Regular nuke tests maintain Indo-Pak existing state of affairs

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Potent weapon With the Agni V missile in its arsenal, the Indian military has the ability to nuke any Chinese city at will
Potent weapon With the Agni V missile in its arsenal, the Indian military has the ability to nuke any Chinese city at will. Photo: AFP

In April 2015, India tested its indigenously-developed 3,000-km Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) Agni 3, while Pakistan tested its 1,300-km Medium Range Ballistic Missile Ghauri. Both are capable of reaching every corner of the rival territory, carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads.

Nuclear weapons carried by ballistic missiles are strategic weapons of mass destruction meant primarily to scare, usually ending in strategic stalemates between countries that possess such arsenals.

The possibility of mutually assured destruction as it is known also prevents their use on the subcontinent. India’s ballistic-missile programme is driven by the threat it perceives from its neighbours, Pakistan and China.

When it comes to Pakistan, India has developed/is developing the Prithvi and Agni series of surface-to-surface ballistic missiles. The Prithvi series comprises three short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) with a range of 150 to 350 km, capable of targeting major Pakistani cities, including Islamabad, a IndiaSpend analysis read.

Agni 1 and 2, with ranges of 700km and 2,000 km, respectively, target major Pakistani cities. Agni 3, 4 and 5 might be able to reach all of Pakistan, bit it can be said that they are more aimed towards the country’s Asian neighbour, China.

Pakistan’s Hatf series of missiles have been developed and are under development keeping India in mind. These missiles have varying ranges starting from 70 km, and go up to 2750 km. Some of them are variants of existing Chinese and North Korean ballistic missiles, says a report on Pakistan’s ballistic missile programme by National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore.

Of these, the SRBM Ghaznavi has a range between 270 and 350 km. The Ghauri is an MRBM with a claimed range of 1,300 km. The Shaheen 3, a road-mobile IRBM was tested this March and has a claimed range of 2,750 km.

 

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