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Type Medium Range Ballistic Missile
Place of origin India
Service history
In service 2004[1]—present
Used by Indian Army
Production history
Manufacturer Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL)
Unit cost 250-350 million (INR) or $ 5.6-7.9 million (USD)[2]
Weight 12,000 kg[3][4][5]
Length 15 m[3][4][5]
Diameter 1.0 m[4][5]
Warhead Strategic nuclear (15 kt to 250 kt), conventional HE-unitary, penetration, sub-munitions, incendiary or fuel air explosives

Engine Single Stage
700-1250 km [3][4][6]
Flight ceiling 370 km[5]
Flight altitude ~ 200 km [6]
Speed mach 7.5 [6] or 2.5 km/s (Agni-I)[4]
Ring Laser Gyro- INS (Inertial Navigation System), optionally augmented by GPS terminal guidance with possible radar scene correlation
Accuracy 25 m CEP [7]
8 x 8 Tatra TELAR (Transporter erector launcher) Rail Mobile Launcher
Main article: Agni missile system
Agni missile range.

Agni-I (Sanskrit: अग्नि, Agnī "Fire") is a short-range ballistic missile developed by DRDO of India under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. It is a single-stage missile developed after the Kargil War to fill the gap between 250 km range of Prithvi-II and 2,500 km range of Agni-II. It was first launched on January 25, 2002 from a road mobile launcher at Integrated Test Range (ITR), Wheeler Island.[8]

History and Development[edit]

Agni-I was first tested at the Interim Test Range in Chandipur in 1989, and is capable of carrying a conventional payload of 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) or a nuclear warhead. Agni missiles consist of one (short range) or two stages (intermediate range). These are rail and road mobile and powered by solid propellants.

The Agni I has a range of 700–1250 km.[4][6] They are claimed to be a part of the "Minimum Credible deterrence".

Agni-I is a single stage, solid fuel, road and rail mobile, medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM). The need for the Agni-I was felt after the Kargil war with Pakistan. It took DRDO 15 months to develop the Agni-I after having completed Agni-II development.[9] It is propelled by solid fuel. Maneuvering RV body-lift aerodynamics give it the ability to correct trajectory errors and reduce thermal stresses. The MRV has a velocity correction package to correct launch trajectory variances. Some Agni RV versions use a set of solid fueled thruster cartridges of predetermined impulse, allowing the onboard guidance controller to trim velocity, using discrete combination of impulse quanta along the desired spatial orientation. The 15 metre tall Agni-1 missile, weighing about 12 tonnes, is capable of carrying both conventional as well as nuclear warheads of 1,000 kg.[4][5] Calculations suggest a distance of 1500 km can, theoretically, be reached if the missile were to be made of composites & carrying a lesser mass of payload.[6]

User trials by Indian Army[edit]

Indian Army regularly conducts user trials of the missile mainly to train the user team to launch the missile. The tests are normally conducted by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian Army with logistic support from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).[10][11][12]

On October 5, 2007, a nuclear-capable Agni I was test fired from Wheelers' Island, a defense base in the Bay of Bengal on Orissa coast at Bhadrak, Orissa; and again on March 23, 2008 from the same site.[3][4][13]

On 28 Mar 2010, a trial was conducted with a special Strategic Forces Command (SFC) nuclear-capable Agni-I ballistic missile, with a range of 700 km from the Wheelers Island off the coast of Orissa, thus making Agni-I missile operational by army.[14] Since then the SFC of the Indian Army has conducted several user trials of Agni-I missile to test its readiness to launch ballistic missiles that carry nuclear warheads.[10][11] The recent user trials involved the test firing of upgraded version of Agni-I with better re-entry technology, maneuverability and range extension of up to 700–1,250 km.[4][6]

On 25 Nov 2010 another user trial of Agni-I missile was carried out by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian Army wherein the indigenously developed surface-to-surface single-stage missile, powered by solid propellants, was test fired from a rail mobile launcher at about 1010 hours from launch pad-4 of the ITR, 100 km off the Orissa coast.[11] This user trial involved the test firing of upgraded version of Agni-I with better re-entry technology, manoeuvrability and range extension of up to 700–900 km.[4]

Agni-I was successfully test fired as a part of a training exercise on 1 December 2011 from the Orissa coast.[15] The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Army executed the trial with logistic support provided by DRDO at the ITR.[10] The Agni-I was fired from a road-mobile launcher (specially designed truck), at 9.30 a.m. and covered its targeted range in 600 seconds of flight. The missile reached its targeted area in the Bay of Bengal with full accuracy.[10]

On 13 July 2012, the SFC conducted another successful user trial from Wheelers' Island. The missile was launched from a road mobile launcher[12]

On November 9, 2013, the Strategic Forces Command conducted a successful user trial from Wheeler Island, off the Odisa coast.

On September 9, 2014 the Agni-I missile was again test fired from Wheeler's Island, of Odisha coast by Strategic Forces Command the trajectory of the trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and naval ships from its launch till the missile hit the target area with pin-point accuracy.This was done to strengthen operational readiness.[16]


Agni-I is used by the 334 Missile Group at Secunderabad,[7] under the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian Army,[3][4][10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dikshit, Sandeep (5 July 2004). "Army's missile group to maintain Agni A-1". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "Technical tune to Agni test before talks". Calcutta, India: The Telegraph. 30 August 2004. Archived from the original on 11 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "India successfully test-fires Agni I ballistic missile". Indian Express. Nov 25, 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "India test-fires nuclear-capable Agni-I missile". The Times of India. Nov 25, 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "India successfully test-fired Agni-I". Asian Tribune. 5 July 2004. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Nuclear-Capable Agni-1 Ballistic Missile's Range Can Be Extended To 1500 Km". Aa Me, In. 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  7. ^ a b "Agni-1". MissileThreat. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  8. ^ T. S. Subramanian (2 February 2002). "The significance of Agni-I". Frontline. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  9. ^ Subramanian, T.S. (13 July 2012). "Agni-I a success". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Subramanian, T S (December 1, 2011). "Strategic Forces Command test fires Agni". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 1 December 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c "Agni 1 Missile Test Fired, Part of Army User Trials-India Defence Dated:25 Nov 2010". Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  12. ^ a b "Successful test-firing of Agni-I". Deccan Herald. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  13. ^ "India successfully test-fires Agni-1 missile". Times News Network. 23 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  14. ^ "Politics/Nation". The Times Of India. 28 March 2010. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Agni-I missile test-fired as part of Army's user trial". Indian Express. Retrieved 2012-08-03. 
  16. ^ Kumar, Chetan (11 September 2014). "India successfully test fires nuclear-capable Agni-I missile". The Times of India. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 

External links[edit]