Image of Agni-I missile launch

Image of Agni-I missile launch

Agni-I (Sanskrit: अग्नि, Agnī “Fire”) is a medium-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.

Type Medium Range Ballistic Missile
Place of origin India
Service history
In service 2004—present
Used by Indian Army
Production history
Designer Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
Manufacturer Bharat Dynamics Limited
Unit cost ₹ 250-350 million (INR) or $ 5.6-7.9 million (USD)
Weight 12,000 kg
Length 15 m
Diameter 1.0 m
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
Flight ceiling 370 km
Flight altitude ~ 200 km
Speed mach 7.5  or 2.5 km/s (Agni-I)
Ring Laser Gyro- INS (Inertial Navigation System), optionally augmented by GPS terminal guidance with possible radar scene correlation
Accuracy 25 m CEP
8 x 8 Tatra TELAR (Transporter erector launcher) Rail Mobile Launcher

History and Development

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.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. 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. 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.

Operational History

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). Such User trials were carried out multiple times since 2007, with the first one being in October 5, 2007 from Wheelers’ Island and the latest one being on November 27, 2015. Another successful user trial was conducted on March 14, 2016 from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island).

Agni missile range.

Agni missile range.


Agni-I is used by the 334 Missile Group at Secunderabad, under the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian Army

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