Missiles Of India - List Of Types Of Missiles In India

The syllabus of UPSC Prelims examination is vast and diverse. The syllabus of UPSC Prelims exam for general subjects like History, Geography, Economics, Polity, General sciences and CSAT (aptitude) is well defined. The Current affairs segment which is undefined and dynamic is emerging as an inevitable part of the UPSC exam. In this context, candidates have to concentrate on both traditional and current affairs areas.

Defence is an important and dynamic segment in UPSC Syllabus. The commission has asked several questions related to the missile launch, its type, etc. According to recent trends, UPSC tends to ask factual questions more than conceptual ones. This has put the candidates into a great pressure as they cannot predict the pattern of questions. To tackle the factual questions, it is essential to know about several facts and figures. Defence is an important area in UPSC Mains and Prelims examination.

To know more about other Government exams, refer to the linked article.

Important Missiles in India – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

Category of Important Indian Missiles:

  • Surface-To-Air Missiles
  • Air-to-air missiles
  • Surface-to-surface missiles
  • Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD)/Interceptor Missiles
  • Cruise Missiles
  • Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles
  • Anti-Tank Missiles


The below table gives the list of important Missiles which are used by Indian Armed Forces or they are currently at different stages of development:


Air-to-air missiles

Name of the Missile Type of Missile Operational Range Speed
MICA Air-to-Air Missiles 500 m to 80 km Mach 4
Astra Missile Air-to-Air Missiles 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

Trishul Short-Range surface to air missile 9 km There were problems in this missile as it could not hit its targets. Hence, this programme was officially closed in 2008 by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). This missile was not inducted by the Indian Armed Forces. India, decided to import Barak Missiles from Israel.
Akash Missile (There are 3 Variants at different stages of development – Akash-1S, Akash Mark-II, Akash-NG) Medium-range surface-to-air missile Akash -1S (18 – 30 Km)

Akash Mk-II (35 – 40 Km)

Akash-NG (More than 50 Km)

Mach 2.5 to 3.5
Barak 8 Long-Range surface to air Missile 100 km Mach 2
Surface-to-surface Missiles Agni-I Medium-range ballistic missile 700-1250 km Mach 7.5
Agni-II Intermediate-range ballistic missile 2,000–3,000 km Mach 12
Agni-III Intermediate-range ballistic missile Around 3,000 km 5–6 km/s
Agni-IV Intermediate-range ballistic missile Around 4,000 km Mach 7
Agni-V Intercontinental ballistic missile Around

5,000 km

Mach 24
Prithvi I Short-Range Ballistic Missile 150 km
Prithvi II Short-Range Ballistic Missile 350 km
Dhanush Short-Range Ballistic Missile 350 – 600 km
Shaurya Medium-Range Ballistic Missile 750 to 1,900 km
Prahaar Short-Range Ballistic Missile 150 km
Cruise Missiles BrahMos Supersonic cruise missile 290 km Mach 2.8 to 3 Mach
BrahMos II Hypersonic cruise missile 450 – 600 km Mach 7
Nirbhay Subsonic cruise missile 1,000 – 1500 km Mach 0.8
Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Systems / Interceptor Missiles Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) Exo-atmospheric Anti-ballistic missile Altitude – 80 km Mach 5+
Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) Exo-atmospheric Anti-ballistic missile Altitude – 150 km Mach 4.5
Advanced Air Defence (AAD) /Ashwin Ballistic Missile Interceptor Endoatmospheric Anti-ballistic missile Altitude – 30 km

Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles

Sagarika (K-15) Ballistic Missile Around 750 Km
K-4 Ballistic Missile Around 3,000 km
K-5 Ballistic Missile Around 5,000 km

Anti-Tank Missile

Amogha Anti-Tank Guided Missile 2.8 km
Nag Anti-Tank Guided Missile 500 m – 4 km 230 m/s
Helina Anti-Tank Guided Missile 7 – 10 km

Important Missiles in India – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

List of Missiles of India is an important static GK topic. For information on various static GK topics check the article linked here.

Important Facts – Missiles in India

  1. The Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) was launched in 1983.
  2. This program was launched with an agenda to develop five missile systems in the country – Trishul, Akash, Nag, Prithvi, and Agni.
  3. Tessy Thomas who is an Indian scientist and Director General of Aeronautical Systems and the former Project Director for Agni-IV missile in Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) is known as the ‘Missile Woman’ of India.
  4. Prithvi was the first Indian single staged liquid-fuelled surface-to-surface Missile.

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