India Building ICBM's - Will Be
Able To Threaten The West

Why is India building Intercontinental Nuclear Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)? Is India going to attack America and Europe one day with its long-range Nuclear Weapons?
"Another [Indian] commentator, well-known defense analyst Brahma Chellaney, reiterated his call recently for India to develop Intercontinental (Range) Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) capable of deterring the United States and the West in future crisis scenarios. Echoing commentator Mattoo's analysis, Chellaney notes in an article titled "Value of Power" in the 19 May 1999 edition of The Hindustan Times (Internet version) that "nuclear deterrence still relies on destroying enemy cities."
"Chellaney cites U.S. and NATO activities in Kosovo/Serbia as a possible model for a future threat to India, a topic he has previously addressed (see India and Pakistan Resume Flight Tests). "But can nuclear India prevent a Yugoslavia from happening to it?," he asks. His response: "No, unless India builds intercontinental ballistic missiles."
Says Chellany: "Immunity from high-tech [Western] aggression can only come if a country has the capability to hit the homeland of the attacking force.if India, a weaker willed nation than many, is to gain true strategic autonomy, free itself from external pressure and be a global player, it will have to develop ICBMs, the symbols of power and punishment."
India's ICBMs Can Destroy American and European Cities
India's Surya (Sun). "While the status of the Surya ICBM program is unclear, there are many reports that indicate that the development of this system is underway, with development probably being initiated in 1994. According to one Indian source, the Surya could be ready to begin flight testing as early as 1997. At this point, there are still several conflicting reports regarding the Surya's configuration. The most plausible report claims that the Surya will probably be based on the components of the polar space launch vehicle (PSLV). As for its armament, the Surya's warhead is likely to be composed of essentially the same technology as that used in the maneuvering warhead of the Agni. In short, the only thing that seems to be agreed upon is that the Surya will be composed of components perfected for the Agni IRBM and for India's space-launch vehicles and that it will have a range between 8,000 and 12,000 kms.
"As discussed earlier, a significant number of Indian strategists believe that India needs a deterrent capability against the United States. If the Surya achieves a range of 12,000 kms, India would have the capability of positioning the missile at New Delhi and striking U.S. targets that lie on, and north of, a range-arc running from about Raleigh, North Carolina to Omaha, Nebraska to Eugene, Oregon. (See Figure 4-5). India's geography would also allow it to launch the missile 500-600 kms north of New Delhi and push the U.S. range-arc that much further towards the south or allow it to compensate somewhat for a system that may not be able to achieve a 12,000 km range.
"If the Surya should prove to have a range of 12,000 kms, its unveiling will pose problems for India since initially the United States can be expected to react harshly to its existence. Therefore, a pacing item for India's unveiling of the Surya likely hinges on the status of India's nuclear warhead development and the perfection of the Agni missile system. Once it has confidence in its thermonuclear warhead and the Agni's re-entry vehicle, the Surya could be unveiled and tested quickly if Indian policymakers judge that it is needed and are prepared to accept the international heat for such a development. At that point, India would not require very many years before it could field a small ICBM force. Obviously, the development of the Surya is tied to the Agni. As long as the United States can keep Agni's test program in a state of suspension, the development of the Surya will also be slowed.
"India, a land rife with serious internal problems, appears capable of surprising the world by emerging as nuclear capable nation with ICBMs in the 2000-2010 time frame (depending on how much time the program is delayed due to U.S. diplomatic pressure and MTCR impediments). Even if the indigenous development effort is slowed, India has the technological capability of emerging as a nuclear armed power with ICBMs in a window of about 5 to 8 years from the time it makes a decision to do so. In addition, as discussed in Chapter 2, there seems to be some possibility that India might in the future be able to obtain the mobile Topol M ICBMs (SS-X-27s) from Russian sources.
"Although it is not believed that India intends to use missile capabilities actually to strike the United States, it may be tempted to wave it as a deterrent gesture in cases where it feels the United States is interfering with its vital national interests. At the same time, India is a poor country that needs economic ties with the United States. Consequently, India would have to feel hard pressed before it engaged in direct confrontational actions. Of perhaps greater concern is the fact that India needs cash, but its options for exporting defense goods to help offset its security costs are limited.
"Missiles, software, nuclear technology, and related products are among the most salable defense items that India will soon produce. Although India is not likely to act in a totally irresponsible manner in transferring these technologies, it is conceivable that its definition of acceptable transfers may well differ from that held by the United States. As a complicating factor, corruption in India is a significant problem, which raises the possibility that some of this sensitive technology could be transferred to other parties outside of official channels. Consequently, India could well become a contributing source to the spread of proliferation-related technologies. While the case should not be overstated, there is some risk that the Indo-American friction that may result from this situation could sour relations and push India into aligning its foreign policy with other states that are actively seeking to frustrate U.S. interests in Asia." --


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