Will India Nuclearize the BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile?

July 13, 2018

The Diplomat:

Since the early 2000s, the BrahMos missile system has made India’s military arsenal a formidable one. A product of a joint Indo-Russian initiative, the weapon allows India to deliver a payload at Mach 2.8 to 3 velocity from 300 to 400 kilometers away. In fact, it is considered to be the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile.

India’s current inventory includes land, air, ship, and submarine-launched variants of BrahMos, which has, to this point, been classified as a conventional missile by the U.S. Naval Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC).

Given the nuclear capabilities of China, along with the technological feasibility of delivering a nuclear warhead with the weapon system, it is likely that India will add a nuclear capability to BrahMos to fulfill its deterrence requirements against China. In turn, Pakistan may perceive this development as an Indian attempt to pursue a counterforce strategy, which could then motivate Pakistan to move towards a state of ready deterrence.

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