Missile – a missile is a self-propelled guided weapon system. Missiles are developed under India’s defence program.


  • Missiles are classified based on their range and from the place where is it hosted and targeted.

  • Missiles are also classified as Ballistic and Cruise missiles based on their technology.
  • Ballistic missiles–Ballistic missiles are the ones which by making use of its own propulsion system and travel through the atmosphere of the Earth, enters outer space and re-enters atmosphere at a particular angle where it encounters enormous heat upto 80000C which is sufficient enough to disintegrate the missile.
  • Cruise missiles – Cruise missiles are the ones which travel closer to the surface of the Earth or that of sea at low speed during the initial stage of the journey but it assumes high supersonic speed as it elevates itself as soon as it approaches the target.


Agni Series

  • AGNI is a surface to surface intermediate range ballistic missile whose range can be extended up to 5000 kms.
    • i.AGNI I with 800 kms.
    • ii.AGNI II with 2500 kms.
    • iii.AGNI A-1 which is the shorter version with a range of 800 km.
    • iv.AGNI-III with a range of 3500 kms.
    • v.AGNI – IV with a range of 4000 kms.
    • vi.AGNI –V with a range of 8000 kms
    • vii. AGNI – VI is an ICBM with the range of 8000 – 10000kms.
  • Agni missile can deliver both nuclear as well as conventional warheads with a payload capacity of 1000 kg. It can be used for both defensive and offensive performances respectively.

Important of development Agni Missile (Significance)

  • The significance lies in their linkages with the development of nuclear weapons. They help in filling up in important gaps in delivery of nuclear weapon to be used as different. Agni Missiles provide a credible nuclear delivery system helping in making ‘’Credible Nuclear Difference” as per India’s Nuclear Doctrine.


  • Prithvi is a short range, surface to surface tactical BM with a maxi range of 250 kms. It is based on liquid propulsion system. It is used as a tactical support weapon on battlefield as it can be used to destroyenemy’stroop concentration, their static military installations in the forms of military head quarters, oil fields, air base, harbours etc.

Prithvi IPrithvi II Prithvi III
1st deployed in 1996 Air force 250 km
Army 222/333
250 km 500 kg
150 km. 500 kg payload NAVY
Payload 1000 kg.2004 from
(500 km.)
MML – Mobile Missile Launcher


  • Range of 150 kms with a payload capacity of 1000 kgs. It was 1st deployed in the year 1996 and has been specified for Army regiment (222/333).


  • 250 kms payload capacity of 500 kgs.
  • For Air force, successfully test launched on 19 March 2004 from MML.


  • It is also called as DHANUSH to be used by Indian Navy with a range of 250 kms& 500 kg. payload capacity. It can be launched from ship & submarine hitting land targets. It enables Navy to take part in further land wars.


  • Improved version of Dhanush I, with a range of 500 km. is in the process of development. Indian Navy is also provided with 280 km rangewise missile from Russia – KLUB Missiles supplementing Dhanush and increasing fire power of Indian Navy.


  • Trishul isIndia’s most advanced quick reaction “Surface to Air missile” with a short range of 10 kms.

Trishul I Trishul II Trishul III
Surface-AirSurface-Surface Surface-Army
10 kms. 50 kms. 25 kms.
Air force Army NAVY

  • TRISHUL is a single stage solid fuel – with a payload capacity of 50 kgs. It was the 1st of the 5
    missiles of IGMDP to be toned in the year 1985. But it could not be deployed due to technical problems. The technical issues were resolved in the year 2003. As the development costs of this missile touched almost US$70 million, this missile has been shelved and would be used only as a technology demonstrator.


  • It is a medium range ‘Surface to Air’ missile with the range of 30kms. Akash flies at supersonic speed, reaching around 2.5 Mach. Akash uses scramjet technology which enables it to have a greater payload ratio.It can deliver multiple warheads for attacking multiple targets simultaneously.The missile is supported by multi-target and
    multi-function phased array fire control radar called the ‘Rajendra radar’.Air Force has completed the test trials successfully It is in the process of development to be used by India Air force.


  • – Targets only at the front.
  • – speed 3mach (not enough)
  • – can only target enemy’s aircrafts not missile

Missiles outside IGMDP:


  • Surya is an intercontinental-range, surface-based, solid and liquid propellant ballistic missile with a range of 10000 kms. Suryais under developemtn and is the most ambitious project of DRDO and the information regarding this missile has been kept confidential by DRDO.


  • ASTRA is an active radar homing beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), India. Astra is designed to be capable of engaging targets at varying range and altitudes allowing for engagement of both short-range targets (up to 20 km) and long-range targets (up to 80 km) using alternative propulsion modes. The missile was last tested on 18 March 2015 from a Su-30MKI fighter against a simulated live target. Astra uses a smokeless propulsion system.


  • The Missile Technology Control Regime is an informal and voluntary association of countries which share the goals of non-proliferation of unmanned delivery systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction(range 30 kms and payload capacity 300kg), and which seek to coordinate national export licensing efforts aimed at preventing their proliferation. The MTCR was originally established in 1987 by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Since that time, the number of MTCR partners has increased to a total of thirty-four countries, all of which have equal standing within the Regime. India is not part of this regime.


  • Only supersonic cruise missile
  • jointly developed by DRDO &Russia NPO (Joint act 1998)
  • 3 times the speed of sound
  • fire& forget principle and highly protective electronic jamming ability.
  • − Range 480 kms / payload 300 kg.
  • − “Brahmaputra’sfury & MOSKVA river’s grace”.
  • − Uses liquid propulsion in RAMJET technology.
  • − The range of these missilesis 280 kms with payload capacity of 300 km. It is highly accurate because of on board computer panel. This can enhance is speed to 3 times; so speed of sound on approaching target.
  • − It is ananti ship missile can be launched from ground, air sea on subsea even from MML with TATRA truck base.
  • − The land-launched, ship-launched and air launched versions are already in service, which makes India the only country with supersonic cruise missiles in their army, navy, and air force. A hypersonic version of the missile namely BrahMos-II is also presently under development with speed of Mach 7 to boost aerial fast strike capability. It is expected to be ready for testing by 2017.


  • The Yekaterinburg-based Novator Design Bureau has developed a new cruise missile system designated Klub (NATO: SS-N-27 & SS-N-30) and is sometimes referred to as the Club, Biryuza and Alpha / Alfa. The Klub ASCM (anti-sub/ship cruise missile) has been designed to destroy submarine and surface vessels of all known types and also engage static/slow-moving targets, whose co-ordinates are known in advance, even if these targets are protected by active defences and electronic countermeasures. There are presently, two ‘known’ modifications of the system; Klub-S (for submarines) and Klub-N (for surface vessels).


  • SU30 / SU 30 MKI / SU 33 / LTA or SARAS /LCA orTejas
  • AJT (HAWK)


  • It is an advanced fighter aircraft obtained from Russia with the range of 3000 kms. It is capable of delivering short, medium & long range missiles. Therefore, it can function as multimode aircraft which can be used in close combat situation either as an interceptor or as a can participate in night warfare situation also. India was the 1st country to which Russian suppliedSukhoi aircrafts. They were inducted in Indian Air force in the year 1997.


  • It is an advanced version of SU 30 and has been duped specially to suit Indian conditions. It is much more agile than SU 30. Acquisition of SU30 & SU 30 MK1 will enable India to counter Pakistani attempts F 16 fighter Aircraft from USA. As per Indo Russian agreement on Dec 2000, 50 SU 30 MKI fighter aircrafts have been delivered and the remaining 140 SUKHOIMKI will be manufactured in India HAL, which has been given the license by Russian Authority.

SUKHOI – 33:

  • It is the naval version of SU 30 with short take off and landing facilities suitable for aircraft carriers to be purchased from Russia.

LCA – light combat Aircraft (TEJAS):

  • indigenously designed
  • GTRE – Gas Turbine Research Establishment – Bangalore
  • HOTAS – Hand on Throttle and stick
  • LCA or Tejas is a multimode light weight close combat supersonic fighter aircraft. Almost 70% of its components have been indigeniously developed. It has a range of 400 kms with a payload capacity of 4000kg.
  • 1. It has advanced technology like Fly by wire system
  • 2. Relax static stability
  • 3. Advanced Digital avionix
  • 4. Integrated Digital cockpit etc.
  • It can be used in close combat situations as an interceptor, fighter and bomber which hasmid air fuelling capacity. It can be used to jam enemy’s aircrafts & can take part in night warfars also.
  • − LCA uses Kaveri engines which are developed at GTRE Gas Turbine Research Established (Bangalore).
  • − LCA project was launched in the year 1983 by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Bangalore.
  • − The maiden testflight of its 1st technology demonstrator (TD1) took place in 2001 Jan making India come in selected group of 8 nations which have their own fighter aircrafts & LCA once dropped will be world’s smallest fighter aircraft.
  • In the Phase 1 of its development 3 TD1, TD2 and 5 prototype vehicle have been manufactured in Phase II of this programme 2 LCA squadron have to be raised in Indian Airforce by the year 2007. So far, all the 3 versions of TEJAS ie TD1, TD2 & PU have completed 167 flights successfully of which 20 would cruse supersonic speed barrier.
  • LCA also utilises the concept of HOTAS i.e. Hands on Throttle and Stick which means in initial combat situation every control needed to be monitored is available within the range of fingers. LCA will be incorporated with ASTRA BeyondVisual Range Air to Air missile.


  • It is indigenously designed and developed, civilian transport air craft which has got some defence role also.The project for development of LTA started in 1990s as a Joint Venue between India’s NAL&Russia’s Myasischave Design Bureau. It was developed by NAE, Bangalore and was successfully tested on 29th May 2004. It is a 14 seater aircraft and be extended to 18 seats. Its maximum payload capacity is 1232 kg. It has a range of 400 km and achieves a speed of 550 km/hr. It has got STOL facility enabling it to take off from semi prepared or unprepared runways, therefore making remote peripheral, inaccessible areas within reach can be used as a feeder airline service carrying passengers and cargo from remote areas. In defence, it can be used as air ambulance and can also be used patrolling coastal areas. Its use will open various unused airfields, in the country, for air travel and transportation. NAL received an order from the IAF to supply 15 Saras aircraft. Deliveries will begin in 2014 and conclude in 2017.


  • In September 2003, Government of India signed an agreement with British Aerospace systems which provided 66 AJTs to Indian AirForce.Of these 24 will be provided in direct fly away condition and the remaining will be manufactured in India in 6 years. In the meantime trainee pilots will be trained in UK. The inclusion of AJT is to increase the level of skill in pilots who have to graduate directly from low speed low performance KIRAN / POLISH ISCRA basic jet trainer (BJT) aircrafts to high speed high performance front line MIG-21 FL fighter aircrafts without having a transitional trainer in between. This induction will therefore reduce the no of mid air crashes at least by pilot errors as nearly 54 MIG-21 fighter planes have gone down since January 2000 for which they are wrongly called as Flying coffins.

LAKSHYA: Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA)

  • Lakshyais an Indian remotely piloted high speed target drone system developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of DRDO with the range of 150 km. A variant Lakshya-1 is used to perform discreet aerial reconnaissance of battlefield and target acquisition.
  • Lakshya units are manufactured and overhauled at HAL’s Aircraft division, Bangalore. The Lakshya was formally inducted into the services by CAS AY Tipnis, on 9 November 2000 at Interim test range (ITR) Chandipur. On 9 May 2002, an upgraded version of the Laskhya featuring the new engine from HAL was flown from ITR Chandipur, bringing user trials to a close. On 6 November 2002, HAL announced that they had received an initial order for 25 Lakshya drones and that limited series production to satisfy the order for all three services had already begun. By 16 January 2003, the drone had completed over 100 flights.

NISHANTH: (Unmanned Air Vehicle Air vehicle or Remote piloted, vehicle)

  • Nishanth is also called as Falconor Remote piloted vehicle. It is a reusable aircraft which can be launched from anywhere as it needs no runway. It has been designed to perform discrete, arealreconnaissance of battle field. It is also used for acquiring and designating targets accurately so that targets can be engaged by country’s air force accurately with minimum fire power. For this UAV is used as a force multiplier. It has a pay load capacity of 45kg. Itcan fly for 5 hrs at a stretch achieving max speed of 150 km/hr. It is made up of special fibre reinforced glass, which enables it to avoid detection by enemies’ radar. It can survive electronic interference and function as a relay communication platform. It has been developed by joint venture between DRDO and ADA.It is commercially manufactured at HAL. It is incorporated in service since 2000.


ARJUN – MBT of India:

  • It has been developed and designed by Combat Vehicle Research Establishment Centre (CVREC) of Heavy vehicles factory, Avadi, Chennai. Arjun tank uses advanced arm our known as ‘KANCHAN’ which is light in weight but high in accuracy. It has been provided with a 120mm heavy gun which can fire accurately even when Arjun tank is moving on an uneven terrain at high speed. In August 2004 1st batch of Arjuntank were deployed in 43rd regiment of Indian army. Three decades after conception of this project and nearly one decade after its continuous user trails by incorporating 58.5 tons heavy such a complex weapon. India has joined a select group of nations which has the capacity to design and develop such a complex weapon. Arjun is expected to replace T.55 & T.72 which form a major chunk of Indian Armoury. India has also acquired most sophisticated Russian T.90 tanks. According to defence deal of 2001, February Russia agreed to provide 310 T.90 tones to India of which 124 will be exported and remaining will be reassembled by Heavy vehicle factory Avadi. Russia has also agreed not to supply there tanks to PAK. But Pak has acquired T-30 from Ukraine and main battle tank of Pak is known as Al-Khalil. India rolled out T-90 tanks in Rajasthan sector of Indo-Pak boarder where these tanks have developed a technical snag in its most sophisticated and costliest imaging system which, suits cold weather of Europe rather than hot conditions of Rajasthan.


  • India has also acquired most sophisticated Russian T.90 tanks. According to defence deal of 2001, February Russia agreed to provide 310 T.90 tones to India of which 124 will be exported and remaining will be reassembled by Heavy vehicle factory Avadi. Russia has also agreed not to supply these tanks to PAK. But Pak has acquired T-30 from Ukraine and main battle tank of Pak is known as Al-Khalil. India rolled out T-90 tanks in Rajasthan sector of Indo-Pak border where these tanks have developed a technical snag in its most sophisticated and costliest imaging system which suits cold weather of Europe rather than hot conditions of Rajasthan.


  • It is a multi-barrel Rocket launcher which can launch 12 solid propellant-based rockets simultaneously with the range about 39kms. PINAKA can also launch variety of warheads in this sophisticated rocket launcher / facility.
  • i.quick reaction time
  • ii.high accuracy
  • iii.excellent mobile features
  • It has been developed as ArmyResearch & Development Establishment (Pune).


  • These are air breathing engines that suck up and store oxygen needed for combustion as the missile or rocket climbs through the atmosphere. Therefore this technology enhances the pay load capacity and reduces the cost.But Scramjet / Ramjet based missile or aircraft have to travel a longer horizontal distance in Earth’s atmosphere to suck up and store enough oxygen which could be utilised later on in outer space journey. Ramjet engines are lighter and simpler than turbojet engines which generate high pressure required for propulsion by ramming or pressing air forcefully into the combustor using forward speed of the vehicle which is generally 2.5 times the speed of sound. The air which enters in combines with fuel, ignites it and releases in the form of air at supersonic speed as exhaust flames.

AWACS: Air borne early warning and control system.

  • India has just taken up development of the Rs 6,000 crore Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) that will have the capability to penetrate “longer distances” enemy territory by way of radars and electronic warfare systems without venturing into the region physically.


  • Phased array of L band conformal Radar (Israel).
  • It refers to highly sophisticated airborne radar which is on move in sky like moving eyes. Such a radar will provide an advanced warning regarding intrusion of airspace by enemies air craft or missile. It will also be used to acquire and designate targets accurately for their effective engagement with minimum fire power and hence acts as a force multiplier and becomes an essential component of Air defence force of the country. In 1998, DRDO launched a
    programme ‘AIRAWAT’ to develop its own AWACS. But it could only succeed to make an airborne surveillance platform (ASP) which is a modest version of AWACS. In the meantime India signed 2.16 deal with Israel in July 2001 according to which Israel has to provide 3 PHALCON AWACS, ARROW SSABM, GREENPINE AND AEROSTAT ground based radars, SEARCHER and HERCN UAVs.

USA objected to this deal stating that it would disturb the military equilibrium in Indian subcontinent. But in 2002 it allowed the deal to be executed without Arrow missiles.. PHALCON will be able to track hundred targets simultaneously and provide an advanced warning ½ hour before.


  • It is a technology which results in making aircrafts or missiles less or not visible to Radars. It involves superior design of aircraft, advanced construction material and use of special coating which result in either absorbing or reflecting less electro magnetic radiation beamed by Radar. These aircraft / missile is visible to naked eye. To make this fool proof special chameleon coating is in the process of development which will enable aircrafts to change their colour to blend with the back ground. Their surface can be made rugged resulting in irregular reflection which will create a shimmering effect. More ever, special photo Chromic and Electro Chromic devices which will function like LED are in the process of development making aircrafts or missiles further invisible. USA used this technology in their B2 Bomber aircraft in form of a special ceramic paint coating mixed with silver oxide microscopic crystals also known as cenopheres. DRDO also claims to have developed a special paint coating which reduces the visibility to at least 70%.


  • According to DRDO, Samyukta in India’s largest Integrated electronic warfare system developed as a joint venture of DRDL and other scientific organisation. It has already been deployed in army. Its IAF version will be tempest and Navar version will be Sangraha. Mounted on a mobile ground based vehicle, Samyukta will mainly used for direction finding Position fixing, jamming electronic equipments and for the purpose of Reconnaissance. It will be able to identify, search locate detect and intercept both ground based and airborne electronic threats in form of communication and non-communication signals of wide frequency range. It has a range of 70-150 km. to defect these signals in forward edge battle area from where these signals will be transmitted to master control centres through various transmitting station.


  • Apart from the use of missile components in defence and space research they can also be used in biomedical sciences DRDL, UYD and NIMS, ND have developed wide variety of missile composites which are high strength materials but are very light in nature. They have developed Flow reaction orthosis which is a light weight – almost 10times lighter than conventional callipers (300 gms).They are made from same component used for making cone of Agni missile. The carbon-carbon used for making heat shield of Agni missile can be used to manufacture tilting belittle heart discs to replace defective heart valves. Same material can also be used to improve quality of fracture fixation plates which are used in hip bone surgery.
  • The advanced chips used in making Application specific integrated circuits (ASIC) in Prithvi and Agni Missiles can be used in making pace maker. The on board telemetry system used in various missiles to monitor functioning of various substems can also be used to monitor patients more effectively in ICU at low cost. The Data processing technology used in LCA can be used to make low cost CT scan to defect cancer timely. Bleated heart discs to replace defective heart valves. Same material can also be used to improve quality of fracture fixation plates which are used in hip bone surgery.


  • 1.What is meant by a “stealth aircraft”? Mention two “Stealth technological techniques” used in such as aircraft. (89/II/8f(C)/3)
  • 2.Trace the progress of India’s Space Research Programmes?
    What are its significant achievements? (91/II/7a/20)
  • 3.Discuss briefly the importance of the cryogenic engine for India’s space programme. (92/II/7a/20)
  • 4.What is a leap second? (92/II/8b(C)/3)
  • 5.What is the advantage of putting statellite in the geosynchronous orbit? (92/II/8e(C)/3)
  • 6.What is remote sensing? Describe the status of remote sensing in India. (93/II/6c/15)
  • 7.What are jet streams? (9/II/8d(C)/3)
  • 8.What is Talsur? (94/II/8b(C)/3)
  • 9. What is ‘Shoemaker-Levy9’? Why was it in the news recently? (94/II/8e(C)/3)
  • 10. What is PSLV? Describe its significance for India’s space programme. (95/II/7b/20)
  • 11. What are VSATs? What are they used for? (95/II/8b(C)/3)
  • 12. Describe how India’s space programme has helped in its socio-economic development. (96/II/3a/40)
  • 13. Why does a lunar eclipse occur only on a fun moon? (96/II/8e(C)/3)
  • 14. Why is Agni Project Important for India? (97/II/3a/40)
  • 15. What is the difference between a comet and a meteor? (97/II/8b(C)/3)
  • 16. What is remote sensing? What are its uses especially in the Indian context. (About 250 words) (98/II/3a/40)
  • 17. What new type jof satellite is proposed to be inducted for bolstering surveillance on India’s border? How does this type of satellite compare with existing IRS satellites? (99/I/6a/10)
  • 18. Answer the following: (about 25 words each):
  • (a) What is ‘Swatch of no ground’?
  • (b) From where was the most advanced commercial satellite of India INSAT 2E launched?
  • (c) What is Global Positioning System (G.P.S)? (99/II/8/3 each)
  • 19.What do the GMRT stand for? (99/II/10d(ii)/1)
  • 20. Where is Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre Located? (99/II/10e(iii)/1)
  • 21. What is the significance of the geostationary orbit? What would happen if it becomes too crowded? (00/II/10a/30)
  • 22.Discuss the significances of GSLV in space research. (01/I/10b/30)
  • 23.Determine the utility of Direct to Home in broadcasting system. (01/I/11a/10)
  • 24.What does the solar system consist of? Discuss the motion of the entire solar system as a whole and also the motion of most of the bodies forming the solar system. (03/II/11a/15)
  • 25.In which year and by which countries was International Space Station (ISS) launched? How many countries are participating in this program? What are the unique studies being made in the station which could not be made
    so accurately on the earth? (03/II/11b/15)
  • 26. Detail the salient features of project ‘Anthareeksha’. (05/II/7a/15)
  • 27.What do you know about Indian National Satellite Systems? Describe its important features. (250 words) (08/II/10b/30)
  • 28. What is the ‘Hubble Space Telescope’? How many Servicing Missions (SMs) have been conducted for it? (09/II/8d/15)
  • 29. Write brief note in about 30 words: Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA). (09/II/10f/3)
  • 30. Write about NNRMS. (09/I/4d/3)
  • 31. Write about GAGAN Project. (09/I/4f/3)


  • 1.Give the names of three missiles developed by India under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme. briefly mentioin their capabilities. (89/II/8a(C)/3)
  • 2.What are binary Chemical weapons? (91/II/8a(C)/3)
  • 3.What are the salient features of India’s missile development programme. (92/II/7d/20)
  • 4.Give an account of the achievements of Indian defence scientists in technology development. (93/II/7a/20)
  • 5.What do the following stand for:
  • (i)ANURAG



  • 6.What is VIKAS engine? What is being used for? (93/II/8e(C)/3)
  • 7.What was the controversy about ‘Prithvi’? (93/II/8f(C)/3)
  • 8.Why is Agni Project important for India? (97/1/7g/2)
  • 9.How does the development of Pinaka benefit India. (98/II/7b/20)
  • 10.What do the ICMR stand for? (98/II/8d(ii)(C)/1)
  • 11.What is a cryogenic engine? Discuss its significance in India’s space programme. (01/II/10a/30)
  • 12.What is Stealth Technology (125 words) (07/I/11a/10)
  • 13.Discuss the missile technology initiatives undertaken by India. (150 words) (07/II/11c/15)
  • 14.Write about India’s L.C.A. (Tejas). (08/II/2e/2)
  • 15.Write brief note on Nuclear Submarine‘Arihant.’ (09/II/2d/5)
  • 16.Write brief note in about 30 words: The ‘P-IA Poseidon’. (09/II/10d/3)
  • 17.The Kaveri K – 10 aero-engine
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