HomeIndian Missile TestIndia's Agni-V MiRV test sparks concerns of Nuclear Stockpile increase: Pakistani Analysts

India’s Agni-V MiRV test sparks concerns of Nuclear Stockpile increase: Pakistani Analysts

Source : IgMp Bureau

India's Agni-V MiRV test sparks concerns of Nuclear Stockpile increase: Pakistani Analysts
Agni-V ICBM during the last test with MiRV warhead technology

Recent discussions by Pakistani analysts, including Hamdan Khan from the Strategic Vision Institute in Islamabad, highlight concerns over India’s successful test of the Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicle (MIRVed) Agni-V missile. This development has raised apprehensions about a potential increase in India’s nuclear arsenal, leading to escalated regional tensions.

Significance of Agni-V’s MIRV Capability

The Agni-V missile’s MIRV technology is a notable advancement in India’s nuclear deterrence capabilities. This technology enables a single missile to carry multiple warheads, each capable of targeting different objectives independently. Khan suggests that even with a conservative estimate of two to four warheads per MIRVed missile, and considering the expansion of land-based and submarine-launched missiles to accommodate 50-60 and 25-30 MIRVed missiles respectively, the impact on regional stability could be profound.

Potential Increase in India’s Nuclear Stockpile

Khan’s analysis focuses on the potential consequences of India’s expanded capabilities. He indicates that to fully utilize its MIRVed missile capability, India may need to increase its nuclear weapons inventory by 250-300 warheads. This would effectively triple India’s current arsenal, currently standing at approximately 170 warheads. Such a substantial increase could trigger an arms race in the already volatile South Asian region.

Pakistan’s Response and Strategic Considerations

In light of India’s technological advancements, Khan asserts that Pakistan must respond effectively. He suggests that Pakistan should work towards developing a credible sea-based second-strike capability to mitigate crisis instability. This capability would serve as a deterrent against preemptive strikes by India, ensuring the survivability of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

Urgency of Bolstering Naval Nuclear Capabilities

The idea of a sea-based second-strike capability is not new to Pakistan. Recent discussions within Pakistan’s strategic circles have emphasized the need to enhance its naval nuclear capabilities. Khan’s argument underscores the urgency of this endeavor, given India’s advancements.

Assurance of Deterrence

Khan believes that a secure and credible sea-based second-strike capability would send a strong message to Indian leadership. It would demonstrate that a counterforce strike against Pakistan’s nuclear assets would not result in their complete destruction. This assurance would deter aggressive actions by India, knowing that Pakistan possesses the means to inflict significant damage in response.

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