Type Launchers First Tested Range (km) Payload (kg) Technical Details Comments
Prithvi I 20-50? Feb 1988 150 1000 Single stage, liquid fuel. Deployed by Army's 333rd Regiment in Secundrabad.
Prithvi II 25 ordered? Feb 1996 250 500-750 Single stage, liquid fuel. For Air Force.
Prithvi III (Dhanush) ? April 11 2000 test (failed) 350 1,000 Single stage, solid fuel

Ship-launched variant in development. Successfully tested in September 2001 and will "soon be operationalized."(1)

Agni I (short-range) 36 January 25, 2002 700 1,000 Single stage, solid-fuel  
Agni II 36 11 Apr 1999

2000/2,500 1,000 Two stage both solid fuel, rail mobile. Tested to a range of 2,000 km. (3)  India conducted its first flight test on August 29, 2004.

Agni III

development   3,500 1,000   Design may draw heavily from Polar SLV's.



development   350+ 500?  

Russian aid in development (4). Problems with guidance systems and far from operational. Deployment scheduled for 2010 or later.

Name/Type Number of Aircraft First Deployed Range (km)
Mig-27 147 1986   From Russia.
Mig-29 64   1,650 From Russia.
Mirage 2000 40   1,800 From France.
Su-30 10 1997 3,000 From Russia.
Jaguar 131   850 From UK and France.




1. Statement of an Indian defense official "Dhanush Missile Test-Fired"Times of India 21 September 2001.

2. Successfully validated India's re-entry vehicle technology and basic guidance systems.

3. On January 17, 2001 the Agni-2 was successfully flight tested for the second time. On March 7, 2001, Minister of Defense George Fernandes wrote the Rajya Sabha (India's lower house of Parliament) that the Agni-2 has "achieved operationalization stage ... the government has decided to induct the missile system based on security needs." On May 31, 2001, Defense Minister Jawant Singh said that "its [the Agni-2] induction is being planned during 2001-2002."

4. The Department of Defense's Proliferation Threat and Response: 2001 reports that "an Indian submarine-launched missile, called the Sagarika is ... under development with Russian assistance."


Albright, David. "India's and Pakistan's Fissile Material and Nuclear Weapons Inventories, end of 1999." Available online from the Institute for Science and International Security's web site: www.isis-online.org

"Combat Aircraft Specifications." Available at the Indian Air Force web site: http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/INFO/T.html

Conley, Jerome M. "Indo-Russian Military and Nuclear Cooperation: Implications for U.S. Security Interests." INSS Occasional Paper #31, February 2000.

Department of Defense. Proliferation Threat and Response: 2001. Available online: http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/ptr20010110.pdf

Hewish, Mark. "Ballistic Missile Threat Evolves: Missiles Have Become Instruments of "Course of Diplomacy." Jane's International Defense Review, October 2000.

Jones, Rodney and Mark McDonough. Tracking Nuclear Proliferation, 1998. (Washington D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1998)

The Military Balance: 2000-2001. International Institute for Strategic Studies. (Glasgow: International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2000)

Sawhney, Pravin K. "Pakistan Scores Over India in Ballistic Missile Race." Jane's Intelligence Review, November 2000.

Srivastava, Anupam. "India's Growing Missile Ambitions: Assessing the Technical and Strategic Dimensions." Asian Survey, March/April 2000.

Additional Resources

India's Nuclear Forces, 2005
(Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)

India's Nuclear Forces, 2002
(Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)

Draft Report of National Security Advisory Board on Indian Nuclear Doctrine, August 17 1999

India has not yet deployed any nuclear weapons. However, India declared its intention to deploy after its May 1998 tests (see India's Draft Nuclear Doctrine). A list of potential nuclear-capable delivery vehicles is provided below.

For a detailed analysis of India's nuclear stockpile, see David Albright's 11 October 2000 report "India's and Pakistan's Fissile Material and Nuclear Weapons Inventories, end of 1999" available from the Institute for Science and International Security. Albright estimates that at the end of 1999 India possessed between 240-395 kg of weapons-grade plutonium. This could potentially be usedto build 45-95 nuclear weapons.

For a more comprehensive treatment of India's nuclear weapons program, see the chapter on India from