Missiles of India


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India’s missile arsenal serves a number of purposes in New Delhi’s defense strategy. Foremost, it support’s New Dehli’s nuclear deterrent posture against its main rivals Pakistan and China. The latter requirement has pushed India to develop longer-range missiles and to diversify its delivery platforms beyond mobile land-based missiles. To this end, India is developing ship- and sub-launched ballistic missiles and has collaborated with Russia on cruise missile development.

Ostensibly these developments are all to support India’s minimum deterrence doctrine. Yet as India’s missile arsenal develops, doubts grow about how firmly it will hew to that doctrine. In particular, the development of multiple independently-guided reentry vehicle (MIRV) technology raises questions about the future trajectory of New Delhi’s nuclear doctrine. Still, there is little discussion in India about abandoning its declared no-first-use policy.

Missiles

Missile Name Class Range Status
Agni-I SRBM 700 - 1,200 km Operational
Agni-II MRBM 2,000 - 3,500 km Operational
Agni-III IRBM 3,000 - 5,000 km Operational
Agni-IV IRBM 3,500 - 4,000 km In development
Agni-V ICBM 5,000 - 8,000 km In development
BrahMos Cruise Missile 300 - 500 km Operational
Dhanush SRBM 250 - 400 km Operational
Exocet ASCM 40 - 180 km Operational
Nirbhay Cruise Missile 800 - 1,000 km In development
Prahaar SRBM 150 km In development
Prithvi-I SRBM 150 km Obsolete
Prithvi-II SRBM 350 km Operational
Sagarika/Shaurya SLBM 700 km / 3,500 km In development
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Missile Defense Project, "Missiles of India," Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies, June 14, 2018, last modified April 1, 2021, https://missilethreat.csis.org/country/india/.