Missiles that Indian armed forces have

Jan 24, 2013- New Delhi: India's missile and nuclear weapons programs have evolved as elements of its strategic response to more than 60 years of wars and skirmishes it has fought with Pakistan and China.

Deep tensions and mistrust in the sub-continent continue unabated to the present.

India's debacle on the borders at the hands of China in the 1962 war, probably more than any other event, galvanized its leadership to build indigenous missile and nuclear weapons capabilities as a credible deterrent against attack by China, and to attain military superiority over Pakistan.

The programme, that was envisioned under the leadership of Indira Gandhi in the 1970s and was started in the early 1980s, has been further consolidated with an exponentially expanded plan in the latter years.

Let’s have a look where India today stands in missile systems:


BrahMos is a stealth supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land.

The name BrahMos is a portmanteau formed from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.

It is the world's fastest cruise missile in operation. The missile travels at speeds of Mach 2.8 to 3.0.

The land-launched and ship-launched versions are already in service with air-launched and submarine-launched versions currently under testing phase.

A hypersonic version of the missile is also presently under development with speed of Mach 7 to boost aerial fast strike capability. It is expected to be ready for testing by 2017.

Prithvi missiles

The Prithvi missile is a family of tactical surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) and is India's first indigenously developed ballistic missile.

Development of the Prithvi began in 1983, and it was first test-fired on February 25, 1988 from Sriharikota, SHAR Centre, Pottisreeramulu Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh.

It has a range of up to 150 to 300 km. The land variant is called Prithvi while the naval operational variant of Prithvi I and Prithvi II class missiles are codenamed Dhanush (meaning Bow). Both variants are used for surface targets.

The initial project framework of the IGMDP envisioned the Prithvi missile as a short-range ballistic missile with variants for the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.

Over the years the Prithvi missile specifications have undergone a number of changes.

The Prithvi I class of missiles were inducted into the Indian Army in 1994, while Prithvi II with an extended range were being inducted in 2006.

Prithvi III class has a longer-range of 350 km, and was successfully test fired in 2004.

Agni missiles

The Agni missile is a family of Medium to Intercontinental range ballistic missiles developed by DRDO of India.

The initial Technology demonstrator version had a range of 1500 km but were based on a solid and a liquid stage making for long preparation before firing.

While the Agni-I, Agni-II and Agni-III, Agni-IV, Agni-V were developed under the IGMDP, and Agni-VI is under development as independent projects pursuant to the policy changes made by the DRDO after the end of the IGMDP in 2008.

Trishul missiles

Trishul is the name of a short range surface-to-air missile developed by India as a part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program.

Designed to be used against low-level targets at short range, the system has been developed to defend naval vessels against missiles and also as a short range surface to air missile on land.

The range of the missile is 12 km and is fitted with a 15 kg warhead. The weight of the missile is 130 kg. The length of the missile is 3.1 m.

India officially shut the down Trishul Missile project on February 27, 2008.

Akash missiles

Akash is a medium range surface-to-air missile developed to achieve self-sufficiency in the area of surface-to-air missiles.

It is the most expensive missile project ever undertaken by the Centre in the 20th century.

Akash is a medium-range surface-to-air missile with an intercept range of 30 km. It has a launch weight of 720 kg, a diameter of 35 cm and a length of 5.8 metres.

Akash flies at supersonic speed, reaching around Mach 2.5. It can reach an altitude of 18 km.

The missile is supported by a multi-target and multi-function phased array fire control radar called the 'Rajendra' with a range of about 80 km in search, and 60 km in terms of engagement.

The Akash system meant for the Army uses the T-72 tank chassis for its launcher and radar vehicles.

The Akash system can be deployed by rail, road or air.

Nag missiles

Nag is India's third generation "Fire-and-forget" anti-tank missile. It is an all weather, top attack missile with a range of 3 to 7 km.

The missile uses an 8 kg tandem HEAT warhead capable of defeating modern armour including ERA (Explosive Reactive Armour) and composite armour.

Nag uses Imaging Infra-Red (IIR) guidance with day and night capability.

Nag can be mounted on an infantry vehicle; a helicopter launched version will also be available with integration work being carried out with the HAL Dhruv.

Many of the above-mentioned platforms are operational with the various branches of the Indian Armed Forces.

Some missiles in different stages of testing and fine-tuning are:

A submarine-launched ballistic missile series (K-series, whose versions tested till now, range between 750 and 3500 km but later versions are slated to travel beyond 6000 km), a solid-fuelled stand-alone 150-km range tactical ballistic missile (Prahaar),

A long range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) system in joint venture with Israel (Barak with range between 70 and 120 km)

A long range cruise missile system (Nirbhay with range of 1000 km which is scheduled to be tested any day now)

Sagarika, Surya missile and Prahaar are other missiles that are in different stages of development

There are also murmurs about a ultra-long range surface-to-air missile system being under development though it has not been confirmed by the government.

India TV News