India modernising nuclear arsenal with eye on China: US experts

WASHINGTON: India continues to modernize its nuclear arsenal with an eye on China and its nuclear strategy, which traditionally focuses on Pakistan, seems to accentuate the emphasis on the communist giant, two top US nuclear experts said.

A section of experts, published in the July-August issue of the digital newspaper After midnight also said India is developing a missile that can target all of China from its bases in southern India.

It is estimated that India produces about 600 kilograms of plutonium, sufficient for 150-200 og. nuclear; However, all the material has not been converted into warheads, according to the article.

It has probably occurred as 120-130, wrote Hans M Kristensen and Robert S Norris in the article entitled “Nuclear Forces of India 2017”.

“While India has traditionally focused on the deterrence of Pakistan’s nuclear modernization it indicates that it puts more emphasis on future strategic relations with China,” they wrote.

“This adjustment will translate into a considerable deployment of new capacity over the next decade that could influence how India views the role of nuclear weapons in Pakistan’s face,” they said.

Noting that India continues to modernize its nuclear arsenal with the development of several new nuclear weapon systems, both experts believe that New Delhi currently operates seven nuclear systems: two land planes, four ballistic missiles and Balite seamen missiles.

“At least four other systems are under development. The development program is taking place in a dynamic phase, with long-range land and sea missiles for possible deployment emerging over the next decade,” he said.

Kristensen and Norris said the Agni-2 two-stage solid fuel-mobile-rail, an improvement on the Agni-1, which can deliver a nuclear or conventional head of more than 2 000 km is probably headed west, center and south from China.

While Agni-4 is able to reach targets in most of China from northeastern India (including Beijing and Shanghai), India is also developing Agni-5, three-tier solid fuels, mobile train near a missile Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of carrying an explosive charge of more than 5,000 kilometers (3,100 extra miles), he said.

“The additional scope will allow Indian military to establish Agni-5 bases in central and southern India, away from China,” said the research work.

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