SOURCE: ABHOY ROY / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
India recently marked the 20th Anniversary of Pokhran-II, where it carried out series of five nuclear bomb test explosions at the Indian Army’s Pokhran Test Range in May 1998 which saw series of articles coming from various media channels in India taking opinions of various think tanks in India for way forward and what next India needs to do to further strengthen its Nuclear weapons to meet challenges of present and future security scenario .
Outgoing DRDO Chief S Christopher in an interview to a private news channel confirmed that if asked DRDO can assist Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) again to help carry out another series of Nuclear tests in less than 40 days on orders from the government of India.
While India has been tightlipped about its Nuclear arsenals it also has never commented about any recent addition or development of its Nuclear weapons. But growing number of Indian military think tanks have been urging Indian Government to allow our scientists to carry out new trials to validate new nuclear weapons development especially India’s thermonuclear (TN) devices which for long has been speculated worked in a range of 7-20% then its actual yield in last tests in 1998.
While Government of India has denied reports that India’s thermonuclear (TN) device tested was a Fizzle and instead was a complete success, it still has left enough doubts in the minds of Military planners within and outside India about its capabilities. India using modern simulation-based testing methods has tested a new range of thermonuclear (TN) devices in its laboratories successfully but the technology behind this nuclear device which India tested 20 years ago may have become obsolete or were not designed to be used on newer platforms like Submarine-launched Ballistic missiles which India is now aggressively pursuing.
Nuclear warheads required for India’s next generation delivery systems like A multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) and Nuclear warheads for Submarine launch are all simulations tested and not really tested in real life word which needs real-time validations so that countries who have doubts about India’s nuclear capabilities get a clear message.
The development of Pakistani tactical nuclear weapons is also a source of concern for India because their smaller size increases the risk of a nuclear conflict with India at much smaller level. India has decided not to follow with the development of its own tactical nuclear weapons which means in case of use of tactical nuclear heads by Pakistan , India’s go to nuclear weapons will still be its thermonuclear (TN) devices and fission bombs which needs to be tested from time to time to drive home a messages to all rivals in the region that no one should doubt India Nuclear Capabilities .
India had to wait for 24 years to follow up with Pokhran-II in 1998 after it first conducted its first nuclear tests in 1974 known as Smiling Buddha (Pokhran-I). India already has gone 20 years without testing of any new nuclear weapons, while simulation based trials may have been conducted by our scientists more often then we get to hear about it , validation of newer technologies and assured second strike option should be India’s number one priority because of India self-imposed No-First use Nuclear policy and since nothing can be left to chances any further .