India's Nuclear triad

19/10/2016 530 Security Issues | External Security | View Recent Current Affairs

  •  India has completed its nuclear triad by inducting the indigenously built strategic nuclear submarine INS Arihant into service
  • With the INS Arihant now becoming fully operational, India has joined the 'Nuclear triad' club of superpowers who can launch nuclear weapons from sea, land and air-based systems.
  • An advantage of such a submarine is that they are harder to track and destroy than land and air nuclear launch platforms.
  • India has now joined group of five other elite countries - USA, UK, France, Russia, China - to have developed nuclear-armed submarines.

About Nuclear tirade:

  • A nuclear triad is defined as the capability to deliver a strategic or tactical nuclear warhead through air, land and sea. It means that a nation possesses strategic bomber jets, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and ballistic submarines. Having these three on hand ensures that a nation can launch a nuke into enemy territory by dropping it from the sky, launching it as a payload from its own land or dispatching it from a ballistic submarine in the sea

India's capabilities:

India has a solid inventory of aerial vehicles -- the French Dassault Mirage 2000H, Russian-Indian Sukhoi Su-30 MKI, Russian MiG 29, and Anglo-French SEPECAT Jaguars are all capable of delivering a nuclear warhead into enemy's the territory.

India has surface-to-surface Agni-II and Agni-III missiles having a range of nearly 5000 km, and a three-times successfully tested Agni-V missile ranging nearly 8000 km. This gives India a clear advantage and the liberty to target from a very distant base.

INS Arihant gives India the power to hold the threat of a 'second strike' in a nuclear counter attack, even if the country is completely destroyed. This finds relevance in India's 'No First Strike' policy in contrast to Pakistan's "First strike" policy. The 'First Strike' policy allows Pakistan to use nuclear weapons against India even if India does not.
INS Arihant, a 6,000-tonne submarine, is country's first indigenous nuclear submarine and can launch nuclear weapons from underwater. The vessel was declared as ready for operation in February 2016. It was built under the Advanced Technology Vessel Project at the Ship Building Centre. In August 2016, INS Arihant had been commissioned by PM Modi into the Indian Navy.

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