India Nuclear Horn Goes Supersonic

India test-fires supersonic cruise missile
Pakistan has already urges world to check Indian conventional, nuclear arms build-up
India on Saturday test-fired the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, which is ‘capable’ of carrying a warhead of 300kg, from a test range along the Odisha coast, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.
The cruise missile was test fired from a mobile launcher from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near Balasore in Odisha at about 11.33am, the news service quoted unnamed officials of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as saying. “It was an ‘excellent’ launch and a great success,” they said.
The PTI reported that the supersonic missile was capable of carrying a warhead of 300kg. “The two-stage missile, one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant, has already been inducted into the army and navy, while the air force version is in final stage of trial,” the officials said. The Indian Army is already equipped with three regiments of Block III version of Brahmos missiles.
On Thursday, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said in Islamabad that India’s massive arms build-up and testing of inter-continental ballistic missiles was a source of concern for the region. However, Pakistan would not indulge in the arms race, he said. “Pakistan will maintain minimum deterrence capability to safeguard its national security,” he said.
“India’s massive arms buying spree, making it one of the top arms importers in the world, was driven by its desire for regional hegemony and global power status,” he said. On the other hand, Pakistan had been compelled to acquire and maintain a deterrent capability to ensure its national security, he said, adding that Pakistan never wanted to engage in any kind of arms race, nuclear or conventional.
Several international reports and independent observers had drawn attention to the rapid expansion in India’s capability to produce fissile material for military use, which had been made possible by the 2008 NSG waiver granted to India without appropriate non-proliferation safeguards and the subsequent nuclear deals struck with different countries.
In February, the Foreign Office urged the international community to check Indian conventional and nuclear arms build-up that had caused strategic anxiety in the region. “With conventional weapons balance already disturbed, India’s nuclear weapons build-up has dangerous proportions to tip the strategic balance and endanger peace of the region and beyond,” he said.

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