India has added 10 nuclear warheads to its arsenal says SIPRI report!

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has released a report which says that India has added 10 nuclear warheads to its existing arsenal. It also says that India is developing technology for assured strike-back capability.

The SIPRI, which was established in 1966, is an international institute based in Sweden, dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, to policymakers, researchers, media and interested public.

The report released by the institute also talks about India’s Agni-V missile. The Agni-V missileis an intercontinental ballistic missile. It isa road-mobile, canister-launched ballistic missile with a reported intercontinental range of around 5,500 km. It is capable of targeting significant targets in China.

“India is gradually expanding the size of its nuclear weapon stockpile as well as its infrastructure for producing nuclear warheads,” the report said. Itreferred to India’s decision to build six fast breeder reactors over the next 15 years whichwill significantly increase India’s capacity to produce plutonium for weapons, claims the report.

The report also talks about India’s strike-back or second-strike capability. It says that India is highly focussed at developing ‘the naval component of its triad of nuclear forces in pursuit of an assured second-strike capability’. It mentioned India inducting its first indigenously built nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant. The submarine has a range of 700 km and is capable of carrying two-stage SLBM.India is also developing a more advanced SLBM that will have a range of up to 3,500 kilometres.

India’s nuclear warhead arsenal was estimated to be 110-120 in 2016. The SIPRI report claims that India has added 10 warheads to this number. Although it must be mentioned here that India hasn’t revealed the number of warheads it possesses.

India’s nuclear policy is that of maintaining credible deterrent against its enemies and abides by a no-first use policy. Even though India is behind Pakistan and China in terms of the number of warheads, India does possess credible deterrence against China especially after the successful test of the Agni-V missile. As far as Pakistan is concerned, India’s arsenal is more than enough to destroy the nation if Pakistan dares to indulge in nuclear misadventures.

Vinayak Jain