US experts say India modernising nuclear arsenal with eye on China: The top US nuclear experts have said that India continues to modernise its atomic arsenal with an eye on China.
In the article titled “Indian nuclear forces 2017” published in the July-August issue of the digital journal After Midnight, the American nuclear experts are of view that India’s nuclear strategy, which traditionally focused on Pakistan, now appears to place increased emphasis on the Communist giant.
The article also claimed that New Delhi is now developing a missile which can target all of China from its bases in South India.
India is estimated to have produced approximately 600 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium, sufficient for 150-200 nuclear warheads; however, not all the material has been converted into nuclear warheads, the article said.
It has likely produced only 120-130, wrote Hans M Kristensen and Robert S Norris in the article.
“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,” Indian media quoting the article reported.
Noting that India continues to modernise its nuclear arsenal with the development of several new nuclear weapon systems, the two experts estimate that New Delhi currently operates seven nuclear-capable systems: two aircraft, four land-based ballistic missiles, and one sea-based ballistic missile.
“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,” it said.