Indian Army will arm Short Range Missiles with Nukes to counter Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons?

The only topic Pakistan’s military and political leadership has these days is that of its Nasr missile which is a tactical nuclear weapon. The motive of the Pakistanis behind creating and inducting this weapon is to counter India’s Cold Start doctrine.

India doesn’t even speak about this doctrine, but Pakistan is so unnerved by it that it never fails to mention it. The most recent instance of delusional ranting came from the Pakistani Prime Minister himself when at the United Nations General Assembly, he threatened India saying that Pakistan has developed short-range nuclear weapons as a ‘counter to New Delhi’s cold-start doctrine’. He added: “Again, those are in the same command-and-control authority that controls the other strategic weapons.” These missiles have developed with Chinese help and Pakistan can’t seem to praise it enough. Whether this glorification is genuine or out of nervousness can’t be ascertained clearly.

Maybe Pakistan’smyopic thinking prevents it from imagining a situation where India too has a credible counter to their tactical missiles. In response to Shahid Abbasi, the Modi government said that India has the option of matching Pakistan’s mini-nukes.

The counter lies in the Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher that was developed by the DRDO for the Indian Army. These MBRLs can be equipped with nuclear missiles. Pinaka has a maximum range of 40 kilometres for Mark-I and 75 kilometres for Mark-II. It can fire a salvo of 12 rockets in 44 seconds and can destroy a target area of four square kilometres at a time. Pakistan’s Nasr has a range of 60 kilometres.

Pinaka was even used during the Kargil War where it was successful in neutralising enemy positions on the mountain tops. The induction of Pinaka has been done in great strength. By the year 2014, approximately 5,000 missiles were being produced every year with enhanced technology and range.

There are great chances that this move will see fruition, and if it does, Pakistan will lose its wildly propagated edge against India’s Cold Start doctrine.

Vinayak Jain