Air Defense: Barak 8 Comes To The Armenian Border


December 28, 2016: The land based version of the Israeli Barak 8 SAM (Surface-to-Air Missile) system arrived in Azerbaijan in late 2016 and after it successfully test fired one of the Barak 8 missiles in December was declared operational. Azerbaijan ordered 12 launchers, 75 Barak 8 missiles and four search radars in 2013. The Barak 8 is a 275 kg (605 pound) missile with a 60 kg (132 pound) warhead and a range of 70 kilometers. The warhead has its own seeker that can find the target despite most countermeasures. The missiles are mounted in a three ton, eight cell container (which requires little maintenance), and are launched straight up. The compact (for easy installation on a ship) fire control module weighs under two tons. The land version has everything mounted in 6×6 cross-country trucks.

Azerbaijan is one of the few Moslem majority countries that is a regular buyer of for Israeli military equipment. Since 1992 Azerbaijan has bought nearly $5 billion dollars’ worth of weapons and equipment from Israel. This includes a license to build (for internal use and export) the Israeli Orbiter UAV. Most of this was to deal with a decade’s old territorial dispute with neighboring Armenia.

There is another user of the land-based Barak 8; India. This is in addition to the ship based Barak 8 that is being widely used in the Indian navy as well as Israeli warships. India also has the largest Moslem population of any country, but with over a billion people, Moslems are a minority in India. Thus India never had any ideological problems doing business with Israel.


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