Table of Contents
List of Important Missiles in India
Let’s have a quick look at the list of important missiles in India, its features, and variants.
|Prithvi Air Defence (PAD)||–||–||2000 km|
|Nag||surface-to-surface Anti-tank missile||-lllllllllllllllll||4 km|
|BrahMos||land, naval, air||Supersonic Cruise Missile||300 km|
|Nirbhay||land, naval, air||Subsonic Cruise Missile||1000 km|
|K-15 Sagarika||underwater-to-surface||SLBM||700 km|
|Dhanush||sea-to-sea, sea-to-surface||SRBM||350 km|
- SLBM: Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile
- SRBM: Short-Range Ballistic Missile
List of Important Missiles and Features
|1||Astra||Astra is a beyond-visual-range (BVR) air-to-air missile (AAM).In terms of size and weight, the Astra is the smallest missile developed by the DRDO. It was envisaged to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft at supersonic speeds.|
|2||Trishul||Used as anti-sea skimmer (to fly low to avoid radar) from ships against low-flying attacks.|
|3||Akash||It has the capability to “neutralize aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles” as well as ballistic missiles.|
|4||PAD||Anti-ballistic missile developed to intercept incoming ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere (exo-atmospheric).|
|5||Nag||3rd generation anti-tank ‘fire and forget’ guided missile (lock-on before launch system) where the target is identified and designated before the weapon is launched.|
|6||Prahaar||High manoeuvrability. Primarily a battlefield support system for the Army.|
|7||BRAHMOS||BRAHMOS is a supersonic cruise missile developed as a joint venture between Indian and Russia. It is the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world. BRAHMOS is the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile in operation.|
|8||Nirbhay||The subsonic missile which is ancillary (providing necessary support) to the BrahMos range.|
|9||K-15 Sagarika||It forms the crucial third leg of India’s nuclear deterrent vis-à-vis its submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) capability. It was subsequently integrated with India’s nuclear-powered Arihant class submarine.|
|10||Dhanush||It is capable of carrying nuclear warheads. It carries forward the legacy of the K-15 Sagarika.|
|11||Shaurya||Surface-to-surface ballistic missile (SSM) variant of the K-15 Sagarika. The nuclear capability of the missile enhances India’s second-strike capability. It reduces the dependence on the K-15 which was built with Russian assistance.|
Different Types of Missiles
Missiles can be classified into two based on the type: Ballistic and Cruise. Their feature is:
|Ballistic Missiles||Cruise Missiles|
|Follows a ballistic trajectory to deliver one or more warheads to a predetermined target.||Guided-missile that remains in the atmosphere and flies the major portion of its flight path at an approximately constant speed.|
|Target is predetermined. Fit for large targets.||The target can be mobile. More appropriate for small mobile targets.|
|Guided only during relatively brief periods of flight and the rest of its trajectory is unpowered and governed by gravity.||Are self-navigating|
|High altitude. Easy to track||Able to fly in extremely low-altitude trajectory. Makes it difficult to track|
The other classification of Missiles are:
- Based on the Launch Mode
Surface-to-Surface Missile, Surface-to-Air Missile, Surface (Coast)-to-Sea Missile, Air-to-Air Missile, Air-to-Surface Missile, Sea-to-Sea Missile, Sea-to-Surface (Coast) Missile, Anti-Tank Missile
- Based on the Range
Short Range Missile, Medium-Range Missile, Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile, Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
- Based on the Propulsion:
Solid Propulsion, Liquid Propulsion, Hybrid Propulsion, Ramjet, Scramjet, Cryogenic
- Guidance Systems
Wire Guidance, Command Guidance, Terrain Comparison Guidance, Terrestrial Guidance, Inertial Guidance, Beam Rider Guidance, Laser Guidance, RF and GPS Reference
Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP)
IGMDP missiles are the pioneers in the list of the important missiles of Indian defence forces.
- Conceived by Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam.
- India started the IGMDP in 1983.
- Missiles Developed under IGMDP are PRITHVI, AKASH, NAG, TRISHUL, and AGNI
- Prithvi variants are surface-to-surface SRBMs.
- It is a short-range tactical surface to surface ballistic missile developed by DRDO.
- Prithvi Missile has been deployed by India’s strategic forces command.
- It was the first missile developed under integrated guided missile development programme started in 1983.
- Prithvi missile series uses either liquid or both liquid and solid fuels and are capable of carrying conventional as well as a nuclear warhead.
- Prithvi missile project has three variants for use by the Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and the Indian Navy.
|Variant||Version||Range||Payload in kg|
|Prithvi I||Army||150 km||1000|
|Prithvi II||Air force||350 km||500|
|Prithvi III||Naval||600 km||1000|
- Medium to intercontinental-range ballistic missiles
- Consist of one (short range) or two stages (intermediate-range).
- The Agni-I is a short or intermediate-range ballistic missile. It was first tested in Chandipur off the coast of Orissa, India, in May 1989.
|Variant||Type||Range||Payload in kg|
|Agni-I||MRBM||700 – 900 km||1,000|
|Agni-II||MRBM||2,000 – 3,000 km||750 – 1,000|
|Agni-III||IRBM||3,500 – 5,000 km||2,000 – 2,500|
|Agni-IV||IRBM||3,000 – 4,000 km||800 – 1,000|
|Agni-V||ICBM||5,000 – 8,000 km (Testing)||1,500 (3 – 10 MIRV)|
|Agni-VI||ICBM||8,000 – 10,000 km (Under development)||1,000 (10 MIRV)|
- MIRV: Multiple Independently targetable Re-entry Vehicle
- Nag is a third-generation, fire-and-forget, anti-tank guided missile developed by India’s state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to support both mechanised infantry and airborne forces of the Indian Army.
- It is an all-weather condition with day and night capabilities and with a minimum range of 500m and a maximum range of 4 km.
- NAG MIssile can be launched from land and air-based platforms. The land version is currently available for integration on the Nag missile carrier (NAMICA)
- The helicopter-launched configuration, designated as helicopter-launched NAG (HELINA), can be fired from Dhruv advanced light helicopter(ALH) and HAL Rudra (ALH WSI) attack helicopter.
- Akash is a 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 5.78 metres.
- AKASH missiles can be fired from both tracked and wheeled platforms. It provides multidirectional and multitarget area defence.
- AKASH Mk1S is a surface to air missile which can neutralize advanced aerial targets.
- It is an upgrade of existing AKASH missile with indigenous Seeker.
- The Akash weapon system has a combination of both command guidance and active terminal seeker guidance.
- The supersonic missile has a range of around 25 km and up to the altitude of 18,000 metres.
- The missile uses high-energy solid propellant for the booster and ramjet-rocket propulsion for the sustainer phase.
- The two variants of the AKASH missiles are Akash MK1, Akash-MK2 — with improved accuracy and higher ranges are under development by the DRDO.
List of Important Missiles in India: Miscellaneous
Anti-satellite weapons (ASAT)
Anti-satellite weapons provide the capability to shoot down enemy satellites in orbit thereby disrupting critical communications and surveillance capabilities. Only the United States, Russia, China, and India have the ASAT systems.
- India successfully tested its ASAT missiles in March 2019.
- India’s ASAT programme is officially known as the “Mission Shakthi”.
- India’s ASAT missile destroyed a live satellite in Low Earth orbit (283-kilometre).
- It is capable of shooting down targets moving at a speed of 10 km per second at an altitude as high as 1200 km.
- ASTRA Missiles are an all-weather beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile developed by the DRDO.
- It is the first air-to-air missile developed by India.
- An air to air missile (AAM) is one which can be fired from an aircraft for of destroying another aircraft or any other airborne objects.
- It was tested off the coast of Odisha.
- Since ASTRA missiles work on the Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) technology that enables the fighter jet pilots to shoot precisely at the enemy targets which are beyond their visual range.
- It can engage aerial targets at a range of 80 km – 110 km. It has been integrated with Sukhoi 30 Mki, Mirage 2000, LCA, MiG-29 fighter aircraft.
Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air missiles (QRSAM)
- DRDO developed QRSAM to replace the ‘Akash’ missile defence system and has 360-degree coverage.
- DRDO developed QRSAM in association with Bharat Electronics Limited and Bharat Dynamics Limited.
- It is a short Range Surface to Air Missile system designed to protect moving armoured columns from aerial attacks.
- QRSAM is capable of hitting the low flying objects.
- It is an all-weather, all-terrain surface-to-air missile equipped with electronic countermeasures against jamming by aircraft radars
- The missile can be mounted on a truck and is stored in a canister.
Pinaka Missile System
- Pinaka is a multiple rocket launcher developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the Indian Army.
- This system has a maximum range of 40 km for Mark-I and 75 km for Mark-II and can fire a salvo of 12 HE rockets in 44 seconds.
- Its weapon system has a state-of-the-art guidance kit bolstered by an advanced navigation and control system.
- The navigation system of the missile is aided by the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).
- The initial version of the weapon system was called Mark I, which had a range of 40 km. The upgraded version, the Pinaka Mark II has an extended range of 70 to 80 km.
- BRAHMOS missile is a joint venture between the Defence Research and Development Organisation of India (DRDO) and the NPOM of Russia.
- The missile got its name “BRAHMOS” from two famous rivers from the respective countries; the rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva.
- It is a two-stage: solid-propellant engine in the first stage and liquid ramjet in second, air to surface missile with a flight range of around 300 km.
- The BrahMos is a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile and he fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world.
- Brahmos can be launched from land, air, and sea and multi capability missile with pinpoint accuracy that works in both day and night irrespective of the weather conditions.
- It operates on the “Fire and Forgets” principle i.e it does not require further guidance after launch.
- Brahmos is one of the fastest cruise missile deployed with the speed which is 3 times more than the speed of sound.
- PRALAY Missile is a surface-to-surface guided short-range ballistic missile
- It is a derivative of Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) exo-atmospheric interceptor which can destroy enemy weapons at high altitudes.
- PRALAY Missile system has a payload of 1 tonne and it has the capacity to strike targets 350 km away.
- It can travel up to 500 km if the payload is halved.
- It is propelled by a solid-fuel rocket.
- PRALAY Missiles can fly faster than the conventional missiles in its class and can evade the ballistic missile defence system.
- It will be launched from its own canister-based transport erector launcher.
- It is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile designed and developed in India by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE).
- NIRBHAY missile can be launched from multiple platforms and is capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads.
- It is a two-stage missile powered by Solid rocket motor booster.
- This missile is capable of carrying warheads of up to 300kg at a speed of 0.6 to 0.7 Mach (sub-sonic).
- It has an operational range of 1000 km (long-range).
Barak 8 Missile
- Barak 8 is an Indian-Israeli surface-to-air missile (SAM), designed to defend against any type of airborne threat including aircraft, helicopters, anti-ship missiles, and UAVs as well as cruise missiles and combat jets.
- Israel has recently tested India’s BARAK 8.
- Barak 8 is a supersonic long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM). It the first LRSAM India and Israel have co-developed.
Ballistic Missile Defence
- It is a defence program is an initiative to develop and deploy a multi-layered ballistic missile defence system to protect India from ballistic missile attacks.
- India launched the BMD programme in 1999 after Pakistan’s maiden nuclear test in 1998
- Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) is a two-tired defence shield which aims to destroy enemy ballistic missiles. It works on two levels, endo-atmospheric (within the Earth’s atmosphere) and exo-atmospheric (the space beyond the Earth’s atmosphere).
- The BMD consists of two interceptor missiles, the Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) and the Advanced Area Defence (AAD) missile.
- The PDV- Pradyumna Ballistic Missile Interceptor is capable of destroying missiles at exo-atmospheric altitudes of 50–80 km. It is a two-stage supersonic missile fuelled by the solid motor in the first stage and liquid-fuelled in the second stage.
- AAD- Ashvin Advanced Defense interceptor is capable of destroying missiles at endo-atmosphere (low) altitudes of 15-30 kilometres.
- AAD is a single-stage supersonic solid fuelled interceptor missile.
- In January 2020, various reports were claiming that India’s indigenous Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) programme is completed way before the expected date.
Entri wishes you all the best for all your upcoming examinations. Start your Preparation today itself. Entri will help you with thousands of questions. Attempt mock tests, analyze yourselves to improve your success rate.