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US report reveals India’s nuclear weapon preparations for China

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Researchers say that India’s nuclear weapon defense strategies that were primarily focused on Pakistan, now include China too.

The US researchers have revealed that India is escalating its nuclear capabilities by improving its arsenal, which was earlier developed mostly with Pakistan in mind. Researchers Hans M. Kristensen and Robert Norris published an article in the Bulletin of the Atomic  Scientists on July 5.

“We estimate India currently operates seven nuclear-capable systems: two aircraft, four land-based ballistic missiles, and one sea-based ballistic missile,” the article said. “At least four more systems are in development. The development program is in a dynamic phase, with long-range land- and sea-based missiles emerging for possible deployment within the next decade.”

So far India’s nuclear arsenal was built keeping in mind the threats from Pakistan; however, now the country is taking serious note regarding too much interference in its affairs and territories by China. The report said that in order to get a better strategic relationship with China, India is emphasizing on improving its nuclear weapons.

“India is estimated to have produced enough plutonium for 150-200 nuclear warheads but has likely produced only 120-130. Nonetheless, additional plutonium will be required to produce warheads for missiles now under development, and India is reportedly building two new plutonium production facilities,” according to the researchers. “India’s nuclear strategy, which has traditionally focused on Pakistan, now appears to place increased emphasis on China.

Until 2003, fighter-bombers were India’s sole nuclear strike force, although the country continued developing land- and sea-based ballistic missiles. Though, it has now added to the bombers too. “Despite considerable progress since then in building a diverse arsenal of land- and sea-based ballistic missiles, bombers continue to serve a prominent role as a flexible strike force in India’s nuclear posture. We estimate that three or four squadrons of Mirage 2000H and Jaguar IS/IB (and possibly also MiG-27) aircraft, at three bases, are assigned nuclear strike missions against Pakistan and China,” the report added. In 2016 India and France signed an accord for the delivery of 36 Rafale aircrafts.”