Last Updated 
PrintEmailFacebookTwitterLinkedInCopy Link

The Agni-II is an Indian medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) with a range of over 2,000 km. The two-stage, solid-fueled missile entered service with India’s Strategic Forces Command in 2004.1

Agni-II at a Glance

Originated from
Medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM)
Possessed by
20 m
1 m
Launch weight
17,000 kg
Single warhead, 1,000 kg
Nuclear 150 kt or 200kt, HE
Two-stage, solid propellant
2,000 – 3,500 km
In service

Agni-II development

India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) began developing the Agni-II in July 1997.2 It is an upgraded variant of the DRDO’s Agni technology demonstrator, with a solid-fueled upper stage and new propellant.3 India first test fired the Agni-II on April 11, 1999. The test, which took place from a rail-mobile launcher, was reportedly successful.4

After beginning limited production of the missile, India conducted a second Agni-II flight test on January 17, 2001.5 India’s armed forces inducted the missile into service some time around 2004, though technical issues delayed a true operational capability until 2011.6 The Agni-II is now fully integrated into Army units under India’s Strategic Forces Command.7 A flight test of an extended-range variant, which became the Agni-IV, failed in 2010.8

Agni-II Design

The Agni-II is 20 m long, 1 m in diameter, and has a launch weight of 17,000 kg. It can carry a payload of up to 1,000 kg to a range of 2,000 km—likely a nuclear warhead with a 150 to 200 kiloton yield. The two-stage, solid-fueled missile uses an inertial/GPS navigation system for guidance; it is reportedly accurate to 40 m circular error probable (CEP). The missile is equipped with a finned maneuvering reentry vehicle which may possess a terminal guidance system.9

Agni-II Prime

In 2010, India conducted an unsuccessful flight test of an upgraded Agni-II variant.10 This variant is alternatively known as the Agni-IV. The Agni-IV incorporates a steel-cased, 1.2 m-diameter first-stage booster and a carbon-fiber-cased, 1 m diameter second stage booster. Both motors employ a simplified thrust vectoring system, using gimbaled thrusters, over the original SLV-3-derived booster.11


    1. James C. O’Halloran, “Agni 1/2/3/4/5,” in IHS Jane’s Weapons: Strategic, (IHS; 2015). 32.
    2. O’Halloran 2015, p. 32.
    3. Rajaram Nagappa, Evolution of Solid Propellant Rockets in India (New Delhi: India Defence Research and Development Organisation, 2013)
    4. “Agni-II Launched,” India Press Information Bureau, April 11, 1999,; “Prime Minister’s Address to the Nation on Test Firing of Agni-II,” India Press Information Bureau, April 11, 1999,
    5. Rajya Sabha, “Test and Production of Agni-II Missile,” India Press Information Bureau, August 2, 2001,
    6. Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Indian nuclear forces, 2015,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Nuclear notebook, Vol. 71 issue 5 (2015) 79.
    7. Press Trust of India, “Nuclear-capable Agni-II missile test fired,” November 9, 2014, Accessed on
    8. Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Indian nuclear forces, 2012,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Nuclear notebook, Vol. 68 issue 4 (2012) 98.
    9. O’Halloran 2015, 32.
    10. Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Indian nuclear forces, 2012,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Nuclear notebook, Vol. 68 issue 4 (2012) 98.
    11. Nagappa 2013, p. 138
PrintEmailFacebookTwitterLinkedInCopy Link

Cite this Page

Missile Defense Project, "Agni-II," Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 11, 2016, last modified April 23, 2024,