Trishul (missile)

Trishul (IAST: triśūla "Trident") is a short range surface-to-air missile developed in India. It was developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation as a part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. It can also be used as an anti-sea skimmer from a ship against low flying attacking missiles.[1]

TypeSurface-to-air missile
Place of originIndia
Service history
Used byIndian Armed Forces
Production history
DesignerDefence Research and Development Organisation
NPO Mashinostroyeniya
ManufacturerBharat Dynamics Limited
Mass130 kg (290 lb)
Length3.1 m (10 ft)

EngineSingle stage[1]
PropellantSolid fuel
9 km (5.6 mi)[2]

History and developmentEdit

The Trishul missile project was commissioned in 1983 as a part of Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. The project was to be completed by 1992 and the missile would be fitted to Brahmaputra-class frigates as an anti-sea skimmer.[3] In 1985, Trishul made its first unguided flight from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The missile made its first full range guided flight in 1989. In 1992, the missile was successfully tested against a target and reached Mach 2 speed.[3] In 1997, the associated radar systems for detecting the incoming sea-skimmer were operational. The launch system was developed by Bharat Dynamics Limited in 1998.[3]

In 1997, Indian Navy expressed its displeasure in the delay in the development of Trishul for the Brahmaputra-class frigates. The navy opted for the Israeli Barak 1 Anti missile defence system.[3] By 1998, the missile had undergone over 24 flight trials and the missile was inducted into service by Indian Army and Indian Airforce in 1999.[4] The missile was reviewed by the DRDO in October 2001. The missile system was found deficient as the tracking radar beam was getting intermittent breaks resulting in the missile missing the target and the heavy BMP-II chassis did not meet the army qualitative requirements for mobility.[5] The naval version was test fired as a sea skimmer in 2002.[4] In 2003, Government of India announced that the missile will be a technology demonstrator and de-linked it from other projects. The missile was successfully test fired in 2005.[6] The development cost of the programme was 2.826 billion (US$38 million) and the Defence minister announced the official closure of the programme in 2008.[7]

The missile did not enter production or induction and substituted by Barak missiles.


Trishul has a range of 9 km (5.6 mi)[5] It is powered by a dual thrust propulsion stage using high-energy solid propellant.[1] Trishul weighs 130 kg (290 lb) and is capable of carrying a 15 kg (33 lb) warhead. The missile can be employed against Sea skimmers with a fire control radar. Trishul flies at supersonic speed. It has a low altitude radio altimeter and height lock loop control.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "About Trishul". DRDO. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  2. ^ "Trishul has a range of 9 km". FAS. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "Indian navy missile defence". Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Trishul missile". Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  5. ^ a b "DRDO's Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme". Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  6. ^ "India Successfully Tests Trishul Missile". 8 December 2005.
  7. ^ "Govt announces closure of work on Trishul missile". Times of India. 27 February 2008.