Short essay on India’s Missile Development


The Defence Research and Development Department in the Ministry of Defence looks after the development and research programmes and requirements of the armed forces. It has under it Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and 50 laboratories.

The Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) has developed and successfully test-fired five missiles for the Defence Forces. They are:

Prithvi: India’s first indigenously built missile, Prithvi, is a tactical surface-to-surface missile (TSSM). It has a range capability of 250 km with different types of warheads facilities. It was first test-fired on February 25, 1988, from Sriharikota. Prithvi was inducted into the Indian Army on May 21, 1993.


TVishuI: Trishul is a short-range low level quick reaction surface- to-air missile (SAM). When fully developed it will be used by all the three forces-Army, Air Force and Navy, against low flying objects. It has a range of 5 km to 9 km. It was successfully test launched in 1988.

Agni: Agni is an intermediate range ballistic surface-to-surface missile with range capability of 2500 km. It was first test launched on May 22, 1989. India became the fifth country in the world to have acquired this type of missile after the USA, Russia, France and China.

Akash : Akash is the most modern multi-target surface-to-air missile designed to defend large installations like oil fields against enemy air attacks. It has a range capability of 25 km. It was successfully test launched on August 15, 1990.

Nag: Nag is an anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) of the “fire and forget” type having a range capability of 4 km. It has been developed to counter contemporary advances in tank armour. It is the most advanced missile of its kind in the world. First test flight was made in 1988.

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