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IAF begins inducting MRSAM system jointly developed with Israel

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has begun inducting the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) system, which is the domestic variant of the Israeli-developed Barak-8 SAM system, to engage multiple targets out to ranges of up to 70 km.

The first battery – also being referred to as a ‘firing unit' – for the system was delivered to the IAF's 2204 Squadron on 9 September by the government-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which developed the MRSAM variant jointly with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, and several local private- and public-sector companies.

In a statement issued that same day the Indian government's Press Information Bureau (PIB) said the system is designed to “provide point and area air defence for ground assets against a wide range of threats, including fighter aircraft, UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles], helicopters, guided and unguided munitions, subsonic and supersonic cruise missiles” among other aerial threats.

The MRSAM is intended to provide protection against massed aerial threats and is capable of engaging multiple targets simultaneously. The missile is powered by an indigenously-developed rocket motor and control systems, and is stated to be capable of achieving high manoeuvrability during the terminal phase of interception.

A typical MRSAM battery is understood to consist of three transporter-erector launchers (TELs) with eight missiles each, a command vehicle referred to as the ‘combat management system', a long-range multifunctional radar (alleged to be a ground-based variant of the ELM-2248 MF-STAR with a single antenna face), two mobile power generators, as well as three transloaders and at least one field service vehicle.

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