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Pruthvik Shankar asked: Does India have tactical nuclear weapons?

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  • A. Vinod Kumar replies: If the question was meant to ask whether India has the delivery capability for tactical nuclear weapons, the answer would be in the affirmative. The name of the missile system is Prahaar, which is supposedly being developed to carry conventional as well as nuclear warheads for battlefield or tactical use. The range of this system is believed to be 150-300 km. While various reports indicate Prahaar's development since 2011, former Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief, Dr. V.K. Saraswat, had confirmed its ongoing development in a presentation delivered at IDSA in February 2017. He, however, refused to confirm whether it will be a tactical nuclear delivery capability like, or as a response to, Pakistan's Nasr system. It seems the Indian security establishment is not currently considering any projection of a tactical nuclear capability. This could be owing to the fact that India had refused to endorse the space for a 'tactical nuclear war-fighting theatre', and had instead postured for a massive response to any nuclear use against its forces or territory.

    For further analyses on Prahaar, refer to the following articles:

    “USA’s MGM-140 ATACMS vs India’s Prahaar vs Pakistan’s Nasr ,Tactical Ballistic Missile Comparison”, January 10, 2016, at http://aermech.in/usas-mgm-140-atacms-vs-indias-prahaar-vs-pakistans-nasr-tactical-ballistic-missile-comparison/

    “Prahaar Short-range Ballistic Missile Provide India A Deadly Edge over Pakistani Army”, June 11, 2017, at https://defenceupdate.in/prahaar-short-range-ballistic-missile-provide-india-deadly-edge-pakistani-army/

    Posted on February 12, 2018

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