The first long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM), the Barak-8 naval air defense system, jointly developed by Israel and India, was handed over to the Indian navy on Tuesday at a ceremony in Hyderabad, India.
The advanced air and missile defense system is a unique joint development by Israel Aircraft Industry (IAI) and India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in collaboration with IAI subsidiary ELTA, RAFAEL, and various Indian companies.
India’s Defense Minister Arun Jaitley praised the delivery of the new missile, acknowledging that it marked a turning point for India’s defense capabilities.
“This is an historical day for India, in which our navy becomes the proud owners of one of the most sophisticated systems in the world,” said Jaitley. “This system will help the Indian navy protect our country.”
Boaz Levy, IAI’s executive vice president and general manager of Systems, Missiles and Space Group, who was at the ceremony, noted that “the delivery of the first missile manufactured in India to India’s defense arms is a technological dream come true. It is another exciting step in the many-years’ teamwork between IAI, India’s government, and other partners, and one that reflects a technological and engineering effort of the highest level.”
The LRSAM project is part of a large-scale procurement program by the Indian government. As part of its “make it in India” policy, serial production lines have been established in India for the missiles, together with RAFAEL and India’s Bharat Dynamics company. Missile parts manufactured in Israel are sent to India and are incorporated with other parts manufactured in India to create a complete missile.
In recent years, IAI has signed several deals for air and missile defense systems from the Barak-8 family to India, including deals to the tune of $2.5 billion in recent months.