MRSAM-Barak-8 missile system handed over to IAF – Know How it will boost India’s Air Defence?

A medium-range surface-to-air-missile (MRSAM) system is capable of knocking out aerial threats such as enemy fighter jets, missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and helicopters at a range of 70 km.

Created On: Sep 11, 2021 14:34 IST
MRSAM in Indian Air Force
MRSAM in Indian Air Force

The Indian Air Force on September 9, 2021, inducted a medium-range surface-to-air-missile (MRSAM) system. It is capable of knocking out aerial threats such as enemy fighter jets, missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and helicopters at a range of 70 km.

The Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh defined the capability of the new missile system as a game-changer in India’s air defence.

The Union Minister said that with the handing over of the MRSAM system to the Indian Air Force, India has taken a giant leap towards achieving ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. The Chief of DRDO, G Satheesh Reddy handed over the first firing unit of the missile system to the Chief of Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria.

MRSAM-Barak-8 missile system: Key details

•  The missile system has been jointly developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries. Other firms involved in the project include Bharat Electronics Limited, Israeli firm Rafael, Larsen & Toubro and Bharat Dynamics Limited.

•  MRSAM or the Barak 8 air defence system includes advanced radar, command and control systems and mobile launchers.

•  The advanced missile has been powered by a locally-developed rocket motor and the control system for high manoeuvrability in the terminal phase.

Significance:

A medium-range surface-to-air-missile system has the capability of shooting down an enemy aircraft at a 50-70 km range, even in bad weather. The advanced system will provide ultimate protection against different aerial platforms.

How MRSAM system will boost India’s Air Defence?

The induction of the MRSAM system which was long-awaited will now give a boost to India’s air defence capability significantly.

The Union Defence Minister said that MRSAM was one of the biggest missile systems available globally and that the project highlights a close partnership between the Indian and Israel defence systems. The project will strengthen the defence industrial bases of both India and Israel and it will be a win-win situation.

The naval version of MRSAM has already been deployed on few Indian warships in order to boost their anti-war warfare capabilities. The Indian army has also placed orders for MRSAM but has not yet inducted the system.

India and Israel had inked separate deals worth around $3 billion over the last 4 years for the advanced surface-to-air missile systems for three services.

Why MRSAM system is required in present scenario?

The Union Defence Minister explained that geopolitical changes have impacted the economy, trade, security scenario and power politics. In such a situation, strengthening India’s security and self-reliance has become a necessity and not an achievement.

He further added that the global scenario has been transforming very fast and the equations between nations are also changing as per their interest. Whether it is Indian Ocean Region, South China Sea, Central Asia or Indo-Pacific, uncertainty is everywhere.

Inauguration of emergency landing facility for IAF:

The induction ceremony of MRSAM took place after the Defence Minister and the Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari jointly inaugurated an emergency landing facility for the Indian Air Force on the Satta-Gandhav stretch of NH-925A near Barmer.

The two union ministers also witnessed the aircraft operations in the new landing facility. It supports the landing of all the aircraft in the Indian Air Force’s fighter and transport fleets.

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