CORNERPOINT NEWS - India modernising nuclear arsenal with eye on China: US experts
An article published in the July—August issue of the digital journal — After Midnight has also claimed that India is now developing a missile which can target all of China from its bases in South India. India is estimated to have produced enough plutonium for 150—200 nuclear warheads but has likely produced only 120—130, wrote Hans M Kristensen and Robert S Norris in the article — “Indian nuclear forces 2017”.
India’s nuclear strategy, which has traditionally focused on Pakistan, now appears to place increased emphasis on China, the two experts claimed. While India has traditionally been focused on deterring Pakistan, its nuclear modernisation indicates that it is putting increased emphasis on its future strategic relationship with China,” they wrote.
Mr. Kristensen and Mr. Norris said that the two-stage, solid-fuel, rail-mobile Agni-2, an improvement on the Agni-1, which can deliver a nuclear or conventional warhead more than 2,000 km is probably targeted on western, central, and southern China. Although the Agni-4 will be capable of striking targets in nearly all of China from northeastern India (including Beijing and Shanghai), India is also developing the longer-range Agni-5, a three-stage, solid-fuel, rail-mobile, near- intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of delivering a warhead more than 5,000 km (3,100—plus miles), it said.
“The extra range will allow the Indian military to establish Agni-5 bases in central and southern India, further away from China,” the research article said.