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What Is A Nuclear Triad And Why Its Completion Is A Strategic Gamechanger For India

Written By Snehesh Alex Philip | Mumbai | Published:

In a big boost to India's deterrence capability, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced the completion of the nuclear triad for India. 

This means that India now joins an elite group of countries that have the capability to launch a nuclear weapon from land, air and under water. The only other countries to have this ability are - the US, Russia, China and France. With the public admission, India has showcased its military prowess to the world. 

While there are many countries that have nuclear weapons, including Pakistan and North Korea, the ability to launch from beneath the water's surface is something which is a real game changer.

  • The most common way of launching a nuclear weapon is through land-based systems. However, the drawback is that the movement can be tracked through a wide range of monitoring systems including satellites. And there is a possibility of the enemy taking out the nuclear system even before one launches it.
  • The alternate way of delivering a nuclear weapon is through fighter jets designed to carry such weapons. However, even though the advanced fighters are a great way of launching nukes, they also can be tracked and shot at. 
  • The most deadly option is launching a nuclear weapon from under the water, through a submarine. Because of the submarine being powered by nuclear energy, the INS Arihant would be able to remain under-water for much more than the conventional diesel-electric submarines.  Arihant has the capability to lurk under the water for much longer and take the enemy by surprise. 

In any warfare where submarines are involved, it becomes the most deadly asset and the biggest threat to the enemy. Submarines are difficult to spot, especially nuclear-powered submarine. 

The completion of the deterrence patrol by INS Arihant is a big jump in India's defence capability. However, India continues to follow a 'no first use' policy when it comes to nuclear weapons. The nukes are purely for deterrence capability and doesn't even figure in India attack war games.

READ | 'Fitting Response To Nuclear Blackmailers': Ebullient PM Modi Hails INS Arihant On Completing India's Nuclear Triad