Morocco negotiates acquisition of Israeli Barak 8 air defense missile systems
According to information published by the "Israel Defense" website on December 28, 2021, Morocco continues the negotiation with IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries) for the acquisition of the Barak 8, a surface-to-air defense missile system.
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Launcher unit of the Israeli-made Barak 8 air defense missile system. (Picture source Army Recognition)
In November 2021, the Defense Minister of Morocco, Abdellatif Loudiyi was in Israel for an official visit the Israeli defense minister to Rabat, Gantz. During this official trip, Israel and Morocco have signed the memorandum of understanding between the two countries, which formalized the security ties between the two countries and made it easier for them to share intelligence, for the militaries and defense ministries to directly communicate with one another, and for Israel to sell weapons and defensive systems to Morocco.
Citing the "The Times of Israel" newspaper website, Israel and Morocco are also expected to allow major arms deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years for the acquisition of military equipment.
At the same time, Morocco has already shown his interest to obtain Israeli military equipment as the Barak 8 air defense missile system, and drones from IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries).
The Barak 8 is a long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM), jointly developed by the company IAI and the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The missile is designed to destroy aerial threats including aircraft, helicopters, anti-ship missiles, and UAVs as well as ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and combat jets. Both maritime and land-based variants of the system exist.
The Barak 8 missile has a length of about 4.5 meters, a diameter of 0.225 meters at missile body, and 0.54 meters at the booster stage, a wingspan of 0.94 meters and weighs 275 kg including a 60 kg warhead which detonates at proximity. The missile has maximum speed of Mach 3 with a maximum operational range of 70 km.
IAI has also developed new in the Barak family including the versions MRAD, with a single pulse rocket motor for a range of 35 km, LRAD with a dual pulse rocket motor for a range of 70 km, ER with a dual pulse rocket motor and an additional booster for a range of 150 km and enhanced TBM capabilities and the Barak MX that broadens the Barak into a multi-layered air defense system employing unified smart launchers carrying Short, Medium, and Extended-Range interceptors.
The launcher unit of the BARAK 8 air defense missile system is mounted on a military truck chassis. The Barak 8 missiles are launched vertically from the TEL (Transporter Erector Launcher) and provide 360 degree coverage. The launch unit consists of 8 ready-to-fire missile containers. All eight missiles can be fired in less than 20 seconds.
A Barak battery consists of a command and control system, tracking radar, missile and mobile launcher systems. When coupled with a modern air-defence system and multi-function surveillance track and guidance radars, (such as the MF-STAR AESA on board the Kolkata-class destroyers) Barak 8 enables the capability to simultaneously engage multiple targets during saturation attacks.