Israel, India successfully test advanced missile system
New Delhi defense official says development marks ‘significant milestone’ in relations
Israel’s national aerospace and aviation arms manufacturer conducted the first full and successful test of the Barak-8 air and naval defense missile system on Monday morning, Israel Aerospace Industries announced in a press release.
The test, conducted with the Defense Ministry and India’s Defence Research and Development Organization, validated all components of the weapons system, from radar detection to interception and detonation of the incoming projectile.
“The system’s impressive, advanced capabilities proven today in this complex test, are another testimony of IAI’s resilience, advanced and groundbreaking capabilities,” said Israel Aircraft Industries president and CEO Joseph Weiss.
Dr. Avinash Chander, the head of India’s DRDO and an adviser to the defense minister, called the test “an important milestone in the cooperation between India and Israel.”
The test came days after Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Israel, in the highest-level official trip ever for Delhi.
“Israel and India are at the cusp of a new era of increased cooperation in a wide variety of fields,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said while meeting Singh on November 6.
In September, Netanyahu met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York on the sidelines of the UN Gereral Assembly to discuss nuclear developments in Iran and expanding bilateral ties between Jerusalem and Delhi.
The meeting was the first between the Israeli and Indian premiers in over a decade, according to the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office.
Netanyahu reportedly invited India to participate in a joint effort on cyber-defense, a project that will aim to be a link between civilian and military authorities in both countries.
In October, India reportedly agreed to a $525 million deal to buy Israel’s guided Spike missiles, which were widely used during Operation Protective Edge.
An earlier Barak system, already in use guarding Israel’s natural gas platforms in the Mediterranean Sea, is deployed on missile boats, where it can intercept sea-skimming missiles, among other threats.
During the Second Lebanon War, the Barak system was disabled shortly before Hezbollah fired a surface-to-sea missile that nearly sank one of the Israeli Navy’s most advanced warships, the INS Hanit.