India & Weapons of Mass Destruction
The Smiling Buddha
In 1974, India, under the leadership of the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, conducted an underground nuclear test called operation Smiling Buddha in the Pokhran region of the northern state of Rajasthan. India termed it a “peaceful nuclear explosion”. Reports on the actual yield of these tests vary from official accounts of 12 kt; to Western intelligence reports that place the yield to be between 4-6 kt. The device tested was essentially a nuclear fission device.
India is believed to have begun work on, a thermonuclear weapon in 1980. According to reports, by 1989 India was making efforts to isolate and purify the lithium-6 isotope, a key requirement for the production of a thermo-nuclear device which they succeeded in doing by 1999.
The second series of tests, called Operation Shakti were carried out in Pokhran under a newly elected BM) government on May 11 and 13, 1998, and took the entire world community by surprise. After the blasts, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced that this was “India’s due, the right of one-sixth of humankind”. The devices tested were two fission devices, three low-yield devices and one thermonuclear device (the “H-bomb”).
- Similarly, India maintains a “no-first-use” “minimum nuclear deterrent,” nuclear policy in the event of war as enunciated in Its Nuclear Doctrine, released in 1999.
- India’s Strategic Nuclear Command was formally established in 2003, with an Air Force officer, Air Marshall Asthana, as the Commander-in-Chief.
- Moreover, The joint services SNC is the custodian of all of India’s nuclear weapons, missiles and assets. It is also responsible For executing all aspects of India’s nuclear policy. However, the civil leadership, in the form of the CCS (Cabinet Committee on Security) is the only body authorized to order a nuclear strike against another offending strike: In effect, it is the Prime Minister who has his finger “on the button”.
- It is widely estimated that India currently has between 70-100 warheads.
In general, nuclear weapons can be “delivered” to their targets by missiles or by fighter aircraft such as bombers.
India has methodically built an indigenous missile production capability, using its commercial space-launch program to develop the skills and infrastructure needed to support an offensive ballistic missile program.
Moreover, During the 1980s, India conducted a series of space launches using the solid-fuelled SLV-3 booster. Most of these launches put light satellites into near-earth orbit.
Elements of the SLV-3 subsequently incorporated into two new programs. In the first, the new polar-space launch vehicle (PSLV) equipped with six SLV-3 motors strapped to the PSLV’s first stage. More importantly, the Agni IRBM technology demonstrator uses the SLV-3 booster as its first stage. In short, India’s missile program routinely adapts previously developed space technology to new applications.
Moreover, It is well worth the time to review the key missile applications:
- Prithvi: It has the capability of maneuvering in flight so as to follow one of six different pre-programmed trajectories.
- Agni: The Agni tests demonstrated that India can develop a maneuvering warhead that incorporates endoatmospheric evasive maneuvers and terminal guidance in the re-entry vehicle.
- PSLV: During its next excursion, this missile will triple-launch a reconnaissance satellite and two piggy-backed lightweight satellites in an attempt to prove the missile’s value to the commercial space-launch world.
India Aircraft Potential Special Weapons Delivery Systems
The current status of delivery systems for Indian nuclear weapons unclear. India has developed and tested nuclear weapons that could deliver on the Prithvi and Agni missiles, although it is unclear whether India currently has such an operational capability.
The Indian over 200 combat naval Vessels, of which 25 are submarines, 3 are aircraft carriers, and another 150 are destroyers and fast frigates.
Nuclear Weapons: India & Weapons
India currently thought to have a stockpile of around 40-50 warheads.
India generally credited with having sufficient fissile material to build 60-200 nuclear weapons, with most reports placing the figure at 85-100.
Moreover, India’s first nuclear test was on the 18th of May, 1974. Since then she has conducted another series of test at the Pokhran test range in the state of Rajasthan.
Also, In terms of nuclear non-proliferation, since India has an extensive civil and military nuclear program, which includes 10 nuclear reactors, uranium mining and milling sites, heavy water production facilities, a uranium enrichment plant, fuel fabrication facilities, and extensive nuclear research capabilities, it is now impossible to stop India’s nuclear program by means of a nuclear export control regime.
In the future, India plans to commission fast-breeder reactors, thorium 232 reactors(which will yield U233-a plutonium-type substance), and nuclear-powered submarines.
Research and Development (R&D) facilities in India are comparable to the best in the U.S.
Chemical Weapons: India & Weapons
In 1992 India signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, stating that it did not have chemical weapons and the capacity or capability to manufacture chemical weapons. Also, The treaty’s provisions were equally applicable to all countries, including the powerful countries. The treaty came into force on April n, 1997.
In 1992 India declared to Pakistan that it did not possess chemical weapons. And India and Pakistan issued a declaration that neither side possessed or intended to acquire or use chemical weapons.
Biological Warfare: India & Weapons
Moreover, India is a signatory to the BWC of 1972.
- India has a well-developed biotechnology infrastructure that includes numerous pharmaceutical production facilities bio-containment laboratories (including BL-3) for working with lethal pathogens.
- The Defence Research and Development*Establishment (DRDE) at Gwalior is the primary establishment for studies in toxicology. And biochemical pharmacology and development of antibodies against several bacterial and viral agents.
- Work is in progress to prepare responses to threats like Anthrax, Brucellosis, choler, and plague. Viral threats like smallpox and viral hemorrhagic fever and bio-toxic threats like botulism.