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India's Integrated Guided Missile

Development Programme
Introduction
Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme falls under the
ambit of Ministry of Defence with the objective of developing a range
of guided missiles that provides India with a stellar military might and
also, serve as a deterrent for our not so friendly neighbours, like China
and Pakistan.
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who worked with the ISRO and was closely
involved in the development of Satellite Launch Vehicle, SLV-3, was
inducted into the IGMD programme in 1980. Because of the success
achieved by India in the guided missile development programme under
his stewardship, he came to be known as the Missile Man of India.
The programme kick started in 1980 and ended in 2008, when Defence
Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), formally announced
on 08 January 2008, that the strategic integrated guided missile
program had achieved its stated objective of developing the missiles
listed in the program and the missiles after having been duly tested,
inducted into the armed forces.
Indias prowess with regard to guided missile development came into
prominence when Prithvi missile was test fired in 1988 and Agni
missile in 1989. Meanwhile, the Missile Technology Control Regime
(MTCR), (an informal grouping was established in 1987 to restrict
proliferation of missile technology to restrict arms race amongst
nations) found the potential of Indias strides into this field gigantic.
Its member countries, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the
United Kingdom and the United States, decided to restrict access to
any technology that would help India in its missile development
program.

In order to counter the move of MTCR, the IGMDP, made a consortium


of DRDOs laboratories, industries and academic institutions to
indigenously develop these sub-systems, components and materials.
Though, it delayed the progress of the programme, but India made a
slow, but sure ascend towards success.
The Missile Inventory of India

Prithvi Missile System. It is a surface-to- surface, short range


ballistic missile. It was test fired on 25 February 1988 from
Sriharikota. It has three variants:
o Prithvi-I. Range 150 km with a 1000kg payload of Nuclear,
High Explosive (HE), sub munitions and chemical warhead.
Missile inducted into service in 1998.
o Prithvi-II. Range 350 km with a 350 to 750 kg payload of
Nuclear, HE, sub munitions and chemical warhead. Missile
inducted into service in 1996.
o Prithvi-III. Range 350-600 km with a 500 to 1000 kg
payload of Nuclear, HE, sub munitions and chemical
warhead. Missile inducted into service in 2004.
o The naval operational variant of Prithvi I and Prithvi II class
missiles are code named Dhanush (meaning Bow) and are
meant for surface targets.

Agni Missile System. These are medium (< 5,500 km range) to


intercontinental (>5,500 km range) ballistic missiles. The Agni
series comprises of the following missile variants:
o Agni-I. Range 750-1250 km with 750-1000kg payload of
Nuclear, HE, penetration, sub-munitions warhead. Missile
inducted into service in 2002.
o Agni-II. Range 2000-3500 km with 1000kg payload of
Nuclear, HE, penetration, sub-munitions warhead. Missile
inducted into service in 1999.

o Agni-III. Range 3500-5000 km with 2000- 2500kg payload of


Nuclear, HE, penetration, sub-munitions warhead. Missile
inducted into service in 2011.
o Agni-IV. Range 3000-4000 km with 800-1000kg payload of
Nuclear, HE, penetration, sub-munitions warhead. Missile
inducted into service in 2014
o Agni-V. Range 5,500-5800 km with 1500kg payload of
Nuclear, HE, penetration, sub-munitions warhead. This is an
Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).
Agni-V was
tested in 2012 and again in 2013. A canisteristed test fire of
this missile was successfully conducted from Wheelers
Island at 8.09 an on 31 January 2015. The induction of this
missile into the armed forces will put India into the select
club of countries with such a military prowess.
o Agni-VI. Range 6000-8000 km with 1000kg payload of
Nuclear, HE, penetration, sub-munitions warhead. This
missile is still under development.

Akash Missile System. The indigenously developed Akash


missile is a medium range surface-to- air missile. It has a 27-km
range and an effective ceiling of 15 km. It was successfully test
fired from the Integrated Test Range in Balasore on 19 June
2014. The 700-kg all-weather Akash missile can carry a 60-kg
warhead at speeds of up to Mach 2.5. It can operate
autonomously and simultaneously engage and neutralise
different aerial targets.

Trishul Missile System. This is a short range surface-to-air


missile, with a range of 9 km, with a payload of 5.5 kg warhead.
Designed to be used against low-level (sea skimming) targets at
short range, the system has been developed to defend naval
vessels against missiles and also as a short range surface to air
missile on land. Though it has been developed and test fired by
IGMDP, its development costs was exorbitant and touched almost
US$70 million, so the project has been officially shut down on 27
February 2008.

Nag Missile System. This is a third generation fire and forget


anti-tank missile. It is an all weather, top attack missile, with a
range of 3km-7 km. Missile uses 8 kg of tandem High Explosive
Anti-Tank warhead, capable of defeating modern armours like
Explosive Reactive Armour and Composite Armour. The user trail
of Nag was completed in 19 March 2005 and is ready for
induction into the service.

BraMos Cruise Missile. In 1998, the Government of India signed


an agreement with Russia to design, develop, manufacture and
market a Supersonic Cruise Missile System which has been
successfully accomplished in 2006. It is a super-sonic cruise
missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or
land. At speeds of Mach 2.5 to 2.8, it is the world's fastest cruise
missile with a range of 290 km and is about three and a half
times faster than the American subsonic Harpoon cruise missile.
The missile was successfully test fired on 09 June 2014 and is
ready for induction into the Indian Navy.

Sagarika Missile/K-15. This is a nuclear capable submarine


launched ballistic missile with a range of 700 km to provide
retaliatory nuclear strike capability to India. The missile is being
tested for integration with INS Arihant.

K4 Missile. India successfully test fired the nuclear-capable


ballistic missile launched from an underwater platform, with a
range of 2000km in February 2014. With this India completed the
nuclear triad available with only a few nations of having the
capability of launching surface, air and underground nuclearcapable ballistic missiles.

Surya Missile System. This is Indias very ambitious plan of


developing ICBM with a range of 8000-12000 km. The missile
system is still under development.

Nirbhaya Missile. This will be Indias first all weather, low cost,
long range cruise missile. The subsonic Nirbhay is said to be 6 m
in length with a 520 mm diameter, weigh 1,000 kg and have a
1,000 km range with a speed of 0.7 mach. This missile was test

fired for the first time in March 2013 and is in the final stages of
development.

Astra Missile. India successfully test fired its first indigenously


developed air -to-air missile, Astra missile, from a Sukhoi-30 Mk1
combat jet on 24 May 2014.The missile has a range of around 40
km, which will be extended to 100 km in the next phase. Air
Force will have this missile as its future mainstay missile system
and DRDO is aiming to arm the complete fleet of Aircrafts with
this missile, including Sukhoi's and Tejas, Light Combat Aircraft,
which is still under development.

Prahar Missile. It is a multi-missile launcher system with a


range of 150 km that will have the capability to fire six missiles
from its multi-launcher system. This missile system is also under
development.

Conclusion
India, while it embarked upon its nuclear programme, had advocated
and still maintains its policy of No First Use and justifies the
development of its nuclear and guided missiles capability only for
Credible Minimum Deterrence. India has come a long way since the
1970s and today exhibits a clear strategic vision of it futurist
endeavour in this field.
The Guided missile programme has not only become central to India's
'minimun deterrent' policy, but more significantly, it is indicative of an
independent, self-reliant, and strategically autonomous Indian state.