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List of Important Missiles in India and its Types and Fact

List of Important Missiles in India: India is actively engaged in enhancing its defense capabilities through collaborations with Russia, focusing on the development of cruise missiles and ship-launched ballistic missiles. This strategic partnership aims to strengthen India’s position as a robust nation in the modern era. The country’s ballistic missile arsenal serves as a crucial platform for delivering nuclear weapons to potential adversaries like China and Pakistan. India’s military requirements have propelled the development of longer-range ballistic missiles and the diversification of delivery systems beyond mobile land-based missiles. By expanding its missile capabilities, India seeks to maintain a credible deterrent and reinforce its national security. Collaboration with Russia in the field of missile technology underscores India’s commitment to staying at the forefront of defense innovation and ensuring its defense interests are effectively safeguarded.

Types of Missiles

India possesses a diverse range of missile systems, catering to various defense requirements. These include:

  • Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAM): These missiles are designed to intercept and destroy hostile aircraft or other missiles in the air. SAM systems provide defense against aerial threats, safeguarding vital installations and military assets.
  • Air-to-Air Missiles (AAM): AAMs are primarily used by fighter aircraft to engage and neutralize enemy aircraft in aerial combat. These missiles are designed for high maneuverability and speed to ensure effective engagement at varying distances.
  • Surface-to-Surface Missiles: These missiles are deployed on land-based platforms and can be launched to strike targets on land. They offer long-range precision strike capabilities and can be equipped with conventional or nuclear warheads, depending on the mission objectives.
  • Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD)/Interceptor Missiles: BMD systems consist of interceptor missiles designed to intercept and destroy incoming ballistic missiles during their flight trajectory. These missiles play a critical role in protecting against potential ballistic missile threats.
  • Cruise Missiles: Cruise missiles are self-propelled, guided weapons that can be launched from various platforms, such as aircraft, ships, or submarines. They provide accurate and long-range strike capabilities against both land and sea targets.
  • Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles: These missiles are launched from submarines and are capable of carrying nuclear or conventional warheads. Submarine-launched ballistic missiles provide a strategic second-strike capability, enhancing India’s deterrence posture.
  • Anti-Tank Missiles: These missiles are specifically designed to engage and destroy enemy armored vehicles. They offer precision targeting and high penetration capabilities, providing infantry forces with an effective means of countering armored threats.

List Of Important Indian Missiles

Air-To-Air Missiles  
Name of  Missiles Type of Missile Operational Range Speed
MICA Air-to-Air Missile 50m to 80 km Mach 4
Astra Air-to-Air Missile 80-110 km Mach 4.5+
Novator K-100 Medium range air to air missile 300-400 km Mach 3.3
Surface to Air Missiles 
Name of Missiles Type of Missile Operational Range Speed
Trishul Short-Range Surface-to-Air Missile 9 km Mach 2
Akash Missile Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile 30-35 km Mach 2.5-3.5
Barak-8 Long-Range Surface-to-Air Missile 100 km Mach 2
Surface-to-Surface Missile 
Name of Missile Type of Missile Operational Range Speed
Agni-I Medium Range Ballistic  Missile 700-1250 km Mach 7.5
Agni-II Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile 2000-3000 km Mach 12
Agni-III Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile 3500-5000 km Mach 15
Agni-IV Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile 3000-4000 km Mach 7
Agni-V Intercontinental Ballistic Missile 5000-8000 km Mach 24
Prithvi-I Short Range Ballistic Missile 150 km     —
Prithvi-II Short Range Ballistic  Missile 350 km     —


Cruise Missiles 

Name of Missile  Type of Missile  Operational Range  Speed 
BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile 290 km 2.8-3 Mach
BrahMos II Hypersonic Cruise Missile 300 km Mach 7
Nirbhay Subsonic Cruise Missile 1,000-1,500 km Mach 0.8


Defense Missile 

Name of Missile Type of Missile Operational Range Speed
Prithvi Air Defence Exo-atmospheric Anti Ballistic Missile Altitude 80km Mach 5+
Prithvi Defense Vehicle Exo-atmospheric Anti Ballistic Missile Altitude 30km Mach 4.5
Advanced air Defence Endo-atmospheric Anti Ballistic Missile Altitude 120km

Read more Important Government Schemes for UPSC 2023

Indian Missiles and Important Facts for UPSC

  • The Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) was launched in 1983.
  • The IGMDP aimed to develop the Trishul, Akash, Nag, Prithvi, and Agni-I missile systems.
  • These missiles belong to the category of intermediate-range surface-to-surface missiles.
  • Tessy Thomas, known as the “Missile Woman” of India, is a prominent Indian scientist.
  • Tessy Thomas serves as the Director General of Aeronautical Systems and was the former Project Director for the Agni-IV missile in the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
  • Prithvi was India’s first surface-to-surface missile featuring a single stage and using liquid fuel.


General Studies Notes Links.
List of Forests in India: Important Forests in India Download PDF List of Major Sites in Indus Valley Civilization and Findings
List of Lok Sabha Speakers List of Technologies developed by DRDO


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What is India's longest-range missile?

The Agni-V is the longest range missile in service with the Indian Army. It has a strike range of more than 5000 km and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. It was developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

What is India's fastest missile?

The indigenously developed BrahMos supersonic cruise missile is the fastest in service with any armed force around the world. It has a strike range of 290 km and can be launched from land, air and sea. It travels at a speed of Mach-22 (three times the speed of sound).

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