India and Israel consolidating relations, successfully tests missiles developed in partnership

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NEW DELHI – The Indian Navy successfully tested a medium-range air-to-surface missile (MRSAM) developed by the national military research agency in cooperation with Israel Aerospace Industries.

“The test was conducted on the west coast by Indian Navy vessels Kochi and Chennai, from which the missiles of both ships were controlled by a ship to intercept different air targets at extended intervals,” the country’s maritime force said.

The Indian corporation also praised the “inaugural cooperative engagement” between the country’s Navy, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

The medium-range anti-aircraft missile, co-developed with Israel, where it is known as Barak-8, was manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited in India. It is designed to handle a wide range of air threats up to 70km away, including enemy aircraft and hostile drones as well as anti-ship and ballistic missiles.

“This capability will significantly increase the combat effectiveness of the Indian navy,” said the maritime force.

The Indian Navy has become part of a select group of navies that have this niche capability.

While the fleet currently has the missiles installed in Kolkata class destroyers, the country plans to install the MRSAMs on “all future large warships.”

Last year, Israel’s leading aerospace and aviation manufacturer signed a $777 million deal with India to provide New Delhi with long-range missile defense systems. A $93 million contract signed in January ensured the Indian Navy’s access to IAI technology for medium-range missiles, including interceptors with modern radiofrequency finders and digital radars.

Meanwhile, the Defense Research and Development Organization of India (DRDO) has announced the first successful test of the Abhyas drone, a new missile test equipment.

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“The test was tracked by various radars and electro-optical systems and proved its performance in fully autonomous navigation mode,” said DRDO.

“The performance of the system occurred according to the simulations performed and demonstrated Abhyas’s ability to meet the mission requirement at a cost effective,” said DRDO.

Abhyas has a small gas turbine engine and is guided by a navigation complex based on proprietary microelectromechanical (MEMS) systems. From the published photos, the drone is launched from a catapult, not needing aerodromes.

The drone will be used to test air-to-air and air-to-air weapons systems, including anti-aircraft guns, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, reported The Diplomat.

It also has an adjustable radar to simulate targets of different sizes and even an acoustic distance indicator (AMDI), so researchers can tell how much a missile misses the target if it misses the drone.

“[…] Abhyas can be used as an effective radar jammer platform,” said PS Krishnan, director of DRDO.

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