With Modi declaring on 5th November 2018, about the historic completion of the successful establishment of the Nuclear Triad, as India’s pride, nuclear submarine INS Arihant successfully completed its first deterrence patrol!
However, the Arihant patrol happens to be the foremost step subjecting the operational credibility of the submarine, therefore, a classical triad in nuclear deterrence is an amalgamation of a complex and stringent distillate of three different strands.
- One is a land-based missile with a nuclear warhead which includes Prithvi-1, Agni-1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.
- Second is a similar one but of air-borne one competence like Dassault Mirage 2000, MIG-27, Jaguar IS/IB & Dassault Rafale.
- Finally the sea-based underwater deterrent, i.e. the INS Arihant.
While the Prime Minister took to Twitter for announcing the grand success, there are few things that hit our minds as well.
As India maintains a declared NFU posture, in its 1999 draft nuclear doctrine India signed that “it will not be the first to initiate a nuclear strike, but will respond with punitive retaliation should deterrence fail.”
However, India has left some exceptions to remain for chemical and biological weapons attacks. To sum it up, India’s final nuclear doctrine was officially released in 2003 which states, “In the event of a major attack against India or Indian forces anywhere, by biological or chemical weapons, India will retain the option of retaliating with nuclear weapons.”
The doctrine signed by India mentions the following in its draft, where India is supposed to be a minimum nuclear deterrent, which however has not been approved. The doctrine draft elaborates on:
4. Credibility and Survivability
- The following principles are central to India's nuclear deterrent:
- 4.1. Credibility: An adversary must know that India can and will retaliate with sufficient nuclear weapons to inflict destruction and punishment that the aggressor will find unacceptable if nuclear weapons are used against India and its forces.
- 4.2. Effectiveness: The efficacy of India's nuclear deterrent be maximised through synergy among all elements involving reliability, timeliness, accuracy and weight of the attack.
- 4.3 Survivability:
- (i) India's nuclear forces and their command and control shall be organised for very high survivability against surprise attacks and for a rapid punitive response. They shall be designed and deployed to ensure survival against a first strike and to endure repetitive attrition attempts with adequate retaliatory capabilities for a punishing strike which would be unacceptable to the aggressor.
- (ii) Procedures for the continuity of nuclear command and control shall ensure a continuing capability to effectively employ nuclear weapons.
5. Command and Control
- 5.1. Nuclear weapons shall be tightly controlled and released for use at the highest political level. The authority to release nuclear weapons for use resides in the person of the Prime Minister of India, or the designated successor(s).
- 5.2. An effective and survivable command and control system with requisite flexibility and responsiveness shall be in place. An integrated operational plan, or a series of sequential plans, predicated on strategic objectives and a targeting policy shall form part of the system.
- 5.3. For effective employment, the unity of command and control of nuclear forces including dual capable delivery systems shall be ensured.
- 5.4. The survivability of the nuclear arsenal and effective command, control, communications, computing, intelligence and information (C4I2) systems shall be assured.
- 5.5. The Indian defence forces shall be in a position to, execute operations in an NBC environment with minimal degradation.
- 5.6. Space-based and other assets shall be created to provide early warning, communications, damage/detonation assessment.
6. Security and Safety
- 6.1. Security: Extraordinary precautions shall be taken to ensure that nuclear weapons, their manufacture, transportation and storage are fully guarded against possible theft, loss, sabotage, damage or unauthorised access or use.
- 6.2. Safety is an absolute requirement and tamper-proof procedures and systems shall be instituted to ensure that unauthorised or inadvertent activation/use of nuclear weapons does not take place and risks of an accident are avoided.
- 6.3. Disaster control: India shall develop an appropriate disaster control system capable of handling the unique requirements of potential incidents involving nuclear weapons and materials.
8. Disarmament and Arms Control
- 8.1. Global, verifiable and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament is a national security objective. India shall continue its efforts to achieve the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world at an early date.
- 8.2. Since “no-first-use of nuclear weapons” is India's basic commitment, every effort shall be made to persuade other States possessing nuclear weapons to join an international treaty banning first use.
- 8.3. Having provided unqualified negative security assurances, India shall work for internationally binding unconditional negative security assurances by nuclear weapon states to non-nuclear weapon states.
- 8.4. Nuclear arms control measures shall be sought as part of national security policy to reduce potential threats and to protect our own capability and its effectiveness.
- 8.5. In view of the very high destructive potential of nuclear weapons, appropriate nuclear risk reduction and confidence-building measures shall be sought, negotiated and instituted.
Understanding the nitty-gritty behind the successful completion of INS Arihant’s deterrence patrol, it ensures that India's nuclear shield is now complete. If tomorrow, a war descends, India is ready by all means to defend itself through land, air and sea to fight the enemies.
However, INS Arihant is not meant for war-fighting but it does offer you with a prepared arsenal ready-to-go war-fighting. The submarine has been designed by the Indian Navy’s Submarine Design Bureau (INSDB) and developed by the Indian Navy, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) & Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
All you need to Know about INS Arihant:
- The name Arihant means "annihilator of enemies".
- INS Arihant happens to be India's first indigenous nuclear submarine.
- INS Arihant is armed with four K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missiles that have a range of 3,500 km and it can also be armed with 12 K-15 missiles with a range of 750 km.
- Russia has assisted extensively in the design and development of INS Arihant.
- It’s a part of the Indian Navy's secretive, Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project, that is directly under the Prime Minister's Office.
- INS Arihant is a nuclear-powered submarine, which can deploy underwater for months at a stretch.
- In the process and next in line is the INS Aridhaman, whose construction is almost complete.
- Now India has joined a select group of countries the US, Russia, China, France and the UK, which builds and operates Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear (SSBN).
India has been calling it a major achievement for the country, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi said,
“INS Arihant will help in protecting the country from external threats and contribute to the atmosphere of peace in the region. In an era such as this, a credible nuclear deterrence is the need of the hour. The success of INS Arihant gives a fitting response to those who indulge in nuclear blackmail.”
Well, this may be a great news for the nation to complete its defence, yet India still needs to follow the doctrine and ascertain its place under nuclear protection.
However, another news has been doing the rounds, where, Pakistan on 8th November 2018, expressed concerns over the recent deployment of India's nuclear submarine INS Arihant.
"This development marks the first actual deployment of ready-to-fire nuclear warheads in South Asia which is a matter of concern not only for the Indian Ocean littoral states but also for the international community at large," Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said.
The spokesperson said, "The 'bellicose' language employed by the top Indian leadership highlights the threats to strategic stability in South Asia and raises questions about responsible nuclear stewardship in India."
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