Israel holds first successful operational test for Barak 8 missile

Israel held the first operational test for the Barak 8 shipborne defense system on Thursday afternoon, successfully decimating an enemy target.

The system is set to defend navy ships from anti-ship missiles, like the Russian-built Yakhont (P-800 Oniks) – an advanced cruise missile system that Russia sold Syria and, the IDF believes, is also in the hands of Hezbollah.

Such missiles, the defense establishment believes, can paralyze Israel’s coast by targeting not only Israeli ships, but also its natural gas fields.

According to foreign reports, the IDF attacked shipments of Yakhont missiles on Lebanese soil over the past two years.

Despite that, a senior Navy officer assured Ynet that the IDF knows how to deal with such threats.

“We introduced the new Adir radar system, which provides wide-scope coverage and detection, and soon we will introduce the Barak 8 surface-to-air missiles that will improve our defense capabilities, like a naval Iron Dome,” the former commander of the Navy’s Missile Boats Flotilla (Shayetet 3), Col. Eyal Harel,  told Ynet shortly before leaving his post.

“Even now we can already deal with the Yakhont with the tools at our disposal. But we should take the Yakhont very seriously; it’s not a toothless threat. If this thing is launched and hits – that would be bad,” Harel added.