Agni Missiles of India: An Overview

“Discussions have ever achieved no real change in history.” — Subhas Chandra Bose


Since India performed the nuclear tests in 1998, the centre has reinforced the nuclear defence plan and chalked out a nuclear technique. It moved from fluid fuelled ballistic missiles to strong fuelled ones throughout the years, focusing on producing nuclear-powered cruise missiles and accomplishing sea-based defence to reinforce its counter-strike/second-strike ability. The Agni class missiles are potent pushed ballistic missiles going from short-range missiles to middle range missiles (700-5000 km) with road and rail versatility giving more prominent possibilities of survivability during a foe assault which fortifies India’s no-first-use strategy, referenced in India’s nuclear policy.

History Of Agni Missiles

The Agni missile is a part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) dispatched by India in 1983 with a manufacturing cost of $260 million developed by the Defense Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL). The Agni class missiles utilized the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) manufactures strong fuelled motors instead of the Prithvi classified missiles utilizing Devil Technology.


With a range of 700 km, Agni-I is an Indian short-range ballistic missile (SRBM). The Indian Army’s Strategic Forces Command initially conveyed the nuclear able, road portable missile in 2007.

  • Agni-I Development- The Agni-I started from India’s 1983 Integrated Guided Missile Development Program, fostering the Prithvi, Nag, Akash, and Trishul missiles. India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) initially imagined a two-stage missile—the Agni demonstrator—for approving reemergence vehicle advances. The DRDO adjusted the Agni from two existing supporters: a vital powered first stage from India’s SLV-3 space dispatch vehicle and a changed Prithvi-I body for the missile’s upper stage.

On May 22, 1989, an India flight tried the Agni demonstrator interestingly. The test, a triumph, came after two dropped dispatch endeavours. In 1992, the DRDO tried a redesigned Agni demonstrator with a moving reemergence vehicle and opened interstage, eliminating the requirement for ullage engines between the first and second stages. DRDO led a third trip of the demonstrator—in its redesigned design—in 1994. In the wake of closing, reemergence considers, the DRDO reconfigured the Agni demonstrator as a solitary stage ballistic missile: the Agni-I. Agni-I advancement started in 1999, and the missile went through its first test on January 25, 2002. While the missile’s reemergence vehicle supposedly neglected to separate, a second test was practical on January 9, 2003. The Indian Army supported the Agni-I for full-rate creation in August 2004 and acknowledged it into administration in 2007.

India’s Strategic Forces Command has consistently tried the Agni-I since its underlying sending. The missile went through fruitful test dispatches in 2015, 2016, and 2018.

  • Agni-I Specifications-The Agni-I is 15 m long, 1 m in measurement, and has a dispatch weight of 12,000 kg, a range of 700 km and an expected payload of 1,000 kg. It permits the missile to carry nuclear warheads. With decreased payloads, the Agni-I might be equipped to go up to 1,200 km, a distance that includes all of Pakistan. The Agni-I utilizes a one m-width strong force supporter adjusted from the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) SLV-3. Dissimilar to the SLV-3, the engine utilizes HTPB composite force and creates around 48,000 kg of push. The missile utilizes a strap-down inertial direction framework, and utilizations push vectoring and control surfaces on its wingtips to manoeuvre.

The Agni-I is intended to be dispatched from rail-based stages or road-portable carrier erector launchers (TELs). The TEL, assigned “Imprint III” by the DRDO, is a semi-truck framework, utilizing a different central player and trailer with the missile and dispatch arm.


The Agni-II is an Indian medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) with more than 2,000 km. The two-stage, intense, filled missile entered administration with India’s Strategic Forces Command in 2004.

  • Agni-II Development-India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) started fostering the Agni-II in July 1997. It is an updated variation of the DRDO’s Agni innovation demonstrator, with a solid powered upper stage and new fuel. India first test terminated the Agni-II on April 11, 1999. The test, which occurred from a rail-versatile launcher, was allegedly fruitful. In the wake of starting the restricted creation of the missile, India led a second Agni-II flight test on January 17, 2001. Army approved its usage in 2004. However, specialized issues deferred a genuine functional capacity until 2011. The Agni-II is currently completely coordinated into Army units under India’s Strategic Forces Command. A flight trial of a lengthy range variation, which turned into the Agni-IV, fizzled in 2010.
  • Agni-II Design-The Agni-II is 20 m long, 1 m in width, and has a dispatch weight of 17,000 kg. It can convey a payload of up to 1,000 kg to a range of 2,000 km—probable a nuclear warhead with a 150 to 200 kiloton yield. The two-stage, intense powered missile utilizes an inertial/GPS route framework for direction; it is supposedly exact to 40 m roundabout blunder likely (CEP). The missile is outfitted with a finned moving reemergence vehicle which might have a terminal direction framework.
  • Agni-II Prime In 2010, India performed a fruitless flight trial of an overhauled Agni-II variant.10 This variation is, on the other hand, known as the Agni-IV. The Agni-IV fuses a steel-cased, 1.2 m-distance across first-stage promoter and a carbon-fibre-cased, 1 m measurement second stage supporter. The two engines utilize an improved push vectoring framework, utilizing gimbaled engines over the first SLV-3-inferred supporter.


The Agni-III is an Indian middle of the road range ballistic missile (IRBM) with 3,000 – 3,500 km. It entered administration with India’s Strategic Forces Command in 2011, serving close by the Agni-II as a nuclear conveyance framework.

  • Agni-III Development-India’s Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL), a Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), started fostering the Agni-III in the last part of the 1990s. Regardless of preliminary designs to test in 2003, the DRDO deferred the missile’s debut dispatch until 2006 because of continuous conciliatory drives. On July 9, 2006, the DRDO led its first missile trial from its Integrated Test Range (ITR) office on Wheeler Island, Odisha. The test was ineffective; after dispatch, the missile rashly fell into the Bay of Bengal. A post-flight investigation credited the inability to configuration blemishes in the missile’s pushed vector control framework, which inappropriately fixed its hot engine gases. The Agni-III’s second—and first influential—test occurred on April 12, 2007; the missile cruised 3,500 km from its dispatch site in Odisha.4 Following the fruitful dispatch, India showed the Agni-III during its Republic Day Parade on January 26, 2008.

On May 7, 2008, an India flight tried the Agni-III for the third time. Dispatched from the ITR, the missile cruised 3,000 km before arriving in the Indian Ocean. On February 7, 2010, during the fourth flight test, the missile recorded an apogee of 350 km before landing 3,500 km away in the Indian Ocean. Following the test, the Indian Ministry of Defense proclaimed the missile as prepared for acceptance into administration. The Indian Army acknowledged the Agni-III into administration in June 2011. The Indian Strategic Forces Command on September 21, 2012,  effectively tested an Agni-III from a creation part. The missile arrived at an apogee of 500 km and a range of 3,000 km before affecting the Indian Ocean.

SFC performed a 6th test dispatch—the fifth effective dispatch—on December 23, 2013.9 Two extra tests, both fruitful, occurred on April 16, 2015, and April 27, 2017. On December 1, 2019, the Indian Army led its first evening dispatch of the Agni-III, which fizzled after the division of its first stage.

  • Agni-III Design-The Agni III is 16.7 meters long, 2 meters in width, and has a dispatch weight of 48,300 kg. The two-stage, intense, filled missile can dispatch a 1,500 kg payload to an expected range of 3,000 – 3,500 km. Less than ten missiles are accepted to be in help. The Agni-III’s first-stage engine utilizes a maraging steel engine case and contains 30,000 kg of charge, producing up to 106,050 kg of vacuum push. The missile’s subsequent stage utilizes a carbon-fibre engine case and contains 12,180 kg of force, producing 3,677 kg of push. The two phases utilize lowered spouts with a flex seal push vectoring framework for control.

The Agni-III utilizes a strap-down INS/GPS direction framework—and possibly a terminal searcher—to arrive at exactness of 40 m round mistake likely (CEP). The missile is fundamentally utilized with a nuclear warhead with an expected 200 – 300 kT yield. It may likewise be fitted with conventional unitary and submunition warheads. In 2008, the Indian Institute of Science guaranteed it could expand the missile’s range to 4,900 km with new metallic coatings, which would respond with the encompassing wind stream to decrease streamlined obstruction. It is indistinct whether such coatings were ever operationalized.

The SFC by and by utilizes the Agni-III on rail-based launchers; however, reports propose that versatile road frameworks might open up later on.


The Agni-IV is an Indian powerful powered middle-range ballistic missile (IRBM) with up to 4,000 km. The two-stage missile, recently named Agni-II Prime, subordinate the Agni-II MRBM with broadened range. India has flight tried the Agni-IV multiple times since its first test in 2010.

  • Agni-IV Development-India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) started fostering a 5,000 km-class missile named the Agni-IV in 2007. In 2011, the DRDO reapplied the Agni-IV assignment to a redesigned variation of the Agni-II, the Agni-II Prime, created by its Advanced Missile Laboratory in Hyderabad. This missile highlighted a broadened first stage engine, an updated second stage engine, further developed direction and gadgets, and new push vector control frameworks contrasted with the first Agni-II. The Agni-IV’s first flight test occurred on December 10, 2010; the missile collided with the ocean not long after dispatch because of blunders its control framework. The DRDO performed the missile’s second test at its Odisha Integrated Test Range on November 15, 2011. Dispatched from a road-portable dispatch truck, the Agni-IV cruised 3,000 km and arrived at a most excellent elevation of 900 km before arriving in the Bay of Bengal.

On September 19, 2012, the DRDO effectively tested dispatched the Agni-IV to a range of 4,000 km. The test missile allegedly conveyed a regular live payload, which arrived close to its objective with an exactness of under 100 meters. On January 20, 2014, the DRDO effectively flight tried the Agni-IV to a range of 4,000 km. Missle was launched from a portable launcher and arrived at a most extreme height of 850 km before arriving in the Indian Ocean. The missile conveyed a false nuclear warhead (“the whole warhead less the nuclear part”), exploding its ordinary unstable focal points close to its objective.

The Indian Army Strategic Forces Command (SFC), on December 2, 2014,  led its first client preliminary of the Agni-IV, effectively dispatching it to a range of “over more than 3,500 km.” The preliminary was the first of three to four tests typically performed before acceptance into service. SFC led three extra fruitful tests on November 9, 2015, January 2, 2017, and December 3, 2018.

  • Agni-IV Design-The Agni-IV is a two-stage, intense, filled missile weighing 17,000 kg. The missile is roughly 20 meters in length and 1.2 meters in measurement at its lower stage. It is intended to convey a 1,000 kg payload to ranges up to 4,000 km; however, in 2017, Indian Army sources recommended testing the missile to ranges under 3,500 km to meet client prerequisites. The Indian Ministry of Defense has, on different events, asserted the missile’s range as 3,000 km, 3,500 km, and 4,000 km.

The Agni-IV uses a 1.2 meter-distance across, maraging steel-cased first stage and an about one meter-width carbon-fibre-cased second stage to produce 710 and 39.5 kN of regular push separately. It utilizes an inertial direction framework with ring laser whirligigs and flex seal push vectoring frameworks to control its direction in flight. India’s guard service indicates that the missile is precise to under 100 meters roundabout blunder plausible (CEP) at a range of 4,000 km. It is equipped for stacking nuclear and regular payloads and was allegedly tried with unitary customary and somewhat collected nuclear payloads in tests. Its nuclear payload is assessed to weigh 1,000 kg.

Successful Test of AGNI V Missile

On Wednesday evening, the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) led the principal client preliminary of the Agni V ballistic missile from APJ Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha to approve the night tasks. The missile arrived at its objective 5000 km away inside the specified time.

The missile, followed by telemetry and radar boats of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), took beautiful flight directions according to concurred boundaries and hit the objective within 15 to 18 minutes during the eighth effective preliminary of the ballistic missile, which is at the centre of India’s base discouragement behind the scenes of Chinese expanded middle-range ballistic missile capacity and Pakistan’s nuclear aspiration.

As individuals mindful of the turn of events, the Agni V missile, which flew at 7.50 pm, was of standard design, including the warhead weight. The objective was hit inside the acknowledged round blunder of likelihood, with both the client and the designer happy with the outcome. The thought process behind a night test was to test whether the client, SFC, could deal with the weapon in constantly functional mode. It is perceived that the missile is wholly evolved and enlisted with the SFC at freedom to embrace further preliminaries if there is a prerequisite occurrence. The Agni V missile is a three-phase firm energized surface to surface missile with cutting edge direction frameworks.

The Agni V test comes after the DRDO effectively test-terminated the new age Agni Prime missile from Odisha on June 28, 2021, ranging between 1000 to 2000 kilometres. The new-age missile will eventually supplant all the Agni missiles inside this range. The Prime series is more productive, flexible, less unwieldy, and an exceptionally exact stage is utilizing both composite fibre and canister packaging framework. The missile can be discharged from portable launchers and trains, which helps in the weapon’s endurance for a second strike as India is focused on no first use strategy.

India Joins Club of Countries with ICBMS

Agni-V can range pretty much all aspects of China; sources had said in 2018 when the missile was tried last by its designer, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). Strangely, the DRDO is additionally chipping away at a more drawn-out range form of the Agni series of missiles. The dispatch Wednesday comes only months after India likewise test-terminated the Agni Prime, the cutting edge nuclear powered ballistic missile in the nuclear weapons store.

While the Agni Prime and the remainder of the Agni series is focused basically on Pakistan, the Agni-V is a lot bigger key weapon, equipped for striking at significantly longer ranges. With Agni-V, India has joined a select club of nations with ICBMs with China, the US, Russia, Britain, and France. In 2018, DRDO officials said that Agni-V is customized so that after arriving at the pinnacle of its direction, it will turn towards Earth to proceed with its excursion towards the planned objective with sped up of the fascination of the Earth’s gravitational force.

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This post was last updated on November 18th, 2021 at 09:06 pm




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