Military


Long-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) / Barak 8

The long-range surface-to-air missiles (LR-SAM) has long-range engagement capability to penetrate deep water and land to intercept all types of aerial targets like subsonic & supersonic missiles, fighter aircraft, maritime patrolling aircraft (MPA), helicopter and sea skimming missiles. It will be effective in countering newest generation anti-ship missiles like the Harpoon and Exocet. The Indian Navy has decided to equip its all the naval ships such as INS Kolkata, INS Kochi, and INS Chennai guided missile destroyers with the Barak 8 for air and missile defense. The LR-SAM has been jointly developed by DRDO and IAI, Israel to be launched from ship. It possesses high degree of maneuverability at target interception range.

There are plans for longer range versions of missiles, moving in stages to 120 and 350 km. A joint venture similar to the stalled MRSAM is going ahead full-steam- to create a long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) for the Navy. That project is at an advanced stage and government has shown no inclination to stall that JV. Barak-8/NG, MRSAM and LRSAM are one and the same missile with different names.

Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) has undertaken joint development of missiles viz. Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LRSAM) for Indian Navy and Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) for Indian Air Force with M/s Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), Israel. Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LRSAM) is a joint development program of DRDO, Indian Navy and IAI, Israel. It has a range of 70 km using dual puulse rocket motor and active radar seeker in terminal phase and inertial / mid-course update for guidance. The new missile, which is based on the original Barak, features a more advanced seeker, alongside range extensions (up to 70 km) that move it closer to medium range naval systems like the RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow or even the SM-2 Standard. The Navy wants the LR-SAM for its four new Kolkata-class destroyers, seven proposed Project 17A frigates, and the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC).

New Delhi awoke on 11 October 2006 to headlines declaring allegations of bribery against former Defense Minister George Fernandes in a 2000 missile procurement deal with Israel. Two others were named by the Central Bureau of Investigation, and three other deals under Fernandes, watch are also under scrutiny. Reportedly, then-Minister Fernandes ignored objections by the Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO) and the government's then scientific advisor, Abdul Kalam (now President Kalam), that the Barak missile system was unreliable, and approved a deal that was quoted initially at approximately USD 250 million, and ultimately negotiated at about USD 268 million, allegedly with no justification for the extra USD 18 million.

DRDO's 1999 criticism of the Barak missile was interpreted as protectionist self-interest, i.e., an attempt to justify its existence despite a lousy track record. On 18 October 2006, NDTV ran a story with the subject line "DRDO: Does it really deliver?", suggesting that the armed forces had no confidence in DRDO systems and prefers foreign procurements. This followed a series of editorials by such notable journalists as Manoj Joshi in the Hindustan Times questioning the ability of the state-run monopolies to produce effective weapons/systems. In a DNA news article entitled "The defence mess," Sonia Gandhi advisor Rajiv Desai referred to "the dinosaur scientocrats" of DRDO and noted that its Trishul missile project, which was the supposed competitor to Barak, has incurred "incredible" costs since it was begun in 1983, yet is still nowhere near operational. Barak, on the other hand, was deployed and working. Meanwhile, as one group of politicians argues for supporting a domestic industry that had yet to show results, and another argues for canceling foreign contracts each time corruption is exposed, voices within India's military establishment lament that military preparedness is being severely compromised by a procurement process that stops and starts.

Press reports the Israeli entity Israel Aircraft Industries (AIA), through a middleman, paid bribes of approximately USD 450,000 to Samata Party leader Jaya Jaitly, who passed on the money to then Defense Minister Fernandes. Kalam had said at the time that the Barak systems "have a failure rate of nearly 50% as witnessed by DRDO during trials." Fernandes and Jaitly immediately went on the offensive, claiming the accusations were a political vendetta initiated at the insistence of Congress Party chief rival (both professional and personal) Sonia Gandhi. After nearly a week of silence, the BJP came to Fernandes' defense, challenging the UPA "to produce a shred of evidence."

Immediately, comparisons were made between this affair and the 2005 Denel scandal, whereby the Congress government blacklisted Denel and canceled all deals with the South African arms manufacturer after the dealer used "undue influence" by offering commissions to a middleman for an anti-material rifle deal. Some journalists also referred back to the 1989 Bofors scandal, where Congress was voted out of power after a bribery scandal in an artillery deal, although the analogy was weak since the BJP is not currently in power. However, this latest scandal (which harkened back to the 2002 Tehelka affair) had not reached the heights of past scandals, and its impact was likely to be less. AIA had not been blacklisted, nor was it likely to be, not only because current Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee had publicly stated that the Denel and Barak cases were not comparable, but also because AIA had so much business with the Indian military (around USD 900 million per year, second only to Russia) that to cancel all on-going projects would affect national security.

Israel was India's number two defense equipment and services provider. IAI had a $1 billion AWACS deal with the GOI that would be endangered if retaliatory measures were taken. Also, IAI had recently penned a deal with DRDO (signed by current Defense Minister Mukherjee) to jointly research and produce a Barak II and "next generation" Barak missile for use in India, in Israel and for international sale. Moreover, IAI was heavily involved in avionics upgrades for the aging Indian aircraft fleet. DCM Magen also stated there was no wrongdoing on the part of IAI.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a regular case relating to the procurement of Barak Anti Missile Defence System for the Navy in which M/s IAI, Israel is also involved. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had been requested to investigate comprehensively into the alleged irregularities in Barak Missile procurement. An FIR was filed by the CBI on 9.10.2006 against private persons, unknown officials of M/s IAI, Israel Company and officials of Ministry of Defence. The Indian part of the investigation of the case is completed by CBI in August 2012. However, the Letters Rogatory sent to foreign countries were still to be executed. Entry of the outsiders to Ministry of Defence was regulated and detailed security instructions were in place.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) entered into a contract with M/s. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Israel to jointly develop a Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LRSAM) system for the Indian and Israeli Navy in January 2006. A few days after he publicly informed parliament of the USD 1.4 billion Barak missile cooperation with Israel in July 2007, Indian Defense Minister A K Antony told Indian media, "Successive governments since 1992 have had defense ties with Israel. This is not new. And the relation is not ideological, but purely based on our security requirements." As of 2009 the cost of project for LRSAM was Rs. 2606.02 crore, compared to the 282.68 Cr expended on Trishul. Installation of Weapon Control System and Multifunctional Surveillance Threat Alert Radar (MFSTAR) is in progress. Two Control and Navigation Flight Tests have been conducted successfully at Israel during July 2012. The Missile integration infrastructure has also been established.

The LR-SAM, which began development in January 2006, was to be delivered to the Navy in October 2012. But the first LR-SAMs will not be delivered before early 2014.

Israel and India agreed to a cooperative program to extend the range of the Barak-8/Barak-NG (Barak-8 is the Israeli Naval Terminology, Barak-NG is the Indian Naval name) naval missile currently in development. This new system is to be a land-based variant with a range at least twice that of the Barak-8/Barak-NG's 70 to 80 km, therefore the new missile is expected to fly at least 150 km. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) representing Israel and the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) representing India were expected to sign a memorandum of agreement early in 2008 as the two primary contractors.

After seven years of investigatlons, the CBI filed a closure report 11 December 2013 on the Rs 1,150 crore Barak missile deal in which former defence minister George Fernandes and the then naval chief Mmirai Sushil Kumar were accused of accepting bribes. The agency filed the report before a special court in the capital saying replies received from foreign countries did not substantiate the allegation of kickbacks levelled against the state-run company Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), Femandes, Kumar and former Samata Party officials Jaya Jaitley and R X Jam.

The allegations had triggered a political storm and the case was handed over to the CBI in 2006. It was alleged that Fernandes' associate Jaya Jaitley and others had received a bribe of Rs two crore in the Rs 1,150 crore Barak missiles deal in 2000.

Officials said a decision to close the case was taken as there no headway in the probe. The CBI had filed an FIR in a designated court on October 10, 2006 alleging that a sum of Rs 2 crore was paid to Jaitley, who acted as an agent to clinch the deal to buy seven Barak anti-missile defence (AMD) systems from the Israeli firm.

CBI officials said judicial requests were sent to the UK, the UAE, Mauritius, Germany and Israel seeking details of financial transactions and other details of accused persons involved in the case. Israel, in its reply to Letter Rogatory, denied making any payments to clinch the deal besides refusing to give any further details citing confidentiality. Replies from other countries also did not corroborate allegations levelled against IAI and other accused mentioned in the FIR. During the probe, the CBI also said it did not find any evidence on the allegations levelled duringthe sting operation carried out by Tehelka.

The CBI had alleged that Kumar "colluded with other accused to put up a note" to Fernandes to import the Barak systems despite objections from the Defence Research and Development Organisalion (DRDO). Fernandes not only approved the proposal for import of Barak AMD Systems but tried to get the proposal approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security despite objection by the then Defence Secretary, the CBI had alleged in its FIR.

With the CBI deciding to close the infamous seven-year-old Barak kickbacks case for lack of evidence, Defense minister A K Antony has finally bitten the bullet on 23 December 2013 cleared the long-pending "critical" naval procurement of an additional 262 Israeli Barak-I missiles for Rs 880 crore.

India has successfully test-fired a long range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) system designed to protect ships from aircraft, missile and rocket attacks, which it developed jointly with Israel, the Indian Defense Ministry said 30 November 2015. The LRSAM destroyed aerial targets at extended ranges, making a 'quantum jump in air defense capability' of the joint Indian-Israeli effort, the ministry noted. The system dubbed Barak 8 completed three readiness tests, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) manufacturer Chief Executive Yossi Weiss said, as cited by the Jerusalem Post.

The Indian Navy will purchase additional Barak-8 from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for its home-made aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant under the follow-on offer. The Indian government signed a contract worth more than $1.6 billion on 06 April 2017 with IAI.

S-400 ?

The procurement of five S-400 systems would be discussed during the December 23-24 visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Russia, with a joint statement on the issue to be made after the planned meeting between Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The S-400 is a medium- and long-range air defense system, capable of neutralizing modern and advanced air and space attacks at the distance up to 400 km.

The Indian Defense Ministry had initially intended to procure a dozen S-400 missile systems, however, military later estimated that five units of such weapons would be sufficient to safeguard the country against external threats. The forthcoming deal, estimated to be worth around 400 billion rupees ($6 billion at the current exchange rate), also covers the purchase of about 6,000 missiles, a mobile launcher and a radar station, according to the publication.




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