Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR May 2017 Contents Asia Pacific Defence Reporter MAY 2017 33
group, said that the Barak-8 is armed with a 21 kg
warhead that does not require a kinetic kill but in
almost all tests hit the target head on and actually
sliced it in half.
Since the beginning of the program, IAI has
progressively improved different elements of
the system, and Levy was ready to say that in
all parameters the Barak-8 is the best available
protection for ships and potential targets near
the shore. Critical infrastructure, especially power
stations in many countries, are located near the sea.
" We have designed the system from the beginning
with the building blocks that allow us to adapt the
systems to new challenges".
The ships that are equipped with the Barak-8
carry one multi-mission radar manufactured by
ELTA Systems, an IAI group subsidiary, optimised
for air defence missions. It delivers an accurate,
high quality, real-time arena situation picture and
extracts low Radar Cross Section (RCS) targets
even in the toughest environmental conditions.
It is a digital Active Electronic Steering Array
(AESA) Radar System that incorporates new and
Levy said that the Barak-8 system was designed
for full interoperability for a given navy:
"One ship can launch the missiles or allocate
targets to other ships in the area and this by a very
smooth transfer of data that allows a specific ship to
engage a target from the optimal point".
Israeli navy ships are today threatened by a growing
number of weapon systems - aircraft equipped
with missiles, surface-to-surface weapons, cruise
missiles, UAVs and fast attack boats. Levy said
that a typical ship installation includes 4 vertical
launchers each carrying 8 missiles:
"The footprint of the system on the crowded ship
deck is small. With the extended range launcher the
structure goes one floor deeper into the ship's hull."
The basic Barak-8 has an effective range of 70
km. The extended range version has a 150 km range
and uses external boosters.
The IAI senior official said that the potential
demand is mainly for the short-range version, which
has a range of up to 30 km. The Barak-8 can also be
launched from the ground. The only differences are
in the launcher and the radar. On the ship it has four
antennas covering 360 degrees while the ground
version’s radar has one rotating antenna.
Barak-8 systems are already operational on a
number of Indian navy ships and more will be
equipped with the system soon.
Barak-8 is also deployed on the Israeli navy's
SAAR -5 missile ships and will be part of the
weapon systems that will be installed on the Israeli
navy's newest vessels to be built in Germany.
"T he interest in the Barak-8 system is big
and we have other customers but I cannot be
specific", Levy said.
He explained that the need is to defend vessels
from a variety of threats:
"A ship equipped with the system is capable of
protecting a city when it is in the port ".
The Joint Target Concept (JTC) is according
to Levy one of the most important operational
capabilities of the Barak-8 .
"A commander of one ship in a group of ships can
smoothly operate launchers from other ships when
he sees that this will improve the kill rate".
The Barak-8 family is being upgraded all the time
with more tests performed in Israel and India.
The list of upgrades is long but Levy stressed the
capability to launch missiles from any launcher in the
area no matter where the man in the loop is located:
“It can be done from another ship or even from
the shore. The full radar picture is seen by all the
commanders and each of them can launch the
missiles if he thinks that this will have a better
chance to destroy the threat."
He emphasized that this capability is part of
designing the Barak-8 as "a systems of systems".
While the Barak-8 is the main missile defence
system for Israeli navy ships, Rafael’s C-Dome
rocket interceptor is another layer, mainly for
The C-Dome Naval defense system is based
on Rafael’s Iron Dome and designed to effectively
protect combat vessels against a large set of modern
threats. C -Dome handles saturation attacks by
engaging multiple targets simultaneously. Reaction
time according to Rafael, is very short and enables
automatic and semi-automatic engagements.
C-Dome components include a multi-round
launcher assembly loaded with vertically-launched,
canistered interceptors. The launcher is installed
under the ship's deck.
C-Dome utilizes the ship’s own sur veillance radar
and does not require a dedicated Fire Control
Radar. Weapon System Command and Control
is seamlessly integrated with the ship’s combat
management system, facilitating system operation.
Rafael emphasizes that C-Dome uses the combat-
proven Iron Dome interceptor that has already
achieved more than 1500 successful intercepts.
The company says that the Interceptors are
maintenance-free, and are stored in a sea-proof
canister. Up to 8 interceptors can be loaded into a
modular Vertical Launcher Unit.
Rafael says that the C-Dome interceptor is
extremely agile with a high rate-of-turn, enabling
interception of even the most maneuverable targets.
The C-Dome is designed to operate with the
ship's search radar. Every interceptor in the
C-Dome system is equipped with an active radar
and that ensures as high a kill rate as that
achieved by Iron Dome.
The Barak-8 and C-Dome systems are being
upgraded continuously. "When new threats arrive
at our part of the world, we have to adapt the
defences", an Israeli source said, referring mainly to
the new anti-ship missiles that Hezbollah in Lebanon
is trying to get, mainly from Iran.
While the Israel Air Force, according to foreign
sources, is active in destroying shipments of such
weapon systems and others, there is no certainty
that all shipments have been successfully targeted.
A huge effort is under way to give Israeli navy
ships the best protection from a growing list of
aerial threats. These efforts may bring new systems
to fill some gaps in the protection spectrum. Given
the number of systems developed by Israeli defence
industries, we may expect some additional layers
to protect combat vessels. Foreign navies are
continuously following Israeli developments as they
realize that asymmetrical warfare is now the most
common one and poses threats that navies have not
confronted in the past.
A recent attack shows the new developing threat.
On October 1 2016, an anti ship missile launched
from the Yemeni coast severely damaged the Swift,
a former US Navy High Speed Vessel-2 sold to the
United Arab Emirates in 2015 and now operated by
its National Marine Dredging Company as a troop
landing and logistics ship. The incident was the
latest in a series of attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi
rebels against shipping in the Bab al-Mandab Strait,
the strategic chokepoint connecting the Suez Canal
and Red Sea with the Indian Ocean. It triggered
the deployment of a trio of US Navy warships to the
area , but other measures may be needed to fully
curb the threat.
The current problem according to Rafael, is to
protect ships from saturated coordinated missile
" The strategy today is to attack a naval target with
many missiles with different homing sensors. Such
an attack cannot be foiled by big missiles so the
answer is a relatively small, inexpensive missile and
this is the main characteristics of the C-Dome," said
Meir Ben Tzook, captain (navy) ret. senior marketing
and business development director in Rafael's' naval
warfare systems directorate.
The Israeli navy is already in the process of
acquiring the C-Dome for the task of protecting the
gas pumping rigs off the Israel shore.
NAVAL POINT DEFENCE
4/05/2017 3:09 PM
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