‘Rise in N-warheads to check China’s buildup’

BENGALURU (TIP): The reported increase in the estimate for Indian nuclear warheads is an “educated guess based on limited information,” nuclear and military strategist Aditya Ramanathan told TNIE.
He was responding to the report on increase in nuclear arsenals globally, including India by the Swedish think tank ‘Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’ in its 2024 Yearbook released last month.
“We don’t actually know the exact size of India’s nuclear arsenal, but most studies place it in the range of 150-200 warheads. If there is indeed an increase in the number of Indian warheads, it is a direct response to developments in China,” he added.
Ramanathan said that in 2021, “evidence emerged of three large silo fields in Western China that could house hundreds of ICBMs. China has also developed improved missiles like the solid-fueled DF-41 ICBM and the DF-27 hypersonic glide vehicle. It has also put its nuclear deterrent to sea with ballistic missile submarines and is developing missile defences.
Naturally, India has to be concerned about ensuring that enough of its own nuclear forces can survive a Chinese first strike and inflict unacceptable damage in retaliation. (PTI)

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