India is continuing to expand it’s nuclear arsenal and keeping an eye on China, the recent China stand-off and previous skirmishes have led to India targeting China rather than Pakistan, say a report by two top American nuclear scientists.
‘After Midnight’, a digital journal published an article in July-August issue, which claimed that India is developing a missile which can target all of China from its bases in South India.
It is estimated that India has produced enough plutonium for 150-200 nuclear warheads but has likely produced only 120-130, wrote Hans Kristensen and Robert S Norris in the article- “Indian Nuclear forces 2017“.
They go on to explain that the nuclear strategy which earlier focused on Pakistan has increased the importance of China and the experts claimed. “While India has traditionally been focused on deterring Pakistan, its nuclear modernisation indicates that it is putting increased emphasis on its future strategic relationship with China,”they wrote.
“That adjustment will result in significantly new capabilities being deployed over the next decade that may influence how India views nuclear weapons’ role against Pakistan,” they said.
Although the Agni-4 will be capable of striking targets in nearly all of China from northeastern India (including Beijing and Shanghai), India is also developing the longer-range Agni-5, a three-stage, solid-fuel, rail-mobile, near-intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of delivering a warhead more than 5,000 kilometers (3,100-plus miles). The extra range will allow the Indian military to establish Agni-5 bases in central and southern India, further away from China, the report said.
India apparently has also begun development of a true ICBM, known as Agni-6. Official data is scarce but an article posted on the government’s Press Information Bureau website in December 2016 claimed the Agni-6 “will have a strike-range of 8,000–10,000 km” and “be capable of being launched from submarines as well as from land”, the report further said.
It is interesting to note that India is developing their nuclear arsenal against China and it would be the right time to tackle whatever China tries.