JERUSALEM — In a first at sea, the Israeli Navy’s Sa’ar 6-class corvette has intercepted a target simulating an advanced cruise missile with the long-range Barak weapon.
The test, recently carried out by the Navy, the Defense Ministry’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development, and Barak manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries using the INS Oz vessel, marks a “significant milestone” in development of the Barak interceptor, according to a statement from the Israel Defense Forces.
The Barak long-range anti-cruise missile interceptor is part of the Barak MX air defense system. Barak MX features a vertical launch capability and 360-degree coverage. It is similar to India’s Barak 8.
According to the IDF, the air defense system successfully located the target and intercepted it by launching a Barak interceptor from the sea. The system includes an advanced radar to detect threats, and the missile itself can intercept a wide range of threats, including fighters, drones, cruise missiles, surface-to-surface weapons and anti-ship missiles.
Rear Adm. Ariel Shir, who leads the Navy’s equipment division, said the system enables improved detection and interception capabilities for Israel at much greater ranges and against a variety of air threats. The officer said the INS Magen was also involved in the test, but did not provide specifics.
The defense system is key to protecting Israel’s coastal economic zone and is deployed aboard the Sa’ar 6 corvettes that the country recently received and deployed. The four arrived from Germany in September 2021. Israel recently signed a maritime deal with Lebanon designed to reduce tension between the neighbors along the coast.
The Barak system is one part of a multilayered maritime defense, of which the naval version of Iron Dome is another. Israel has completed tests of that Iron Dome variant for deployment with the Sa’ar 6 ships.
Seth J. Frantzman is the Israel correspondent for Defense News. He has covered conflict in the Mideast since 2010 for different publications. He has experience covering the international coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, and he is a co-founder and executive director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis.