Friday, February 8, 2013

What To Make of India's Nuclear Forces

Amid naval jostling in the East China Sea and on the Korean nuclear rumbles Peninsula, it is easy to miss a missile making a splash in the Indian Ocean.

Security watchers are understandably focused on North Asia at the moment, Where it is hard to tell if the next headline will not be about North Korean nuclear test has gold, even worse, an exchange of fire Between Chinese and Japanese ships. Yet India feels HAS recently a signal cannot be ignored That It Did share of the increasingly complicated strategic equation across Indo-Pacific Asia.

The Widely-known facts are Few and simple. On January 27, the day after Indian Republic Day, India Conducted a test flight for a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).

Most reports suggest the missile had a ranks of 700 to 750 km.

Goal Is that what is significant is India Working Towards The ability to launch a nuclear weapon from a submarine. In theory, this Would give New Delhi a second-strike capability - the confidence in being ble to shoot back Effective Effectively sustaining a nuclear attack. Often regarded Submarines are the ultimate second-strike platform Because they're hard to find and hard to target, notwithstanding the potential for rail-and road-mobile launchers to Achieve something similar.

To be sure, India HAS long way to go before it can be confident in Deterring, say, China with a fleet of nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed submarines, or SSBNs. For now, icts sole SSBN, is basically a technology demonstrator. It's not clear if the  INS Arihant , notionally Launched in 2009 , will ever really conduite deterrent patrols.

And there are serious technical challenges ahead in this vessel or arming the boats 3-6 Such hopes for the Indian Navy fleet in future icts.  HAS Asked As Andrew Winner , can miniaturize a nuclear warhead India to fit thesis Relatively small missiles, and it can do so without further Top nuclear testing? New Delhi is stuck with the Relatively modest ranks of this armament? And what does That mean for icts Ability to genuinely deter China, Given The Risks of Having to patrol close to the Chinese coast in some hypothetical future crisis?

Bear in Mind that currently the China-India nuclear balance is asymmetrical - can deter Beijing Delhi Delhi aim is less confident it can deter Beijing. That Reminds us que les biggest issues here are about geopolitics and crisis management.

Assuming That It is only a matter of time before India a nuclear-armed HAS Navy, will that be stabilizing or destabilizing balance is for the Indo-Pacific strategic picture, Whether India-China India-Pakistan relationship or relationships? In other words, Would it make war more or less Likely, less gold and more devastating? Some early assessments are not heartening .

Given the massive consequences of miscalculation in a future nuclear-armed confrontation, however hypothetical it may Seem at the moment, It Would make sense for thesis powers to start discussing in earnest Such matters.
China and India Have Agreed in principle to begin a dialogue on maritime security. As a co-author and I Have argued in a previous report, it's time They Began talking about nuclear stability too.

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