Chinese M-11 Missile transfers to Pakistan triggered India’s Ballistic Missile Defence system Program: American Report
Federation of American Scientists (FAS) which are made of Nuclear Scientists and works to promote safer and more secure world by developing advanced solution and Technology for nuclear security and to educate public and policy makers in its report ” Nuclear Dynamics in a Multipolar Strategic Ballistic Missile Defense World ” says that transfer of M-11 missile by China to Pakistan in 1992 and 1994 was the trigger behind India to develop Ballistic Missile Defence system .
According to the report, India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) took first steps in research in mid 90’s due to the transfer of M-11 missiles pose a significant threat because being solid fuel short range, this missile was quicker to launch and more mobile then SCUDS used by Iraq in 1991 Gulf War .
FAS reports state that for India to protect large Metropolitan areas, India will need Area Ballistic Missile Defence rather than Point Ballistic Missile Defence because survivability of India’s nuclear forces depends in part on not revealing the exact location where they are stored and Area Ballistic Missile Defence is preferably then Point Ballistic Missile Defence. India’s two missile defence regiments can protect a total area of 400 square kilometres which could be sufficient to defend national capital region an additional Regiment could be needed for defence of Mumbai and other nuclear storage facilities however and national missile interception capability is behind India’s economic means asserted the report.
Growing China nuclear capable Ballistic missiles have also influenced India’s decision to develop Ballistic Missile Defence system in addition to Technology transfer between China and Pakistan has spurred India’s desire to desire to develop Two-tier BMD system due to the geographical placement of these two countries with respect to India.
The report also added that India’s no first use policy of nuclear weapons has been viewed as branding of India has the responsibility Nuclear Power state that requires nuclear weapons for deterrence purpose only but in last few years a new debate has been arising on whether India is shifting from is no first use policy. Report citing claims made by Vipin Narang a professor in MIT who earlier had commented in March 2017 that India could consider the use of nuclear weapons first in a third circumstance as a preemptive counter force attack if India has reason to believe that Pakistan is preparing a first strike against it.
India’s Ballistic Missile Defense Shield
The Indian BMD programme is structured as a two-tiered system with Prithvi Air Defense (PAD) for high altitude interception and Advanced Air Defense (AAD). PAD is a two-stage missile: a solid-fuel motor and liquid fuel propeller. It works with the inertial guidance navigation system with mid-course updates from the Long-Range Tracking Radar (LRTR) and active radar homing in the terminal phase. Moreover PAD is also capable of tracking 200 targets at a range of 600 km, with a maximum interception altitude of 80 km in exo-thermic-in space range.
In its quest for acquiring the Missile Defense System (MDS), India has developed Ballistic Missile System that could intercept missiles in not only endo-atmosphere i.e. within the earth’s atmosphere, but can also intercept in the exo-atmosphere. However this advancement of Indian BMD and Air Defence System (ADS)is not merely the fruits of Indian efforts. Countries like Russia, Israel and the US helped India while providing it with an access to sophisticated technology in order to advance its MDS. Recently India plans to buy 131 surface-to-air missiles from Israel at the cost of US$70 million (S$93 million), as per the Indian Defence Ministry press relesae issued on 2ndJanuary 2018. The BARAK missiles made by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defence Systems are to be used aboard India’s first locally built aircraft carrier, the INS Vikrant, which is under construction. Previously in April 2017 India and Israel signed a deal worth around US$2 billion which includes medium-range surface-to-air missiles. Israel has become a major defence supplier to India, selling an average of US$1 billion worth of military equipment each year.
Moreover not only relying on Israeli missiles, India signed an inter-governmental agreement with Russia for the purchase of the S-400s in October 2016. The estimated worth of the contract is US$ 4.5 billion. The S-400 is technologically one of the most advanced Missile Air Defence System in the world. The S-400 system is armed with the capacity which enables it to engage with the stand-off jammer and Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft including both ballistic and cruise missiles.
Missile defence systems are really important for nation like India which is surrounded by hostile neighbours. Having a reliable missile defence system will help counter nuclear missiles threat from enemy nations.