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In a significant advancement of its military capabilities, India has successfully tested the Crystal Maze 2 Air-Launched Ballistic Missile (ALBM), marking a milestone in its quest for precision strike capabilities. The test, conducted from a Su-30 MKI fighter jet, took place in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, showcasing India’s growing prowess in aerial warfare.

The Crystal Maze 2, developed by Israel and known as ROCKS, represents a cutting-edge solution for precision strikes against high-value targets located up to 250 kilometers away. Its ability to operate effectively in GPS-denied environments and penetrate areas protected by sophisticated air defense systems makes it a formidable asset in modern warfare scenarios.

According to Israeli defense contractor Rafael, ROCKS is hailed as a next-generation extended standoff air-to-surface missile, capable of striking high-value stationary and relocatable targets with pinpoint accuracy. With options for both penetration and blast fragmentation warheads, it offers versatility in targeting various types of installations and infrastructure.

India’s acquisition of the Crystal Maze 2 ALBM holds strategic significance, particularly in the context of regional security dynamics. With tensions persisting in the South Asian region, the missile’s precision strike capabilities could potentially be employed against high-priority targets, including command centers of the Pakistani military, in the event of a conflict.

ALBMs like the Crystal Maze 2 provide a critical deterrent capability, allowing bombers to maintain a credible second-strike option. Once launched, these missiles are notoriously difficult to intercept, ensuring India’s ability to deliver a devastating counterstrike in response to any aggression.

However, the adoption of ALBMs and the potential for a limited counterforce nuclear strategy by India raise concerns about regional stability and the risk of an arms race. Pakistan, in response to India’s acquisition of such capabilities, may feel compelled to enhance its own arsenal, escalating tensions and heightening the risk of conflict.