Navy's anti-aircraft arsenal gets a boost with successful missile tests

 Navy conducts MRSAM trials successfully
The firing trials were carried out by Indian Navy, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). Photo: Indian Navy
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Kochi: The Indian Navy on Thursday conducted significant missile tests boosting its anti-air warfare capabilities.

The first cooperative engagement firing of the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) or Barak-8 was held on the Western Seaboard.

The missiles were fired from Indian Naval Ships Kochi and Chennai engaging multiple aerial targets at extended ranges. Interestingly, one of the ships controlled the complete mission through its automated data links.

The firing trials were carried out by Indian Navy, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

Navy officials said the MRSAMs are fitted onboard the Kolkata Class Destroyers.

These would also be fitted on all future major warships of the Indian Navy.

“With the successful proving of this cooperative mode of engagement, the Indian Navy has become a part of a select group of navies that have this niche capability. This capability significantly enhances the combat effectiveness of the Indian Navy thereby providing an operational edge over potential adversaries,” a Navy statement said.

The MRSAM system has an intercept range between 70-100 km, and carries an active radar seeker, dual pulse rocket motor and a bi-directional data link for mid-course guidance and kill assessment. MRSAM is also equipped with a modern ground-based multi-function 3D rotating active phased array radar (with multi beam electronic scanning capability) to provide high quality Air Situation Picture (ASP) and weapon support under adverse operational and environmental conditions.

The MRSAM will be capable of operating at extreme condition of -30deg C and an altitude of 3.5 km.

The weapon system can operate on standalone mode or joint targeting mode using network-centric modes.

Built jointly by Hyderabad-based DRDO lab Defence Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL) and IAI, the missile has been manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).

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