Barak 8 air defence system competing in eastern Europe

Recent developments in eastern Europe – mainly the ongoing conflict involving Russia and Ukraine – has moved air defence to top priority for some countries in the region.

All of a sudden, aerial threats seem very real in a region once perceived as relatively stable.

This explains the surge in interest in Israel’s Barak 8 air defence system, which compared to other Israeli-developed weapon systems received less publicity in recent years.

Israel Aerospace Industries developed the system, which is designed to protect ground and sea forces and is considered the Israeli equivalent to the USA’s Patriot air defence system

According to press reports in India, the Barak 8 is a joint Indian-Israeli project. These reports say the two countries evenly split the development costs, and that Azerbaijan has also bought the Barak 8.

The weapon is a 275kg (606lb) missile with a 60kg warhead and a range of 38nm (70km).

Poland has recently issued a request for information for an advanced air defence system, and the Barak 8 is in the running. Other countries in the region are also showing interest in the two versions of the system.

When new threats emerge or old ones are “refreshed”, some defence shopping lists get reshuffled.

As I said in a previous blog post, the airspace of some eastern European countries are receiving more attention, as the Russia-Ukraine crisis reaches a new peak.

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