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What is a Ballistic Missile?

Ballistic Missile

A ballistic missile is known as a weapon of mass destruction. It is designed to deliver a warhead to a distant target by means of high-speed, gravity-driven flight. Ballistic missiles are named for their trajectory, which is essentially a parabolic arc, characterized by an initial rocket-powered boost, followed by a period of unpowered flight, and finally a steep, high-speed descent onto the target.

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They are a major component of many countries’ military arsenals, and their potential to inflict widespread destruction and casualties make them a powerful deterrent against enemy attack.

They are classified based on their range –

  • Short-range missiles have a range of up to 1,000 kilometres
  • Medium-range missiles have a range of up to 3,000 kilometres
  • Intercontinental ballistic missiles have a range of more than 5,500 kilometres.

Ballistic missiles are also classified based on their payload, with some missiles carrying conventional warheads while others carry nuclear warheads.

Ballistic Missiles in India

India’s ballistic missile program has come a long way since its inception in the 1960s. The country has developed several types of ballistic missiles, ranging from short-range missiles to intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Some of the most significant Indian ballistic missiles include the Agni series, Prithvi series, Shaurya missile, and BrahMos missile.

The Agni series of missiles is among India’s most advanced ballistic missiles, with a range of up to 5,000 kilometres. The Agni missile is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads, making it a potent weapon of deterrence. The Prithvi series of missiles, on the other hand, has a range of up to 350 kilometres and is primarily designed to deliver conventional warheads.

The Shaurya missile is a hypersonic missile that can travel at speeds of up to Mach 7, making it very difficult to intercept. This missile has a range of up to 750 kilometres and is designed to carry conventional warheads. The BrahMos missile, developed in collaboration with Russia, is a supersonic cruise missile that can travel at speeds of up to Mach 3. It has a range of up to 290 kilometres and can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads.

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What is unique about a Ballistic Missile?

The ballistic missile, a rocket-propelled self-guided strategic weapons system that follows a ballistic trajectory to deliver a payload from its launch site

What is a Baliistic Missile?

Ballistic missiles are powered initially by a rocket or series of rockets in stages, but then follow an unpowered trajectory that arches upwards before descending to reach its intended target. Ballistic missiles can carry either nuclear or conventional warheads.

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