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Chinese media article on India’s Barak 8 deployment at Siliguri Corridor

NG Missile Vessels

Apr 9, 2023
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On February 24, the Indian Army released a photo announcing that the Indian Army's first medium-range air defense missile regiment was formally established at the Eastern Command, and emphasized that the regiment is currently deployed in the eastern border area and will mainly provide air defense cover for front-line troops in the future. However, judging from the promotional photos of the Indian Army combined with the satellite photos of the resident air defense units of the Indian Army on the Eastern Front, the regiment should not be newly formed, but a sub-unit of the 618th Independent Air Defense Brigade, which was originally under the command of the Eastern Command. of. The range of the new MRSAM medium-range air defense missile system equipped by the regiment is exactly the same as that of the HQ-16B of the Air Defense Brigade of the Army Group Army, which shows the Indian Army's benchmarking intention in the construction of air defense forces.

Figure: The establishment photo of the MRSAM missile regiment released by the Indian Army

Figure: The station of the 618th Independent Air Defense Brigade of the Indian Army on the Eastern Front

Figure: The group photo of the Indian Army was taken in the equipment shed of the 618th Brigade

As can be seen from the satellite photos above, the equipment of this medium-range air defense missile regiment is in the shed of the 618th Independent Air Defense Brigade, obviously belonging to the brigade. Although it is called a regiment, in fact, the formation of this regiment is equivalent to that of the missile battalions of the air defense forces of other countries. There are 8 launch vehicles in the whole regiment, together with the accusation and technical support team supporting the system, it is the strength of the whole regiment. The number of its launch vehicles and the composition of its units are similar to those of missile battalions in other countries, but the designation and title are relatively large. In addition to the air defense force, other Indian army units, such as artillery and armored regiments, are not the "regiment" we understand in the traditional sense. They are only equivalent to the strength of our battalion and reinforced battalion.

Figure: A photo of the Army version of the MRSAM air defense system during the test

Figure: The air force version of MRSAM uses a trailer launcher, and the army version is more compact

The MRSAM air defense system equipped with this medium-range air defense missile regiment is actually no stranger to the outside world. It is the land-based version of the Barak-8 ship-to-air missile system "jointly developed" by Israel and India. This version is divided into two sub-versions, the air force type and the army type. The air force type is mainly responsible for base air defense and air defense, and does not require high mobility and off-road performance. Therefore, the launch vehicle uses a trailer chassis, and it will start in 2021. Delivered to the Indian Army for service. The army type needs to consider the needs of field air defense, so it uses a more compact and maneuverable 8x8 truck chassis. At the same time, due to more testing requirements, the service time is later than the air force type. However, the radar configuration and interceptors of the two systems are the same.

Figure: EL/M-2084 active phased array multi-mission radar

Figure: Official brochure data of 2084 Radar

The radar of the MRSAM air defense system is the EL/M-2084 S-band active phased array multi-mission radar of Israel IAI ELTA company. The radar has two modes: anti-ground artillery and air defense. In the air defense mode, the longest detection distance for high-altitude large targets is 256 nautical miles, which is 474 kilometers, and the number of targets processed at the same time is 1,200. In the anti-ground anti-artillery mode, the maximum positioning distance for large-caliber distant fire is 100 kilometers, the positioning accuracy is 0.25% of the distance, and the number of targets processed at the same time is 200 per minute. The radar with the MRSAM system basically uses the air defense mode, and its performance is indeed very good, so in addition to India, countries such as Vietnam and Singapore have also bought this radar to match their own Spyder air defense systems.

Figure: MRSAM interceptor

In terms of interceptor bombs, MRSAM basically uses the interceptor bomb of the ship-borne Barak-8 system. Its size is very compact, with a total length of 4.55 meters, a diameter of 0.225 meters, a total weight of 275 kg, and a 60 kg warhead. Due to the compact body, MRSAM's launch vehicle can carry 8 bombs per vehicle, which is two more than our army's HQ-16 launch vehicle.
The range of the bomb is due to the use of a dual-pulse rocket engine developed by India, which uses interval ignition to optimize ballistic energy distribution, so the maximum range reaches 70 kilometers, the same as the Hongqi-16B
. However, due to the insufficient acceleration time for each ignition, the MRSAM missile, like the Barak-8, cannot increase its speed. The top speed of the Barak-8 is only about Mach 2. Although the MRSAM missile is said to be upgraded to Mach 3, it is still slower than the HQ-16. This also makes the MRSAM system, like the Barak-8, more difficult to intercept high-speed targets.

However, when intercepting low-speed targets such as aircraft, subsonic cruise missiles and long-range air-to-surface missiles, MRSAM's performance is still worthy of attention because of its special flight control method. The front and rear wings of the bomb are rudder wings, and the tail is equipped with gas rudders. Since the dual-pulse rocket engine will ignite once during the missile's flight, its gas rudders also play a role in controlling the missile's maneuvering during the missile's flight. effect. Under the joint action of the front and rear air rudders and gas rudders, the MRSAM interceptor bomb can maneuver with greater overload in the latter part of the flight, which is conducive to interception. As for the guidance method, the bomb uses the mid-stage inertial navigation plus two-way data link correction, and the terminal active radar guidance.

Figure: The data link antenna on the accusation vehicle communicates with the missile

In terms of performance, the ability of MRSAM to intercept most targets on the battlefield is still sufficient, and compared to the self-developed Akash air defense system that lags behind in service, the MRSAM supported by Israel is obviously more satisfying and reassuring to the Indian army. Moreover, the 70-kilometer range of the system can at least match the Red Flag-16B of our army on paper, which is currently very important to the Indian army. However, the lack of high-speed target interception capability of the MRSAM system also makes it difficult to protect itself in the face of YJ-91 supersonic anti-radiation missiles, 370 large-caliber guided long-range fire and tactical ballistic missiles.

Picture: Hidden in the woods next to the garrison is the Agni 2/3 medium-range ballistic missile launch site of the 3341st Ballistic Missile Brigade of the Indian Army

Picture: The current deployment site can cover the troops stationed in the 4th Army and Tezpur Air Force Base

In terms of deployment, the current 618th Air Defense Brigade is in the plains on the eastern front, not in the mountainous areas on the first front. In peacetime, the brigade is mainly responsible for the air defense of the Agni 2/3 medium-range ballistic missile launching position of the 3341st Ballistic Missile Brigade, preventing the position from being attacked by fighter planes and cruise missiles. In wartime, it can be strengthened to the troops on the Eastern Front as needed to carry out field air defense missions. In the past, they only had a short-range air defense system, and they could only cover the position of the 3341 Missile Brigade nearby. After being equipped with the MRSAM system, they could cover most of the 4th Army's garrison on the other side of the river and Tezpur Air Force Base. Compared with before, the cover ability has indeed improved.

At present, the Indian Army has placed an order for the Army version of the MRSAM system for 5 regiments. Obviously, the limited air defense brigades of the Indian Army will definitely have to replace a regiment in the future. What deserves attention in the next stage is the refitting of the new air defense brigade with an undisclosed number in the hands of the 17th Army on the Eastern Front. In addition, the 14th Army on the Western Front has never had its own independent air defense unit. The promotional photos of the Indian Army show that the 39th Mountain Division of the original 16th Army suddenly appeared in the army's sequence, so whether the expanded 14th Army will add an air defense brigade equipped with the MRSAM system in the future is also worthy of attention.

@Vikramaditya-I @CallSignMaverick @MirageBlue @hembo These Chinese believes that MR-SAM/Barak 8 has a max interception speed of Mach 3. Bruh, when the 2nd pulse rocket motor will kick in during terminal phase you won't know what hit you. Their HQ-9/HQ-16 wasn't able to intercept our BrahMos at Mian Channu and still these guys have the audacity to compare it to MR-SAM/Barak 8 and claim that MR-SAM can't target high speed moving objects 😁😆

They don't know Barak 8 is the only SAM in the world with minimum interception range of 0.5km. All other SAMs of its class have minimum 1 to >1.5km MIR. The extremely efficient light weight DPRM design gives it QR caps with terminal homing speed reaching Mach 3 with 2nd pulse rocket motor
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