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India to modernise its atomic arsenal with an eye on China

India continues to modernise its atomic arsenal with an eye on China and the country’s nuclear strategy which traditionally focused on Pakistan now appears to place increased emphasis on the Communist giant, two top American nuclear experts have said.

An article published in the July-August issue of the digital journal – After Midnight – has also claimed that India is now developing a missile which can target all of China from its bases in South India.

India is estimated to have produced enough plutonium for 150-200 nuclear warheads but has likely produced only 120-130, wrote Hans M Kristensen and Robert S Norris in the article – “Indian nuclear forces 2017”.

India’s nuclear strategy, which has traditionally focused on Pakistan, now appears to place increased emphasis on China, the two experts claimed. “While India has traditionally been focused on deterring Pakistan, its nuclear modernisation indicates that it is putting increased emphasis on its future strategic relationship with China,” they wrote.

“That adjustment will result in significantly new capabilities being deployed over the next decade that may influence how India views nuclear weapons’ role against Pakistan,” they said.

Noting that India continues to modernise its nuclear arsenal with development of several new nuclear weapon systems, the two experts estimate that New Delhi currently operates seven nuclear-capable systems: two aircraft, four land-based ballistic missiles, and one sea-based ballistic missile.

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