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Old September 30th, 2003, 07:38 AM
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Indian Tests of Israeli Missile System May Lead to Orders

Recent Indian Navy tests of an Israeli-made anti-missile system are expected to result in follow-on orders for the supersonic, vertical-launch ship defense missile.

In interviews here, Indian and Israeli officials said an enhanced version of the Israeli Barak naval air defense system successfully intercepted two Russian-made missile targets in early September tests by the Indian Navy off the coast of Goa, in southwestern India.

“It was a splendid two-for-two performance. They launched two [Baraks] against two incoming missiles, and they destroyed them head-on,” a recently retired Indian general still associated with military modernization efforts, told on Sept. 9.

An Israeli defense official here confirmed the tests, as did representatives of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Ltd., and Rafael Armament Development Authority, partners in development and production of the Barak system. Leading executives of the two firms were accompanying Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon here Sept. 9-11 on the first state visit to India of an Israeli premier since the two nations established diplomatic ties in 1992.

“It was a significant test, since the missile was evaluated under particularly rigorous conditions,” an Israeli industry official said.

Defense officials from both countries said New Delhi has agreed to purchase at least eight new systems. The package follows an initial $270 million package concluded in 2001.

The Israeli Barak system is designed to intercept sea-skimming missiles, cruise missiles, or air-launched missiles in daylight, at night and under any weather conditions. It has an intercept range from a minimum of 500 meters to beyond 10 kilometers.
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