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13 Jul 2017

Report: India modernizing nuclear weapons to counter China

A new report by two top American nuclear experts says that India has estimated to have produced enough plutonium to build 150-200 warheads but has likely produced only 120-130.

The report says India is now developing a ballistic missiles capable of targeting all parts of China from bases in South India.

The report comes amid heightened India-China tensions over the Sikkim standoff.

In context

India's evolving nuclear weapons program

Focus of India's nuclear program shifting from Pakistan to China

"While India has traditionally been focused on deterring Pakistan, its nuclear modernization indicates that it is putting increased emphasis on its future strategic relationship with China," wrote Nuclear experts Hans M Kristensen and Robert S Norris in "Indian nuclear forces 2017."

India developing four new nuclear weapons delivery systems


India developing four new nuclear weapons delivery systems

Both Kristensen and Norris estimate that India currently operates seven nuclear-capable systems.

Of these, two are aircraft-delivered, four are land-based ballistic missiles and one is a sea-based ballistic missile.

"At least four more systems are in development," the report says.

India's nuclear weapons program development is in a "dynamic phase with long-range land- and sea-based missiles emerging for possible deployment within the next decade."

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How India's evolving ballistic missiles stack up against China

The report says India's 2000 km-range Agni-II ballistic missile can target western, central and southern China.

The 4000 km-range Agni-IV can reach nearly all parts of China, including Beijing and Shanghai, if launched from northeast India.

The 5000 km-range Agni-V, which is under development, can cover all of China even if launched from central or southern India.

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