Providing a network-based, multi-layered air defense, IAI’s BARAK MX sets new standards for modern air defence capability, from short range air defense (SHORAD) to extended range air defenses (ERAD), securing the national airspace and protecting military forces theater-wide.

Recent conflicts around the world have highlighted the central role of air defence, and are driving nations to modernize their defences against air attacks, unmanned aerial systems, and cruise missiles. Legacy air defence systems that trace back to the 1980s often lack the agility to meet new threats, thus becoming vulnerable to counter-attacks and countermeasures.  

Newer technologies have brought about significant changes in the threats that air defence systems have to cope with, stand-alone weapons, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), cruise missiles and electronic warfare (EW), air-launched missiles and unmanned platforms deployed from stand-off range, out of the air defenses reach. Whereas in the past, air defence was designed to counter aerial attacks carried mainly by fixed-wing and rotary-wing manned aircraft. Attacks can be programmed to strike from all aspects, employing coordinated salvo techniques to saturate the defences, and such surprise attacks indicate no hostile intent before launch. The changing threats and their widespread use, necessitate a new need and new ways of coping with them effectively. For this purpose, a paradigm shift in the operation of air defense forces is required.

Integrated Air Defence System

Integrated Air Defence Systems (IADS) include multiple combined assets such as sensors, command and control nodes, and fire units, woven in a mesh-based net-centric operation. With modern systems like BARAK-MX, commanders can effectively delegate tasks and targets for complex threat mitigation and override the damage caused by the destruction or isolation of singular nodes. In effect, parallel operations of several attack missions are possible, unlike in the past and earlier systems – in which only linear operations were possible.

The BARAK MX System

CaptionBarak-MX is currently operational with several prestigious customers worldwide.

BARAK-MX system was developed and designed by IAI from the ground up as a true net-centric IADS surface-to-air missile (SAM) system. A flexible, network-enabled, open architecture enables a networked and fully independent operability of the system, couples different sensors and employs an advanced battle management system. 

It is centered around the Barak MX Smart-Launcher concept that provides an autonomous “Fire-Unit-in-a-Box”, a compactly integrated element that functions as an entire SAM battery. Its architecture can support a classic battery Fire Unit (FU) in a stand-alone mode or merge both operating concepts in a hybrid model.

Another aspect of BARAK MX agility is the choice of three types of interceptors using a common missile core design. These include the BARAK MRAD for short to medium ranges intercept (up to 35km), BARAK LRAD (Interception range up to 70 km), and the BARAK ER (effective at ranges up to 150 km).

The BARAK-MX System was designed from inception to be complemented by IAI-ELTA’s revolutionary ELM-2084 Multi-Mission Radar (MMR). The ELM-2084 radar combines capabilities of air surveillance and air defence within a single advanced radar system. Together with the BARAK-MX’s true net-centric capabilities, these sensors provide exceptional operational cost/benefit advantages for the integrated air defense system. The system’s open architecture enables integrating different radars and battle management assets, including legacy systems already operating by the customer.

The BARAK-MX Battle Management System (BMS) conducts all interceptions and supervises the smart launchers associated with the system, whether local or remote, thus achieving the highest success rate while maintaining the most efficient battle economy. As an advanced and innovative system, the BARAK-MX is suitable for operations both at sea and on land. The advanced control systems enable the cooperation between the batteries in all operating scenarios, separately (sea or land) or in combination.

As Israel’s national strategic missile producer and a pioneer of cutting-edge air and missile defence systems, IAI has developed and fielded the Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 Ballistic Missile interceptors, along with the Barak-MX system.

IAI considers cooperation with nations seeking to equip advanced air defence systems as essential. This is to leverage, improve and reap long term benefits; gaining access to technological know-how and the economic benefits derived from such investments. In line with IAI's long-standing local teaming strategy, IAI continuously explores opportunities for overseas partnerships, including subcontracting and through-life support.

Most military forces have recognized the need to modernize their air defences. Many recent tenders are geared towards IADS systems with full net-centricity, offering the highest operational advantage, affordability, and economic advantages in facing current and future threats.

© FrontLine sponsored content 2020