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India's Military ModernizationStrategic Technologies and Weapons Systems$
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Rajesh Basrur and Bharath Gopalaswamy

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199451623

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199451623.001.0001

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India’s Nuclear Weaponization

India’s Nuclear Weaponization

Warheads, Delivery Systems, and Doctrinal Compatibility

Chapter:
(p.67) 3 India’s Nuclear Weaponization
Source:
India's Military Modernization
Author(s):

T.S. Gopi Rethinaraj

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199451623.003.0004

Nuclear weapons development requires three critical elements: fissile materials, testing data, warheads and delivery systems. Estimates of India’s fissile material stocks suitable for military are modest, and the current international political environment has placed severe constraints on testing. The quality and robustness of India’s nuclear deterrent is thus largely dependent on the progress achieved in warhead design and acquisition of delivery systems and platforms. The biggest challenge in the coming years will be the integration of the tested nuclear devices with various missiles in order to constitute a credible second strike nuclear force. Doubts were cast recently about the reliability of current warhead designs. Production and acquisition of delivery systems and platforms have been very slow and likely to affect the pace of weaponization program. This chapter reviews the current status of India’s current nuclear force structure, and the role of warhead design and delivery systems and platforms in nuclear weapons development.

Keywords:   nuclear weapons, weaponization, Department of Atomic Energy, DAE, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, NPT, Defense Research and Development Organization, DRDO, nuclear doctrine, deterrent, fissile material, missile, nuclear posture

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