The most significant expansion of the Indian nuclear arsenal ever might be in the pipelines that if approved will see the construction of silo-based ICBMs in hidden mountain terrain that will enhance India’s second nuclear strike significantly. Silo-based ICBMs are deployed fully ready and capable of launching on short notice, unlike their Mobile counterparts which require time and are also vulnerable to attacks in the first wave.

According to experts, the No First Use policy means it has a secure second-strike capability to retaliate against a nuclear first strike on its soil, and a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine program will play a crucial role in ensuring that India has second strike option but the mobile ballistic missile launch systems are vulnerable that will limit India’s nuclear and conventional response if attacked first.

Although India formally remains committed to its posture of “minimum” nuclear deterrence, it is also responding to the competitive relationship with countries’ adversaries to keep its force survivable and capable of holding adversarial targets at risk. Silo-based ICBMs will come as a bolster to its second-strike capability.

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