Barak surface-to-air missile trials slated for October

It was developed jointly by Israel Aerospace Industries and DRDO

 The long-awaited Barak long-range surface-to-air missile may be integrated with Indian warships within a “few months,” if the missile’s final trials slated next month succeed, said Navy officials.

“Trials of the LR-SAM are scheduled for September end. It may be delayed by a  few days to take place in the first week of October. If the trials are successful, the missile may be inducted within a few months,” said Rear Admiral A B Singh, assistant chief of naval staff in charge of policy and plans.

The missile being developed jointly by the Israel Aerospace Industries and the Defence Research and Development Organisation under a Rs 2,606 crore project, is in the works for a decade. The delay is impacting the Indian warship’s air defence capabilities.

Because of the delay, the navy’s new platform INS Kolkata, to be commissioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 16, will not have the air defence missile.
The missile will be fitted later when it will be fully ready for operational use.

The project is being delayed by four years, triggering concerns in the navy. Even the September trial was originally scheduled for August, but had to be shifted to a later date due to technical glitches associated with the performance of some of the parameters.

Besides the 6,800-tonne new destroyer, aircraft carrier Vikrant and the two future sister ships of INS Kolkata – INS Kochi and INS Chennai – too will be fitted with the Barak long-range missile that will have a range of 70 km.
“Each of the next two Kolkata class ships would be commissioned with a gap of eight months each,” said Vice Admiral A V Subhedar, controller of warship production and acquisition.

Within a week of commissioning the INS Kolkata, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley will commission an indigenous anti-submarine warfare corvette INS Kamorta in Visakhapatnam on August 23. It will be followed by three more ships of the same class Kadmat, Kiltan and Kavrati.

Both ships experienced serious delays.  While the P-15A – the project to construct three Kolkata class ship at Mazgaon dock, Mumbai – is delayed by four years, the INS Kamorta was to be inducted in the Navy by two years.

The time overrun also led to a massive hike in the cost. The three Kolkata-class destroyers were to be made at a cost of Rs 3,580 crore as per the original proposal, prepared more than a decade ago.

But the cost has now gone up to Rs 11,662 crore. Similarly the cost of the manufacturing of  four Kamorta class vessels too went up from Rs 3,051 crore to Rs 7,800 crore. Both warships have high level of indigenous material, systems and equipment.

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