NEW DELHI — The Indo-Israeli jointly built Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LR SAM), which is also called Barak-8, was test fired Dec.ember 29 and 30th aboard an Indian Navy's Kolkata class destroyer, which will escort the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya from Russia.

Last year the Barak-8 was tested aboard an Israeli warship.

The official Dec. 30 press release from of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) December 30th said, "[The] Indian Navy today achieved a significant milestone in enhancing its Anti Air Warfare capability with the maiden firing of its newly developed LR SAM.The firing was undertaken on the Western Seaboard by INS Kolkata, wherein the missile successes fully intercepted an Aerial Target at extended ranges."

While no official would say when the missile would be inducted, a source in the Indian Navy said, there will be three more tests of the missile, and the Barak-8 is likely to be inducted after two years.

The MoD press release said, "These Surface to Air Missiles are fitted onboard the Kolkata Class Destroyers and would also be fitted on all future major warships of the Indian Navy. This missile along with a a multifunction active electronically scanned array naval radar (MF STAR) would provide these ships the capability to neutralize aerial threats at extended ranges. With the successful proving of these systems, Indian Navy has become part of a select group of Navies that have this niche capability, which would provide a fillip to our Maritime Operations."

The missile is being developed Jointly built by India's defense research agency, Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO [1]);, the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI); and the Indian Navy. Barak-8, with a range of 70 kilometeres, is capable of protecting to protect naval ships from multiple targets, includinge enemy aircraft, missiles and rockets. and xxxx

Once airborne, the missile continues to receive data from the radar system, which predicts the threat's trajectory, and enables the missile to adjust its own path before destroying the target, said a senior Indian
Navy official, adding that the missile can detect multiple targets simultaneously.

At a cost of over $1.5 billion, the Indo-Israeli Barak-8 project for the Indian Navy was commissioned in 2006 and the missile system was scheduled to have been inducted in 2012. No official would either comment on the delay or when officially would they comment when the missile would be inducted aboard the Kolkata class destroyers.

India's state owned missile maker, Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) will produce the Barak-8, and once inducted, 32 missiles will be initially fitted on one of the three Kolkata destroyers.