TEL AVIV (Jul. 16)
Israel’s newest weapon, a ship-borne missile called Barak (Lightning) has been successfully test-fired, Israel Radio reported Wednesday. The radar-directed short-range missile is designed for fast attack naval craft. A land-borne version known as Adams (Air Defense Advanced Mobile System) can be fired from moving vehicles against attacking aircraft.
Both were developed and produced by Rafael, the State-owned weapons development authority, jointly with Israel Aircraft Industries, for defense against small boats, shore targets, low-flying aircraft and helicopters.
The Barak, with a range of 10 kilometers, is launched vertically which gives it a 360 degree horizontal approach to an attacking target. Only a few seconds elapse between detection of the target and the “kill” according to information supplied by Rafael. The missile lifts off for a dozen meters and then locks into its target by radar and is detonated by a proximity fuse.
Rafael is trying to attract customers abroad for the new weapon. Its sales promotion material notes that recent combat experience, notably the Falkland Islands war, demonstrates the need for a lightweight, short-range defense system for fast attack craft.