India’s Defence: Overview of Major Missiles

India’s Defence: Overview of Major Missiles

Question: Defence is a crucial concern in today’s world given terrorism and internal as well as external security threats. Discuss the major missiles that form part of India’s defence programme.

Prithvi 1 is a 150 km, surface to surface missile

Prithvi 2 is a 250 km surface to surface missile

Prithvi 3 is a 350 km surface to surface missile and its naval version is Dhanush

BrahMos is a 290 km supersonic cruise missile jointly developed by India and Russia; it is a hypersonic missile

BrahMos Mini are mini missiles weighing 1.5 tonnes and quite lighter than the regular version; they have a range of 290 kms and supersonic speed of 2.8 Mach speed; designed for navy submarines and airforce, this missiles will eventually be commercially sold as well

Agni 1 is a 700 km surface to surface missile; it is a single stage, solid fuel, road and rail mobile medium range ballistic missile

Agni 2 is a 2000 km surface to surface missile; this is an operational version of Agni 1 and it is an intermediate range ballistic missile with 2 solid fuel stages and a post boost vehicle

Agni 3 is a 3000 km surface to surface missile; this missile is India’s nuclear deterrent against China and it supports a wide range of warhead configuration; it has a total payload of 2490 kgs

Agni-4 is a 4000 km surface to surface missile; it is 20 m tall and has 2 stage solid fuel engine; heat shields of this missile can withstand 4000 degree celsius temperature

Agni-5 is a 5000 km intercontinental ballistic missile making India the 7th country to develop this technology after US, China, Russia, the UK, France and Israel; it is a 23 stage solid fuelled missile with composite motor casing

Nirbhay is a 800+ km subsonic cruise missile which is nuclear capable and can be remotely controlled

LRSAM is jointly developed by DRDO and IAI Israel; Also known as Barak 8, it has a range extending 70 km and it can be deployed over land and sea

Astra is a beyond visual range air to air missile

Trishul: This is a short range, all wether surface to air missile ideal for rapid reaction and countering low level attacks; it can be used as an anti sea skimmer and it is powered by a two stage propellant system; it has high manoeuvrability and flexibility

Akash: This is a medium range surface to air missile with multi target engagement capacity and it can carry 55kg multiple warheads using high energy solid propellant; it also has a phased array radar for multiple target tracking and simultaneous deployment of missiles to attack 4 targets in one go

Nag is a third generation fire and forget anti tank missile with a range of 4 to 8 m and it uses imaging infrared guidance giving it 24/7 capability; it is the first weapon of its kind to be inducted in the Indian army

Sagarika is a submarine launched ballistic missile while its land based variant is Shaurya

Prahar is a surface to surface tactical missile which can be fired through salvo mode to extend the reach of artillery fire over 150 km closing the gap between Prithvi Missiles and PINAKA rockets

Facts and Stats

• In 2008, India’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Plan ended with focus shifting towards serial production of missiles

• India has achieved the distinction of following achievements in defence sector:

- It is one of 4 countries with multi-level strategic deterrence capability

- It is one of 5 countries with own Ballistic Missiles Development programme

- It is one of 6 nations with own main battle tank and one of 7 nations which owns fourth generation combat aircrafts
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