The Nuclear Count.....

Discussion in 'Strategic Forces' started by DivineHeretic, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. DivineHeretic

    DivineHeretic Senior Member Senior Member

    Jan 1, 2013
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    West Bengal
    This is a question, or rather a series of questions that have been plaguing me for quite sometime now.

    Where do we cap our Nuclear force level? At what number do we decide we have enough. At what number and tonnage do we decide nuclear deterrence has be attained?How do we choose to distribute our weapon stockpile?

    And more importantly, in what manner will our nuclear arsenal grow?

    These are questions of vital strategic importance. These questions guide, over watch and determine our Nuclear force posture. Yet we find almost no one willing to talk about them , no worthwhile journalist, strategist discussing anything related to them. Heck, We find almost no public literature with regards to our nuclear stockpile.

    Without the enemy knowing what we have, how do we deter someone willing to go to war with us?

    Let's try and breakdown the numbers of delivery systems and nukes sometime around 2016-17 from the available information (and rumours).

    The 2008-09 reports (rather branded speculations, if you will) pegged the number of nukes at 60-80. These go into Agni-1 and Agni-2 and fighter bombers. The expected yield of these warheads should be around 45-60 Kt, based on the time interval between 1998 tests and A2 introduction.

    The 2012-13 report now pegs the nukes at 90-110. Assuming the mean figure of 100, an increase of 20 nukes have been observed. these most likely fill the payload of the new Agni-3. Also we expect these new nukes to be qualitatively better, with improved yield of up to 200Kt, to take into account the R&D in the intervening years between A2 and A3.

    At this stage, we also cannot expect a reduction of the older nukes.

    Now, at around 2017,

    The A3 production line should have delivered around 60-80 missiles in the four years @ 15-20 missiles a year. We expect some to go into redundancy, some for tests and some for conventional strike capability. That will leave about 40-50 A3 which will be mounted with the 200kt nukes.

    Since we expect the warhead to make maximum use to the A3 payload, it should be safe to say it will carry the 200kt warheads.

    Also, Arihant and Arindham should begin deterrence patrols with the K15 SLBMs, if not the K4 itself. We are certain that these will exclusively be used for nuclear warhead delivery (again, newer warhead is expected), and so with 30 K15s on the two SSBNs, that's another 30 nukes that will likely be added.

    The A5 will probably just begin deployments with the SFC, and we shall ignore their numbers for the time period.

    So all in all, another 40+30 more nukes will be added to service. But we also expect the oldest of the nuclear warheads, the ones deployable by air to begin withdrawal from service. That would be around 20-25, at the very maximum.

    So, all in all, the number of nukes should rise to 100+30+50-25=155 by 2017.

    Anyone is welcome to point out my errors. This is just a very primitive attempt to estimate our nuclear weapon growth.
    arnabmit and SajeevJino like this.
  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Mar 24, 2009
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