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India begins final production of LRSAM missiles

Various Indian Missiles on display during Aero India 2021. (Photo courtesy of Saurav Chordia)
February 20, 2021

After series of various missile tests over the last five months, India flagged off one of their critical missile systems in the final phase of production on Sunday.

Dubbed LRSAM (Long Range Surface to Air Missile), India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) will begin manufacturing the missile in the APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex, Hyderabad, operated by Defense Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL). The system will be produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) under the partnership with DRDO labs.

The final production was flagged off during an event held in the presence of DRDO Chairman and Secretary of Department of Defense Research and Development Dr.G Satheesh Reddy, with Rear Admiral V Rajashekar, Director of Defense Machine Design Establishment (DMDE).

LRSAM, which is the extended version of Barak-8, is a jointly-developed Surface to Air Missile by India’s DRDO and Israel’s IAI (Israeli Aerospace Industries). The missile is intended to be the backbone of the Indian Navy’s air defense capability, armed over lead vessels and operated by the force.

LRSAM is a two-staged dual pulse rocket motor-powered missile, an extended derivative over its original design of Barak-8. Compared to Barak-8, LRSAM has major upgrades and design modifications to meet the requirements of India. Where Barak-8 gives a maximum hit range of 100 kilometers, LRSAM is capable of hitting targets at 150 kilometers.

With extended body and software modifications, LRSAM can carry multiple beyond visual range targets and engage through rapid threat response and sharp low signature launch, increasing the target acquisition ratio exponentially.

DRDO Chairman Reddy explained the criticality of indigenous production efforts and complemented the homegrown industrial capability, which helped to establish manufacturing facilities. He also lauded the crucial importance of the Missile System Quality Assurance Agency, DG (NAI) in catalyzing production activities of the missiles’ major components at various industries across India, leading to the delivery of missiles with aerospace quality standards.

Rear Admiral Rajasekhar complemented DRDO for successfully completing the production order ahead of schedule and strengthening the air defense capability of the Indian Navy. Meanwhile, the Indian Army is hopeful to induct a land variant operated on mobile vehicles to create a principle defense envelope on border frontiers, especially on strategic locations.

LRSAM, also called Barak-8ER, is meant to be deployed on the upcoming Visakhapatnam Class Destroyers and Nilgiri Class Frigates of the Indian Navy. This missile will also replace Operational Barak-8 on Kolkata Class Destroyer after arming new warships in the fleet.