Whether India is planning to procure Russian Tu-160 Strategic bomber’s on lease to be used as Nuclear payload delivery mechanism to enhance its nuclear deterrence is still up for debate and mystery will remain until IAF officially comments about it but that has not stopped DRDO from working on the development of Air-launched ballistic missile or ALBM programs for IAF.

DRDO is reportedly working on two versions of the ALBM, one being a shorter version with a range of 500-700km and another with a range over 1500km. At this point, it is not clear if it can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads but since it will be classified as a strategic weapon it will be limited to Su-30MKI for launching this missile.

ALBMs have advantages over Air launched Cruise missiles when it comes to better target-penetration than slow-moving sub-sonic cruise missiles along with maneuvering capabilities so that they can be used to take out highly defended command centers or weapons depots located deep inside the enemy territory.

ALBMs with their kinetic energy and with huge warheads are perfectly capable of decimating any targets on the ground and are much cheaper than hypersonic cruise missiles. The basic concept of the ALBMs was to allow Indian jets to launch their weapons from well outside the range of enemy air defenses.

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