched during a test. (IAI)
A Barak-8 missile, developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is launched during a test. (IAI)

The Indian Navy conducted a successful trial of the maritime Barak-8 interceptor on Thursday, in the latest test of the joint Indian-Israeli missile defense system, the Indian Defense Ministry said.

The Barak-8, also known as the Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM), was fired from the INS Chennai at an incoming target flying at a low altitude, India said.

“The missile destroyed the target with a direct hit. All the mission objectives have been met,” the country’s defense ministry said in a statement.

The Barak-8 was developed by IAI in collaboration with Israel’s Defense Ministry, India’s Defense Research and Development Organization, the navies of both countries, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, IAI’s Elta Group, and local industries in India.

India, which has longstanding territorial disputes with neighbors China and Pakistan, has signed several big-ticket defense deals since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014.

It has been moving away from relying on traditional ally Russia for military hardware and in recent years, India has deepened its ties to Israel, diplomatically and militarily.

Last year, IAI won a $777 million contract with India to supply a maritime version of the Barak-8 missile defense system.

The deal was signed with Indian state-owned company Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), which serves as the main contractor in the project.

Israel is a major defense supplier to India, selling an average of $1 billion of military equipment each year.

Last year, the two countries signed a military deal worth nearly $2 billion, which includes the supply over several years of medium-range surface-to-air missiles, launchers and communications technology.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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