Topic of the Day – Surface to Surface Missile

UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – Surface to Surface Missile


  • The Agni missile is a family of medium to intercontinental range ballistic missiles
  • Agni Missiles are long range, nuclear weapons capable surface to surface ballistic missile.
  • The first missile of the series, Agni-I was developed under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program and tested in 1991.


  • Agni-I – MRBM
  • Agni-II – IRBM
  • Agni-III – IRBM
  • Agni-IV – IRBM
  • Agni-V – ICBM
  • Agni-VI – ICBM


MRBM – Medium range ballistic missile

IRBM – Intermediate range ballestic missile

ICBM – Intercontinental ballestic missile


     A true ICBM has a minimum range of at least 8,000 km and more likely 12,000 km.


Agni IV

  • It is capable of hitting a target at a distance of 4,000 km with 2 stage solid propellant engine.
  • The missile is about 20 meters tall and weighs 17 tons.
  • It is equipped with 5th generation onboard computer and distributed architecture.
  • It has the latest features to correct and guide itself for in-flight disturbances. The most accurate ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system (RINS) and supported by highly reliable redundant micro navigation system (MINGS), ensures the vehicle reaches the target within two-digit accuracy.


Agni V

  • The Agni V is a solid fueled ICBM with a range of 5,500 to 5,800 km.
  • Agni V is nuclear capable, with a payload capacity of 1,500 kg of high-explosive warhead.
  • It has inbuilt new technologies for navigation and guidance (fire and forget system).



Dhanush Ballistic Missile

  • It is a surface-to-surface missile.
  • It is a naval variant of India’s indigenously-developed Prithvi missile.
  • It is a single-stage, liquid-propelled missile.
  • Its range is 350 km.



  • Nirbhay is an all-weather low-cost long-range cruise missile with stealth and high accuracy.
  • The missile has a range of more than 1000 km. It weighs about one tonne and has a length of 6 metres.
  • The missile is capable of being launched from multiple platforms on land, sea and air.
  • The missile is capable of carrying nuclear warheads.



  • The Prahaar is India’s surface-to-surface missile with a range of 150 kms.
  • The primary objective of the conventionally armed Prahaar missile is to bridge the gap between the unguided Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher (ranging 45 kms) and the guided Prithvi missile variants.



  • It is indigenously developed nuclear capable surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) developed by DRDO under IGMDP. It is deployed by India’s Strategic Forces Command.


  • Prithvi I (SS-150) – Army Version (150 km (93 mi) range with a payload of 1,000 kg)
  • Prithvi II (SS-250) – Air Force Version (250 km (160 mi) range with a payload of 500 kg)
  • Prithvi III (SS-350) – Naval Version (350 km (220 mi) range with a payload of 1000 kg)


Prithvi-II missile


  • The missile is thrusted by liquid propulsion twine engines.
  • It uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvering trajectory.
  • It is the first missile to be developed by DRDO under India’s prestigious IGMDP
  • The missile is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads.


Shaurya Missile

  • It is a canister launched hypersonic surface-to-surface tactical missile.
  • It has a range of 750 to 1,900 km
  • It gives the potential to strike in the short-intermediate range against any adversary. Shaurya can reach a velocity of Mach 7.5 even at low altitudes.
  • ‘Shaurya’ missile is a two stage, solid fueled weapon with characteristics of both ballistic and cruise missiles.
  • Unlike conventional cruise missiles which cruise at extremely low altitudes and subsonic speeds using turbo fan engines, ‘Shaurya’ cruises at extremely high altitudes at hypersonic speeds using rocket power.
  • As for its nuclear capability, ‘Shaurya’ can carry both conventional as well as nuclear warheads. It can carry conventional warheads with a payload up to a tonne.



Also Read:


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *