According to Israeli media reports, in November 2023, Azerbaijan signed an agreement worth $1.2 billion to purchase a large batch of new land-based medium and long-range Barak MX air defence missile systems from Israel. The systems are produced by the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) company. The contract was made government-to-government with the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s corresponding export management (SIBAT).
The first time IAI signed this contract was on November 9, but the client was not disclosed. Specifics regarding the contract are withheld. Notably, Azerbaijan was the first foreign customer to purchase the Barak 8 air defence missile system in its early stages of development. Following a 2012 agreement, they procured one system set in 2016, comprising 75 guided anti-aircraft missiles and 12 launchers, including the long-range variant Barak 8ER. Reportedly, Azerbaijan used the Barak 8 system, referred to as Ildirim in the country, with notable success in the autumn of 2020 during the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War.
In the currently promoted IAI version, the Barak MX system utilizes three types of guided anti-aircraft missiles (BARAK MRAD, BARAK LRAD, and BARAK ER) with ranges of up to 35, 70, and 150 km, respectively.
Each of the three launchers comprising the BARAK MX system has eight missiles. IAI provides the launchers with three distinct varieties of missiles, each boasting a range of 35, 70, or, in the case of the extended range variant, 150 kilometres.
The Barak-MRAD is a single-pulse rocket engine capable of 35-kilometer-range missile interception. The Barak-ER dual-pulse rocket engine, equipped with an auxiliary booster, has a range of 150 kilometres, whereas the Barak-LRAD dual-pulse rocket engine has a range of 70 kilometres for intercepting missiles.
Additionally, the system is equipped with a radome and multiple launchers to protect against aircraft, helicopters, drones, and missiles of every type.
Furthermore, sophisticated radio frequency signal detectors are integrated into every available missile, allowing the system to identify and pursue targets despite variations in visibility and weather. The system’s efficacy is augmented by the launchers’ capability to function in autonomous mode, during which data inputs are used to engage, monitor, and detach the target. This feature guarantees that every missile is focused on a predetermined target, thereby preventing the occurrence of redundant engagements.