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.
|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|
|Sagarika/Shaurya||SLBM||700 km / 3,500 km||In development|