Indian nuclear attack on Rawalpindi

Discussion in 'Strategic Forces' started by maomao, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    Indian nuclear attack on Rawalpindi

    Let me write about the possible effects of a 50 kiloton Indian nuclear bomb on Rawalpindi in Pakistan. I first posted this on an internet forum as part of a discussion on deterrence and the post still exists there.

    Why Rawalpindi?

    Before I start I want to point out that India has a declared "No First Use" (NFU) policy in which Indian nuclear weapons will not be used against any country unless that nation conducts a nuclear attack on India first

    The net is replete with information about the horrors of a nuclear attack as actually documented in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In addition, MV Ramana has written a scholarly article on a nuclear attack on Bombay (Mumbai) - so what is the need for yet another scenario of a nuclear bomb on anyone, and that too on Rawalpindi?

    My rationale is simple and it is based on what I see as the delusional mind-set of the average miseducated Pakistani. It is an open fact that Pakistan's increasingly large and capable nuclear arsenal is aimed at India. Prominent Pakistanis - such as Gauhar Ayub, the son of former dictator Gen. Ayub Khan have openly threatened India with nuclear weapons. Former ISI chief and Pakistani hawk and Taliban sympathizer Gen. Hamid Gul has suggested that Bangalore will be blown up in a cloud of smoke - a statement that can be heard in this video clip on YouTube. It is decidedly not funny to listen to Pakistanis in ostensibly "responsible" positions saying such things. It is also well known now that the Chinese actively proliferated nuclear weapons to Pakistan, gifting them with enriched bomb grade Uranium, designs for a bomb and even tested a Pakistani bomb at Lop Nor in China in the 1980s. Nuclear technology was later proliferated by Pakistanis to Iran, North Korea. Libya, North Korea and possibly Saudi Arabia in Pakistan's version of a nuclear Wal Mart.

    Deterrence is a funny beast. If a man has a gun it gives him a feeling of security; He thinks of how the gun will help him and does not concern himself too much about what the gun might do to someone else. But if you can tell this man what will happen to him if he tries to use that gun and what he will see and feel if he tries to use his gun, he may then begin to use the little thinking power he may have to wonder whether it is a good idea to use his gun at all. That is what deterrence is all about. This is where MV Ramana's admittedly comprehensive work fails. The scenario of a bomb on Bombay is only good to deter Indians. Reading about it can only give joy to an aggressive Pakistani or the "save my face" Chinese. After all I am happy to read about anything that might make my enemy suffer.

    So it is important to write and document detailed scenarios of what India's nuclear bombs are planned to perform in Pakistani and Chinese cities, starting with Rawalpindi.

    Again. Why Rawalpindi, why not Islamabad?

    Take a look at this picture comparing the building density and therefore the population density of Islamabad versus Rawalpindi.

    [​IMG]

    Clearly, Islamabad consists of isolated buildings and a lot of parks. Rawalpindi is dense housing. When you use a nuclear weapon you have to plan to cause the maximum pain and must select the most highly populated areas. In any case hitting Islamabad is no use. All the wealthy generals of the Pakistan army, trained by their predecessors, the murderers of Bangladesh of 1971 will be hiding in deep bunkers before they use their first nuclear bomb on India, inviting this Indian 50 kiloton retaliatory bomb on Rawalpindi. By hitting Islamabad - you only hit gardens and trees. I will describe Rawalpindi later.

    Why 50 kilotons? 50 kilotons is proven and undisputed Indian capability in warheads that are light enough to be delivered by any of the delivery vehicles that India has, and Rawalpindi is within range of all of them, and is certain to get hit the day Pakistan launches any nuclear attack on an Indian entity. It is also small enough to reduce the likelihood of fallout reaching India.

    Rawalpindi

    Rawalpindi district is huge and consists of many subdivisions such as the Rawal town, Potohar town and others including Murree and Taxila. The total population of Rawalpindi is over 3 million.

    The particular area of interest is "Rawal town". The Rawal town area is a densely populated area . It is a roughly triangular area measuring about 30 sq km with a population of about 700,000 - a population density of nearly 25,000 people per sq km. The apex of the triangle juts into Islamabad in the North, while the Eastern boundary includes Islamabad Airport. To the South West of this area lies the Pakistan army GHQ.

    The streets of Rawal town are narrow with contiguous lines of poorly built old brick and mortar buildings or newer concrete constructions on either side. Most are two to three stories tall. Typically the first floor has a front balcony or verandah that is enclosed by a decorative (and highly inflammable) wood and glass frontage. Rawalpindi is home to some fabulous open air markets selling everything from food, to silk. The streets in these markets are seething with people, and the street vendors often use a highly inflammable plastic or canvas sheet as a sun shade. Like many cities and towns in the Indian subcontinent - Rawal town is an "outdoors" town because people do not have to remain huddled inside houses to escape from cold. In additions there is the usual component of people who actually live on the streets.

    To the South East, several kilometers away lie the posh residencs of the Pakistani RAPE - the Rich Anglophone Paki elite, occupying terraced residences or individual houses with manicured lawns in areas such as the Chaklala and Askari housing schemes, Bahria town and the Defence housing authority. To the North lies Islamabad. Below is a Google Earth image of Rawal town

    [​IMG]


    The X on the map indicates the selected point for a 50 kt nuclear bomb to be exploded at the optimum height. It is worth recalling here that 50 kilotons refers (for the mango man) to 50,000 tons of TNT. This is more than the bomb load carried by 7,000 F-16 aircraft exploding at one time and over one spot. Just in case Paklurks need an education.

    A 50 kt bomb exploding causes intense flash of heat that melts ceramic and granite for a radius of about a kilometer below the point of explosion. This is followed by a devastating pressure wave that will destroy all concrete structures for a radius of about 2 km. From 2 to 4 km almost every building is brought down, if not severely damaged. In the central zone - winds of up to 800 kmph follow the blast. Even 4 km way there are winds of 400 kmph blasting glass into small shards and that find their way into people who survive a collapsed building. Even beyond the 4 km zone - people who have faces and other parts of the body exposed to the flash will develop "flash burns". Some will go blind while others will require hospitalization for burns.

    In general, when a nuclear bomb explodes over a populated area, the people who are killed immediately are affected both by blast and burns and are closest to the hypocenter or "ground zero" above which the bomb exploded. For a 50 kiloton blast this area extends up to a radius of 2 km from the hypocenter. From 2 to 4 km the blast and burn effects are very severe but not invariably immediately fatal - leaving many people injured but alive. Beyond a 3.5 to 4 km radius a large number of people will have minor injuries and flash burns - of which some of the latter can be severe and ultimately fatal especially without medical attention. The injuries other than flash burns are usually due to glass fragments and collapse of light structures. Many of the injured in this zoen will additionally suffer radiation sickness adding to mortality.

    Based on these general facts it is possible to model the effect of a 50 kiloton nuclear weapon about a kilometer above a point "X" in Rawal Town, Rawalpindi at a spot about 0.5 km west of the east-west runway of Islamabad Airport. The figure below depicts two concentric circles of radius 2 km (blue) and 4 km (orange) from the point below the center of the blast.

    [​IMG]

    Within the blue circle lies an area of about 12 sq km, and in the densely populated environs of Rawal town - the area will have a population of about 300,000, many of them exposed on the street. All buildings in this zone will be crushed burying people within them instantly. Exposed people on the street will be vaporised near the hypocenter. Taking a cue from what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki - ine can expect an 85 to 90% mortality in this zone with 5-10 percent alive but injured. For the central zone in Rawal town that would mean more than 250,000 dead and perhaps 10 to 15,000 people injured but alive. Rawal town consist of narrow lanes - which will all be blocked by collapsed buildings and the chances of reaching any injured people in time to rescue them and save them is likely to be remote, unless they can themselves walk out.

    Outside the blue circle, but withing the orange circle most buildings will be demolished but the chances of being powdered or vaporized instantly are reduced as one goes farther from the center. The decorated wooden frontages of buildings and the sun covers of street vendors, there gas cylinders and lamps will catch fire instantly, and with the blast winds being less severe further away from the center some of these fires will not get snuffed out and will continue to burn. In the Hiroshima/Nagasaki experience, this zone had a mortality of about 25 to 30%. The 38 sq km zone of the orange circle will have more than 400,000 people - who make up the population of Rawal town and other zones around the area. The population density is likely to be smaller over the more posh zones like Askari and Chaklala that fall in this zone but a conservative estimate of 600,000 people is reasonable. A 25 to 30% mortality would leave about 150,000 dead and about 250,000 injured. Of the injured in this zone - many will have severe flash burns and will inevitably die. Others will lie under crushed building debris. Many will have injuries like bullet wounds from flying glass and debris; other will have impact type injuries because they have simply been lifted by an air blast and slammed hard against some surface.

    In the zone outside the orange circle Rawalpindi has some densely populated areas and some posh and relatively sparsely populated zones with better constructed houses that may able to withstand the milder blast felt more than 4 or 5 km from the hypocenter. Injuries and deaths in this zone will occur mainly from collapse of light structures, flash burns on exposed skin surfaces, blindness and window glass injuries for people inside homes. These will me most severe just outside the 4 km zone, and reduce as one goes further. In the Japan experience, this zone had a mortality of 1 to 2% and injuries to about 10%. That means - that a million or so people outside the 4 km radius zone will still suffer 20,000 dead and 100,000 injured - though many injuries will be slight.


    Counting the cost:

    Every city depends, for its survival on a number of "services" that must run 24 hours a day. Each of these services is dependent on thousands upon thousands of people who work to run those services. Foremost among the services required in any city are water, food, sanitation, energy (fuels and electricity) and healthcare.

    A disruption in water supply begins to affect a city within one day. Food supply disruption affects people within days. A city may be able to live with poor sanitation, low energy supply and little healthcare for about a week or two after which the city becomes essentially unlivable for most. Even under ordinary circumstances water lines or pumps break down and need repair. Valves need to be turned on and off and water purified and pumped to different areas. Food supplies arrive from outside the city and depend on people to drive the vehicles, load and unload and other people to store, stock and distribute the supplies to retailers and consumers. People need energy to cook and this can range fom firewood, to gas to electricity. Firewood and gas (cylinders) need to be delivered by road by people. Electricity is a different ball game. Here again it is maintenance intensive - needing people on the ground to do the work. Garbage collection and disposal, maintenance of sewers and drains, cleaning of streets all require people to do physical inspection and work. Healthcare too is human intensive with one a ratio of 10:1 for the number of people involved in looking after a moderately injured or ill person. If you can wipe out 20% of the workforce or their families, one rapidly brings the services of a city to a standstill.

    As detailed above, a single 50 kiloton blast over a crucial populated area of Rawalpindi will kill over 400,000 people and leave a similar number injured. This amounts to about 25% of the population of Rawalpindi. Since most of the people targeted will be poor to middle class, selectively sparing the wealthy who are spread out in their communities, a disproportionate number of the service segment of Islamabad and Rawalpindi will be wiped out ensuring that the cities will become unlivable in a week to ten days time. Even if thousands of people are recruited from outside to come in and help their primary work will be hampered by roads choked with refugees flowing out of the city and their work, in any case will have to be to handle the injured and clear the area of dead rotting bodies before any serious repair work can be undertaken.

    250,000 injured people is a huge number. Many will go a few hundred meters or a few km and collapse on the road, with a huddle of relatives around them not knowing what to do. At best, the United States is said to have at any given time the beds to handle 2000 cases of burns simultaneously and that is all over the US. If push comes to shove, the US with its facilities may be able to ramp up that figure to 10,000 cases (again all over the US). There is absolutely no chance of a city like Islamabad/Rawalpindi of handling 35 to 40,000 cases of flash burns simultaneously from a total of 350,000 injured people with all sorts of injuries. No country in the world can do that. Inevitably - many will die and those that die will be the poorer people of the service sector as the rich elite will fill up understaffed hospital beds with even minor injuries.

    And this is just one nuclear bomb on one city. I believe Pakistani leaders who wish to start a nuclear war with India will have to consider very carefully what they are asking for, and remember that they will probably survive the Indian retaliation, and will emerge from their nuclear bunkers to live in a country such as what I have described above. They will then have to see how long they can continue to live under such circumstances or which country will accept them as refugees if they want to cut and run, after having started a nuclear war.

    http://cybersurg.livejournal.com/
     
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  3. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    Where the hell do you come up with this stupid idea, pal ?? You should rather spend your time and effort on posting something useful contributing to this forum !!
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Rawalpindi will be just one of the targets. Indias retaliation is not going to be against just one city but all major targets including islamabad, peshawar. The tricky ones will be karachi and lahore because of implication on india because of radiation. But still lower yield nukes could be used to target their water supply system.
     
  5. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    India's nuclear doctrine is : TO inflict UNACCEPATABLE damage in response to a nuclear attack on an indian target

    It simply means to COMPLETELY DESTROY the enemy And not just " play around" by attacking one city.

    In case of Pakistan ALL cities will be targeted at once
     
  6. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Well the idea of nuclear weapons is deterrence in the first place. Pakistan does not have a NFU policy and have planned to use it if there is an existential threat to the country. So it will be most likely after India achives massive convetional advantage that we would see Pakistan using nukes. Ofcourse the response would be massive unacceptable retaliation from both and basically China becoming the unrivalled power for the next century in Asia.

    What I would like to propose is a rethink of India's NFU policy. India should come out publicly and after discussion with SAARC members say that India provides NFU policy restricted only to the SAARC members. A clear indication to China in other words that India may use nukes if needed as first use to inflict unacceptable damage to China if Chinese forces grab territory or play any shenanigans in the NE or Ladakh sectors. This would probably come out when Chinese officials once again try to up the ante in presurrising China. But removing the comfort of NFU against China would be a real game changer.
     
  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Indian nuke doctrine should be:

    For every single nuke lobbed at india, 2 will be lobbed at pakistan and 3 will be lobbed at china......
     
  8. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    India's No first use policy will not change

    India's defence doctrine also says this about conventional capability :

    India believes that nuclear weapons are NOT WAR fighting weapons. So India should have a conventional capability OF A MAGNITUDE which does NOT require the use of Nuclear weapons .

    The pakistani doctrine is that when ever pakistan faces an existential threat Pakistan will use nukes.
    But below the nuclear thresh hold a war can be fought

    A swift PUNITIVE and Embarassing military strike but not lethal enough to cause Pakistan's destruction is what COLD start is all about
     
  9. Agnostic_Indian

    Agnostic_Indian Regular Member

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    Indians policy would be '' if pak attacks india with a nuk then there onwards there won't be a pakistan ''.
    we are a peace loving country...we built this Country from ashes..we worked hard to achieve what we are today..call it a rich man's insecurity but we have too much to loose compared to pakistan so naturaly some people in pakistan have a suicide mentality or nothing to loose mentality.. so any such attempts will be delt with hundred times more powerful reply.
     
  10. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Indias no first use policy should be modified to no first use against only non nuclear weapons country. Kind of a weird policy it would sound but that's how it should be.
     
  11. prateikf

    prateikf Regular Member

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    India would never attack pak and everyone knows that. even in kargil we never crossed the LOC. After the parliament atttack and the 26/11 carnage too we did not have the guts to fire a single bullet at pakistan. then how could we just drop a nuclear bomb on pak in any scenario. to even think of dropping a nuclear bomb on rawalpindi is just absurd. besides why should we think of mass murder? this forum should be better utilised for bringing peace and prosperity to all the people in this world.
     
  12. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Ok above analysis posted by maomao is from Dr.shiv aka cybersurg on youtube and in blog world..people who are interested in nuclear scenario can visit this link..........

    Deterrence
     
  13. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    That's what it is I believe. On reading from WIKIPEDIA, the no-first-use was general but emphasized against non-nuclear states. This ambiguity means India is equally keeping Pakistan and China confused. Also we must remember that:

    1) An attempt to grab territory of India by military or proxy means seriously, will also trigger nuclear retaliation in case conventional forces aren't able to quell the attacks.
    2) Any attack against Indian satellites will also be considered equivalent of nuclear attack and responded with nuclear retaliation.
    3) Any attempt to cross nuclear threshold first by an enemy would again trigger nuclear response ASAP, meaning it can be before our enemy can launch his own missiles that we can and are justified to strike a punitive and unacceptable blow to the enemy and cripple his nuclear abilities.
     
  14. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    Pratik, I am amused by your comment. You're here on a military and defence forum and you're talking about "peace and prosperity". :emot15: Isn't that an oxymoron?
     
  15. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    ^^^^^ I was going to say the same thing, this is a defense forum and all scenarios should be discussed. I don't know when will Indians shed this "we are all peaceful, even if you pound our lower back" attitude. Reality is way too different.

    I still remember reading that one of our officials or a politician called 1974 Nuclear tests as "peaceful Nuclear tests ", as if we had conducted tests to cure poor children with cancer or to eradicate hunger?

    This apologist, passive and Gandhian attitude in the field of military, one such example displayed above, makes us a laughing stock!
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010
  16. neo29

    neo29 Senior Member Senior Member

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    If India strikes Pakistan with nukes it will be in retaliation to Pak nuke attack and total annihilation for pakistan and not just some few cities. Pakistan will be totally bombarded with nukes enough to even destroy small villages. Nuclear winter will kill rest of the surviving population.

    So talking about selected cities to nuke is absurd. Second Nuclear Strike not a Surgical Strike Operation.
     
  17. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    ^^^^ Read carefully, it discusses the scenario on the basis of selective selection of cities to cause maximum damage, so that rest kill each other on the back drop of limited arsenal of Nukes with India and secondly, all the nukes can't be used against pakistan, when living under the shadow of Chinese nuclear missiles. This write-up makes full sense, as it gives us a clear judgment on selection, for example selection of Rawalpindi over islamabad.
     
  18. neo29

    neo29 Senior Member Senior Member

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    ^^^

    If India chooses to nuke Pakistan it will be all cities and total Pakistan and not Rawalpindi over Islamabad or Lahore for that matter. Nuking a nuclear armed nation means 100% retaliation at any cost. So when a nuke is used selection of city carries no importance the first priority will be to make sure that the country is crippled and destroyed totally so that they dont retaliate back with nukes, thats where nuclear triad comes into play which India will be having shortly. Pakistan does not have and it makes them totally vulnerable.

    I dont say your article is wrong but pointless in reality when nuclear warfare takes place.
     
  19. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    You still don't get the point that we cannot spend all our nukes on pakistan and cannot destroy all towns, villages, districts et al with arsenal we have. A 50 kiloton nuke has an effective radius of 4 KMs only!

    Knowing that we have a mixed bag of around 100-150 nukes (on the maximum side), we cannot give a green signal to China to jump in after we have used everything (even then all of pakistan will not be destroyed), its better to go selective and rest should be left for pakistanis to end the job.
     
  20. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    what does credible minimum deterrence means keeping in mind survivable and two front war ??? that is not max that is min requirement.
     
  21. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    I am taking about no. of current nukes in the arsenal....a max of 400 will do the trick.....do we have it?
     

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