India may expand nuclear program, says top adviser

Discussion in 'Strategic Forces' started by LETHALFORCE, May 21, 2011.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    India may expand nuclear program, says top adviser

    INDIA could expand its nuclear arsenal to ensure a ''minimum deterrent'' if other nuclear powers increase their stockpile of warheads, an architect of the country's nuclear weapons program says.

    Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, a former president and a key player in India's controversial 1998 nuclear test, said his nation needed weapons of mass destruction because ''strength respects strength''.

    ''Nuclear weapons spread to our borders, our neighbours were all getting nuclear weapons so we needed them,'' he said in an interview with the Herald. ''On all sides around us, other nations had nuclear weapons so we have them for deterrent, for self defence.''
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    Dr Kalam said India only wanted a ''minimum deterrent'' and was not in competition with its nuclear-armed neighbours Pakistan and China. However, when asked whether the stockpile of warheads needed for a minimum deterrent should rise if other countries increased their nuclear weapons capacity, Dr Kalam said: ''Yes, the deterrent is always reviewed with reference to the world situation.''

    India is estimated to have 60 to 80 nuclear weapons.

    Some analysts say Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear arsenal in the world. There are fears this will force India to increase its stockpile and trigger a fresh nuclear arms race in the volatile south Asia region.

    A former CIA officer and south Asia expert, Bruce Riedel, has warned Pakistan is close to overtaking Britain to become the world's fifth biggest nuclear weapons state and is on track to overtake France to become No.4 behind the US, Russia and China by the end of the decade.

    Mr Riedel believes India has held back so far, but predicts Delhi will come under increasing pressure to produce more warheads if Pakistan's stockpile continues to grow.

    The Australian government bans uranium exports to India because it is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. But Dr Kalam, who is here as a guest of Sydney University, has urged Australia to co-operate with India in the development of nuclear reactors that use thorium instead of uranium to produce electricity.

    ''Australia has got tremendous reserves of thorium, a future material for replacing uranium,'' he said. ''It is cost-effective and [produces] less radiation … India and Australia can work together in building a thorium-based nuclear reactor for the world market.''

    India is trying to develop a thorium-based nuclear reactor but Dr Kalam said this would ''take some time''.

    Dr Kalam, who was the principal scientific adviser to the government before serving as president from 2002 to 2007, enjoys rock-star status in India. An expert in missile technology, he was instrumental in the weaponisation of the nuclear program and also contributed to the space program.

    The University of Sydney awarded Dr Kalam his 41st honorary doctorate yesterday.

    Read more: India may expand nuclear program, says top adviser
     
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    NTI: Global Security Newswire - India Could Build More Nukes, Former Leader Warns

    India Could Build More Nukes, Former Leader Warns

    Former Indian President A.P J. Abdul Kalam said his country could add to its nuclear weapons stockpile as a means of countering potential nuclear buildups by other nations, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Friday (see GSN, May 19).

    India must rely on weapons of mass destruction because "strength respects strength," said Kalam, an aeronautical engineer who played a key role in India's most recent nuclear tests in 1998, according to the Herald.

    "Nuclear weapons spread to our borders, our neighbors were all getting nuclear weapons so we needed them," he said. "On all sides around us, other nations had nuclear weapons so we have them for deterrent, for self defense."

    New Delhi seeks just a "minimum deterrent" and was not pursuing advantage over Pakistan and China, two other nuclear-armed states in the region, Kalam said. Recent reports have indicated that Pakistan, India's longtime rival, is moving aggressively to bolster its nuclear arsenal and plutonium-production capabilities (see GSN, May 16).

    Addressing whether nuclear-weapon buildups by other powers would necessitate the minimum deterrent's expansion, Kalam said, "Yes, the deterrent is always reviewed with reference to the world situation."

    India is thought to hold between 60 and 80 nuclear weapons, according to the Herald. (Matt Wade, Sydney Morning Herald, May 21).

    Meanwhile, an accident that killed four members of its crew has delayed for an unknown period of time sea trials of the INS Arihant, India's first ballistic-missile submarine, Interfax reported (see GSN, Dec. 3, 2010; Interfax, May 19).
     
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  4. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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  5. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    India pushes for nuclear triad - paper | Defense | RIA Novosti

    India pushes for nuclear triad - paper

    [​IMG]

    Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

    18:49 17/05/2011

    India's Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) has discussed the country's progress toward creating a fully-fledged nuclear triad, the Times of India said on Tuesday.

    An NCA meeting on Monday, presided by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, focused on the testing of the first domestically-built nuclear submarine and the development of a long-range ballistic missile, the paper said.

    India is very close to completing a nuclear triad with the induction of the first Arihant class nuclear-powered submarine by 2012. The submarine was floated out on July 26, 2009 and is slated to go for sea trials once its 83-MW light-water reactor gains full capacity.

    The three-stage Agni V ballistic missile with 5,000-km range will be tested in 2011. The solid-fuel missile will be able to carry multiple warheads and will have improved countermeasures against anti-ballistic missile systems.

    India conducted its first nuclear test in 1974 and is believed to have 60 to 80 nuclear warheads, while neighboring Pakistan possesses 70 to 90 warheads.

    At present, India has an arsenal of Agni II and Agni III ballistic missiles and BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles as part of the land component of the triad. The air component includes nuclear-capable fighter aircraft such as the Dassault Mirage 2000H, Sukhoi Su-30 MKI and MIG-29.

    The purpose of having a three-branched nuclear capability is to significantly reduce the possibility that an enemy could destroy all of a nation's nuclear forces in a first strike attack. This ensures a credible threat of a retaliatory strike, and therefore increases a nation's nuclear deterrence.

    With induction of the Arihant submarine, India will become the fourth country in the world to possess a fully-fledged nuclear triad after the United States, Russia and China.

    NEW DELHI, May 17 (RIA Novosti)
     
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  6. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    I was reading an article recently (in US weekly I think) which was talking about how Pakistan was ramping up its nuclear weapon production exponentially. They mentioned that Pakistan was rapidly building a new reactor/s which when completed would give them the capability in about a decade or so double their nuclear arsenal. This would make Pakistan's nuclear arsenal the fastest growing in the world; India was second at about 67%.
    However, with that said the fact of the matter is that accuracy is more important than just having a whole bunch of nukes. I think India should focus on building and developing smaller yield bombs with very accurate guidance systems as opposed to quantity over quality.
     
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  7. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    In ten years India will still be producing much much more fissile material than Pakistan or maybe even China with Fast breeder reactors up and running.
     

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