When, exactly, did India get a nuclear weapon?

Shashank Joshi

French Mirage 2000N carrying a nuclear-capable missile (India operates the Mirage 2000H variant) French Mirage 2000N carrying a nuclear-capable missile (India operates the Mirage 2000H variant). Photo from The Aviationist

According to one senior air force official, “In the early 1990s, the air force was thinking of one-way missions. . . . [I]t was unlikely that the pilot deployed on a nuclear attack mission would have made it back.”

A senior Indian defense official privy to this effort disclosed to the author that, until [Kargil in 1999], the air force had no idea (1) what types of weapons were available; (2) in how many numbers; and (3) what it was expected to do with the weapons.


In the latest IS (the journal, not the jihadist group!), Gaurav Kampani has a fascinating article on India’s nuclear weapons [1].

He makes a conceptual distinction (p79-80) between  a nuclear device (“an apparatus that presents proof of scientific principle that a nuclear explosion will occur”) and actual weaponization (“building compact reliable…

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About Jim Rose

Utopia - you are standing in it promotes a classical liberal view of the world and champion the mass flourishing of humanity through capitalism and the rule of law. The origin of the blog is explained in the first blog post at https://utopiayouarestandinginit.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/why-call-my-blog-utopia-you-are-standing-in-it/

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