It makes sense to adapt Barak-8 for airborne launch

There is no official answer to the question, but will Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) Barak-8 air defence missile be adapted for launch from airborne platforms?

While IAI sources confirm it is possible, they are not indicating whether such a move is planned.

At this stage, IAI is still completing development of the missile. According to press reports in Asia the first client will be India, which signed a US $2 billion contract that includes maritime and land versions of the missile.

The Barak-8 is equipped with a fully active seeker and does not depend on the launcher for targeting and guidance. Thus, it can perform at much longer ranges, offering effective protection from aerial threats, manned and unmanned, as well as guided weapons.

Covering both low and high altitudes, the missile is designed for operation on board ships as well as for terrestrial applications.

The Barak-8 has also been designed to engage multiple targets simultaneously. The Indian Air Force plans to re-equip nine air defence squadrons with the new missile, each including two batteries comprising a multi-mission radar system performing target acquisition and guidance, a command-and-control element and three container-launchers, each mounting eight missiles.

The missile developed for the Indian defence forces is the MR version, while IAI is offering a longer range version with added boosters.

It is a big question but it makes a lot of sense to adapt the Barak-8 for airborne launch.

It would not be the first time operational missiles have been converted. Rafael used two advanced air-to-air missiles and made them part of the Spyder point defence surface-to-air system.

The trend is clear – take an existing operational missile and use it on another launch platform.

This is not always possible but there is no doubt many of the new missiles developed in Israel have been designed with that option in mind.

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