New Delhi: India and Israel are likely to test fire this month the long-range surface-to-air Barak 8 missile, jointly developed by the two countries, which can act as a potent shield against incoming missiles, aircraft and drones.
If the test to be done in Israel is successful, another would be conducted on board an Indian ship before September. This, according to defence sources, will pave the way for installation of Barak 8 missiles, an upgraded version of Barak systems both the countries use, on board Indian warships.
The missile had undergone a successful test in Israel last November.
Though initially the missile was to be fired on board an Indian ship, defence sources said it would now be done on board an Israeli ship first.
"Following the last test, the Indian Navy had recommended certain changes which have been incorporated. The coming test will check whether the changes are successful. Following this, a test would be done on board an Indian ship," the sources said.
The Indian ship likely to be used for testing is INS Kolkata.
The launchers and radars to track the missile are already in place.
The test will be conducted against an incoming missile by the Navy.
The missile is being jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries, India's DRDO, Israel's Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, Elta Systems, Rafael and other companies.
The state-run Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) will series-produce the 70 km-range Barak-8, with 32 missiles to be initially fitted onto INS Kolkata.
Barak 8 is being considered to be a major asset for Indian Navy because it would add a potent system designed to destroy any anti-ship missile launched by Pakistani or Chinese navy.
Key to Barak 8's ability to intercept incoming missiles is Israel-made MF-STAR radar system which is capable of simultaneously tracking hundreds of airborne targets to a range of more than 250 kilometers.