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India focusing on long-range weapons capable of reaching targets across China: SIPRI report

Source : India Today

India focusing on long-range weapons capable of reaching targets across China: SIPRI report
Agni-V ICBM (File Photo)

India focusing on long-range weapons capable of reaching targets across China: SIPRI report

India is intensifying its efforts to bolster its nuclear capabilities, with a particular emphasis on developing longer-range weapons, according to a report by Sweden-based think-tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). This strategic shift is driven by escalating tensions and perceived threats from neighbours China and Pakistan, the report stated.

According to the report, India and Pakistan appeared to be expanding their nuclear arsenals and developing new types of nuclear delivery systems.

In the SIPRI Yearbook 2023 released on Monday, the think-tank pointed out that India appears to be placing growing emphasis on longer-range weapons, including those capable of reaching targets across China.

“While Pakistan remains the main focus of India’s nuclear deterrent, India appears to be placing growing emphasis on longer-range weapons, including those capable of reaching targets across China,” the report stated.

The rapidly increasing geo-political tension in the Indo-Pacific region, marked by China’s assertive behaviour and rapid military modernisation, has compelled India to reassess its strategic priorities.

India’s focus on longer-range nuclear weapons aims to bolster its deterrence capabilities against China. India’s pursuit of longer-range nuclear weapons involves advancements in missile technology and infrastructure.

The Defence Ministry’s ongoing enhancement of Agni series ballistic missiles, such as Agni-V with a range of over 5,000 kilometers, demonstrates its commitment to extending its strike capabilities.

Additionally, India’s investments in advanced missile defence systems aim to protect its assets and counter potential threats, enhancing its overall nuclear deterrent.

Meanwhile, the SIPRI report estimated that China’s nuclear arsenal had increased from 350 warheads in January 2022 to 410 in January 2023, and that it was “expected to keep growing”. The report also speculated that India currently has 164 nuclear warheads. IgMp

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