Exclusive: how India became a nuclear state

Indian nuclear weapons

India is among the world’s nine nuclear weapons states, alongside China, France, Israel, North Korea, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the US, and one of the four country that can launch nuclear weapons from Submarine. So how does India obtains Nuclear weapons?

At present, the only countries in the world generally recognized as possessing nuclear weapons are the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, India, and Pakistan. In addition, Israel remains silent, while North Korea and Iran advocate that they possess nuclear weapons. Among them, the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France NPT recognized.

In fact, India built its first nuclear reactor Apsara, as early as 1956. The reactor was housed in a 100 x 50 x 70 concrete building. India’s and Asia’s first nuclear reactor, Apsara reached criticality at 3:45 p.m on 4 August 1956 and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Nehru on 20 January 1957.

However, due to technical limitations at the time and Prime Minister Nehru’s disapproval of the development of nuclear weapons, India was not a nuclear-armed country at first. Until the 1960s, India’s relations with the Soviet Union became increasingly close. Especially during the period of the US-Soviet hegemony, India, as the Soviet Union’s largest ally and foothold in South Asia, received the support of the relevant nuclear technology of the Soviet authorities, which was crucial to the development of India’s nuclear weapons later.

India first tested a nuclear device in 1974 (code-named “Smiling Buddha”), under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as a peaceful nuclear explosion. The test used plutonium produced in the Canadian-supplied CIRUS reactor, and raised concerns that nuclear technology supplied for peaceful purposes could be diverted to weapons purposes. India was the first non-NPT country to test Nuclear weapons e India’s nuclear weapons development is mainly to counter China and gain an advantage in the competition with Pakistan.

In 1982, Indira Gandhi refused to allow the Defence Research and Development Organisation to develop active nuclear weapons, but also approved the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme that would develop missiles to deliver a nuclear warhead if India developed one. India also supported international nuclear non-proliferation and arms control efforts.

The situation changed again in the late 1980s after the 1987 Brasstacks crisis and the beginning of the Pakistani nuclear weapons program. In 1989, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi gave Defense Secretary Naresh Chandra approval to develop the bomb. Chandra continued the program through successive governments in the 1990s after Gandhi lost power in the 1989 general election. India most likely completed weaponized nuclear warheads around 1994. India performed further nuclear tests in 1998 (code-named “Operation Shakti”) under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In 1998, as a response to the continuing tests, the United States and Japan imposed sanctions on India, which have since been lifted.

After many success  It was not difficult for India to improve its nuclear technology. India successfully test-fired the Prithvi-I missile in 1998, testing a nuclear warhead containing a weaponized thermonuclear device.

In 1989, India tested the Agni missile. In 1998, India conducted five consecutive underground nuclear tests within 48 hours and declared itself a “nuclear state”. In 1999, India successfully tested the “Agni-II” missile, which can hit any target in Pakistan. In 2001, the “Pritvi-II” missile with the ability to carry a nuclear warhead was tested. In July 2005, India was officially recognized by the United States as a “responsible power with advanced nuclear technology”, and the two countries have strengthened cooperation in nuclear technology. India currently has more than 120 nuclear warheads.

In 1998, Pakistan conducted six consecutive nuclear tests with help from China and North Korea, establishing its status as a nuclear state (India conducted five consecutive nuclear tests within 48 hours in 1997). Since then, the conflict between India and Pakistan has basically changed. It became a quarrel.

Indian nuclear triad

Air-launched nuclear weapons:

Nuclear-armed fighter-bombers were India’s first and only nuclear-capable strike force until 2003, when the country’s first land-based nuclear ballistic missiles were fielded.

In addition to their ground-attack role, it is believed that the Dassault Mirage 2000s and SEPECAT Jaguars of the Indian Air Force are able to provide a secondary nuclear-strike role. The SEPECAT Jaguar was designed to be able to carry and deploy nuclear weapons and the Indian Air Force has identified the jet as being capable of delivering Indian nuclear weapons.

Land-based ballistic missiles:

The estimated 68 nuclear warheads of land-based nuclear weapons of India are under the control of and deployed by the Strategic Forces Command, using a variety of both vehicles and launching silos. They currently consist of six different types of ballistic missiles, the Agni-I, the Agni-II, Agni-III, Agni-IV, Agni-V, Agni-Prime and the Army’s variant of the Prithvi missile family

Additional variants of the Agni missile series have recently been inducted including the most recent, the Agni-IV and the Agni-V, which is currently being deployed. Agni-VI is also under development, with an estimated range of 8,000–12,000 km and features such as Multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs) or Maneuverable reentry vehicles (MARVs).

Sea-based ballistic missiles

The Indian Navy has developed two sea-based delivery systems for nuclear weapons (Submarine and Ship launched), completing Indian ambitions for a nuclear triad, which may have been deployed in 2015.

For ship Indian Navy have Dhanush short range ballistic missile, which has a range of around 350 km. For Submarine Indian has K-15 and K-4 submarine launched ballistic missile with a range of 700 and 3500 km respectively.

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