Friday, April 27, 2012

India boasts of long-range missiles. So what?

So we have India a couple of days ago, flashing news everywhere in the media world about its successful testing of a long-range missile which is capable enough to hit anywhere inside China. We are sure they may have developed such a missile, named Agni V capable of carrying one-tonne of nuclear warhead with a range of 5000km. This got us thinking to research a bit to find out how much does it narrow the gap between India and China, as India claims to have done.

First thing first, India has failed to impress China with its “successful” nuclear missile test and that is probably, even China is well aware how much India is capable in this race of nuclear capabilities. It has been widely reported in the media that India successfully failed to rattle any of the superpowers, neither US nor China, whom India was vying to impress. Infact US was found surprisingly, non-committal to the entire news of test, and in China, the India's latest capability hardly ruffles any feather for a nation that is said to be way ahead of India in nuclear arms. But there is a reason for this cold-shoulder attitude of US and more so, of China. According to a security expert and analysis, Manoj Joshi,

“There's a lot of more testing to do. The (Agni-V) may only be deployed by the end of the decade. A lot of commentary has been over the top.”

And why does a security expert say this is because India has a notorious record of flashing news immediately to the world with one successful test but fails to carry on in the same vein in the future to be able to deploy the weapon finally into their stockpile.

A couple of years ago, India's top most scientist, K Santhanam, who was the project director of the 1998 nuclear tests stated, much to the disbelieve of the world that the nuclear tests weren't exactly as successful as they were shown to the world. Although the statement was vehemently dismissed by the government, Santhanam stated that it was a massive cover up on the part of India which also confirms what many in the West believed at the time that the nuclear devices India tested weren't as powerful as they were thought to be. Santhanam further added in 2009 that India still doesn't possess a credible nuclear deterrent.

But this is all before the turn of the century, it is pertinent that we look how far India has come over the last decade or so in this race of nuclear weapons.

India has developed this policy that it doesn't have to look at what Pakistan, its main enemy in the region, has achieved in its nuclear programme, instead India has straight away taken on China in this race. And the intention behind these nuclear tests is to send stern signals to China, who has got India itching over number of issues.

However, the Indian nuclear programme isn't exactly a 100%, probably the reason why even Pakistan won't be fretting over, let alone US or China.

If India's false claims of a “powerful” nuclear test in 1998 wasn't enough, what followed later on isn't exactly rosy. The yield tests for India's test have been considerably lower than among all declared nuclear states. Furthermore, India may have been able to test their missile capability as well as a lot has been invested in it also, but as a matter of fact there haven't been too many of their tested missiles deemed fit to be inducted for military-use as yet.

According to Wikileaks in 2009, it was stated that “Pakistan is producing nuclear weapons at a faster rate than any other country in the world”. It was also reported in an article in Times of India that Pakistan has not only tipped past India in ballistic and cruise missiles but has also surged past on the nuclear front. According to well-placed sources and international watchdogs, Pakistan may possess close to 70-90 nuclear warheads compared to India's 60-80, and these are just conservative estimates because retired army officers in Pakistan have given a figure in excess of 100.

The Indian nuclear programme has just recently picked up and improved courtesy its defence and nuclear deals with Russia and United States, while Pakistan has built-up a  strong fortress around its nuclear facilities with the obvious inputs of China, but you won't get to hear instances of nuclear scientists being kidnapped and murdered like it happened in India. Until 2010, India was able to induct only the short-range Prithvi missile (150km-300km) and 700km range Agni I, while Agni II and Agni III were still to be inducted and fully operationalised. And even now the successful testing of Agni V doesn't guarantee induction into the armoury as it has to go through a number of tests to establish itself. In September 2008, India was granted waiver that allowed it to access civilian nuclear technology, while Pakistan has grown from strenght to strenght over the past decade even with these sanctions and international restrictions. The treaty between India and US, and between India and France allowed India to import nuclear fuel from foreign countries for civilian purposes, while utilise its home-made uranium and plutonium to supply its nuclear weapons program. The reason why India has made a progress in leaps and bounds over the last three years.

Nevertheless the treaty also showed an ugly side of the world powers who were prepared to bend the rules for a country (India) that was a non-signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty, while flex its muscles against a country (Pakistan) that didn't fit the bill for them. As India dances to tunes of the devil, it allows India to generate 52,000 MW of electricity by 2020, and while Pakistan refuses to bide by the rules of the devil, it would languish in darkness in the same way as prophesied by our Holy Prophet PBUH in the time preceding the arrival of Dajjal.

Yet India is forced to admit with all things in their favour, Pakistan is still ahead of them in this rather dangerous nuclear arm race:

The evidence of Pakistan being at par, if not ahead, of India was demonstrated by the former when it alerted India to issue a NOTAM (notice to airmen) to warn its commercial flights off the Arabian Sea as Pakistan was preparing to test fire it intermediate range ballistic missile Hatf-IV Shaheen-1A. Pakistan did and it was rather successful, with international experts estimating the range of the missile to be anywhere between 2500km to 3000km, good enough to cover the entire India.

So India for a while can forget to impress US and refrain from threatening China with such provocative statements as it has a handful of an adversary west of it, that has an answer to India's each move.

Read more of LiveWire here.

1 comment:

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