Login/Logout

*
*  

"In my home there are few publications that we actually get hard copies of, but [Arms Control Today] is one and it's the only one my husband and I fight over who gets to read it first."

– Suzanne DiMaggio
Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
April 15, 2019
India

India Tests Long-Range Missile

January/February 2017

By Kelsey Davenport

India conducted a successful fourth flight test of its Agni-5 ballistic missile, a nuclear-capable system likely able to reach the range for classification as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). 

According to a press release from the Indian Defence Ministry, the Dec. 26 launch tested the full range of the Agni-5 and successfully achieved all mission objectives. The release said that the flight test “further boosted the indigenous missile capabilities and deterrence level of the country.” 

The Agni-V missile is displayed during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013. (Photo credit: Raveendran/AFP/Getty Images)The Agni-5 is a road-mobile, three-stage, solid-fueled ballistic missile believed to be capable of carrying a 1,500 kilogram warhead an estimated 5,000-5,800 kilometers. The threshold for ICBM classification is 5,500 kilometers. 

The Indian Defence Research and Development Organization, which developed the Agni-5, will not give an exact range for the system, but has said publicly that it is more than 5,000 kilometers. That distance would put within range all of China, a nuclear-armed neighbor that New Delhi views as a threat. The two fought a brief border war in 1962 and have continuing territorial disputes.

Hua Chunying, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, at a Dec. 27 press conference cited nonbinding UN Security Resolution 1172, which in 1998 called on India and Pakistan to “cease development of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” Beijing maintains that “preserving the strategic balance and stability in South Asia is conducive to peace and prosperity of regional countries,” Hua said. 

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs rebutted the implication that India was not complying with the UN resolution and said India “abides by all” applicable international obligations. 

The missile was tested from Dr. Abdul Kalam Island, off the eastern coast of India in the Bay of Bengal. The first Agni-5 test took place in 2012, and the most recent before the December launch was in January 2015. (See ACT, March 2015; May 2012.)

India conducted a successful fourth flight test of its Agni-5 ballistic missile, a nuclear-capable system likely to reach intercontinental-ballistic-missile classification. 

NSG Membership Proposal Would Undermine Nonproliferation

Six years ago, U.S. President Barack Obama pledged his support for India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the nuclear technology control organization established in 1975 in response to India’s first nuclear weapon test blast, which used plutonium produced with nuclear technology from Canada and the United States. According the official NSG website , India’s 1974 test explosion “demonstrated that peaceful nuclear technology transferred for peaceful purposes could be misused.” NSG membership currently requires that the state is a member in good standing with the nuclear...

Japan Signs Nuclear Accord With India

December 2016

By Kelsey Davenport

India and Japan signed a nuclear cooperation agreement that will allow New Delhi to purchase material and technologies from Japan for its civilian nuclear program. 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed the agreement in Tokyo on Nov. 11 after six years of negotiations. Modi called the accord a “historic step” for India’s “engagement for a clean energy partnership.” 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe shake hands during a joint press conference at Abe’s official residence in Tokyo on November 11. (Photo credit: Franck Robichon/AFP/Getty Images)The deal will help New Delhi realize its ambitious plans to expand its civilian nuclear power program. According to the World Nuclear Association, India currently has 21 operating nuclear power reactors, six units under construction, and plans for more than 20 additional reactors. 

India is able to engage in nuclear commerce because it received a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in 2008. The waiver allows New Delhi to purchase nuclear technology from NSG members, such as Japan, for peaceful uses despite not having ratified the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and having placed only some of its nuclear facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. (See ACT, October 2008.

Abe said that the deal sets up a “legal framework to assure that India acts responsibly.”

The nuclear material and technology purchased by India under the deal with Japan will be subject to IAEA safeguards. India and the IAEA reached an agreement in 2009 for a limited number of its nuclear facilities to be placed under safeguards.

Under the agreement with Japan, India is also permitted to reprocess spent nuclear fuel and enrich uranium, although not to weapons-grade levels, and it is required to account for all of the nuclear material transferred under the agreement. 

Opponents of the deal have argued that India can exploit these provisions to produce fissile material for its nuclear weapons program. In a Nov. 11 statement, Shaun Burnie, a senior nuclear specialist for Greenpeace, said that there is “no effective separation between India’s nuclear energy program and its weapons program” and that the agreement will “support further nuclear weapons proliferation in Asia.” 

Abe has defended the agreement as “in line with Japan’s position to promote nonproliferation.” The agreement contains clauses that allow Tokyo to nullify the agreement and require New Delhi to return any materials or technologies purchased from Japan if India conducts a nuclear test. Prior to the return of materials, the two countries would jointly assess the safety considerations of halting work at any facility and conduct a security assessment to determine if India’s actions were prompted by a “changed security environment.” 

India conducted nuclear explosive tests in 1974 and 1998 and has declared a nuclear testing moratorium unilaterally since then. New Delhi has not signed or ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. 

Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said on Nov. 11 that provisions of the deal are “broadly” in line with nuclear cooperation agreements India has signed. India agreements with several other countries, including France, Russia, and the United States.

India and Japan signed a nuclear cooperation agreement that will allow New Delhi to purchase material and technologies from Japan for its civilian nuclear program. 

India Stays Silent on First Nuclear Sub

December 2016

By Alicia Sanders-Zakre

India has quietly put into active service its first ballistic missile submarine in August, according to news reports. If so, India will have taken the last necessary step to possess a nuclear triad, the ability to launch nuclear weapons from air, land, and sea. 

The Indian government neither confirmed nor denied reports of the commissioning of the INS Arihant, a nuclear-powered submarine capable of launching ballistic missiles. It can be equipped with 12 750-kilometer-range K-15 missiles or four 3,500-kilometer-range K-4 missiles. A K-4 missile launched from the northern Indian Ocean could reach China and Pakistan. The K-15 has been operational since July 2012, but the K-4 is estimated to require further testing before deployment. 

An Indian Kalvari-class attack submarine is escorted by tugboats in Mumbai on October 29, 2015. Recently, India is believed to have put its first Arihant-class ballistic missile submarine into active service. (Photo credit: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images)

India’s submarine program began in 1984. The Arihant is the first of three ballistic missile submarines to be developed under the Advanced Technology Vessel program; the second, the INS Aridhaman, is scheduled to be delivered in 2018. India began development of the Arihant in 2009 and started testing it in December 2014. Sea trials were completed in February. In a March 19 interview with Arms Control Today, an Indian official claimed that the submarine would be ready to be commissioned at any time in the following month. (See ACT, April 2016.)

But the Indian government has made no announcement about commissioning the Arihant. The defense ministry did not confirm or deny that the submarine had been commissioned in August, reported The Diplomat on Oct. 19. When asked about the Arihant, the ministry and the Indian navy refused to comment on the grounds that the submarine program is a strategic and classified project, according to an Oct. 18 Times of India article. “There will soon be an opportunity to talk about it,” Vice Admiral GS Pabby stated in response to questions about the submarine at an Oct. 18 event, reported Hindu Business Line.

Several members of India’s defense community welcomed the news reports that the Arihant had begun active duty, citing the gap between India’s submarine fleet and those of other nuclear powers. As of 2015, India possesses 15 submarines while rival China has more than 50 conventional submarines and four nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. 

The implications of India’s acquisition of a ballistic missile submarine are a “mixed bag,” Shane Mason, a research associate in the Stimson Center’s South Asia program told Arms Control Today on Nov. 15. Although such submarines are the most survivable leg of the triad and could enhance deterrence, they may create command and control challenges for India and give Pakistan an incentive to pursue its own sea-based leg of the nuclear triad, Mason said. 

In India, nuclear command and control traditionally has been directed by the political sector, not the military. “The practice of sea-based deterrence will be a new one for India and will upend the country’s tradition of strict civilian control of nuclear forces,” Mason said.

India has quietly put into active service its first ballistic missile submarine in August, according to news reports. 

India to Deploy Missiles Near China

September 2016

By Kelsey Davenport

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the deployment of supersonic cruise missiles along the country’s northeastern border with China, a move that Beijing’s army denounced as destabilizing the region and increasing the likelihood of confrontation. 

Brahmos missiles are seen during the rehearsal parade for India's Republic Day in New Delhi on January 20, 2007. [Photo credit: Raveendran/AFP/Getty Images]Modi chairs the Cabinet Committee on Security that in early August cleared the deployment, which includes about 100 Brahmos cruise missiles, five mobile launchers, and a command post. The missiles will be located in the region of Arunachal Pradesh, the border of which is disputed by China.

The Brahmos cruise missile, jointly developed by India and Russia, is estimated to carry a 300-kilogram warhead over a range of 290 kilometers. The missiles, which have a reported maximum speed approaching Mach 3, are likely to be armed with conventional warheads, although they could be paired with a miniaturized nuclear warhead. 

The official publication of China’s People’s Liberation Army, the PLA Daily, said Aug. 22 that India’s decision to deploy the Brahmos “exceeded its own need for self-defense and poses a serious threat to China’s Tibet and Yunnan provinces.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the deployment of supersonic cruise missiles along the country’s northeastern border with China...

The Complex and Increasingly Dangerous Nuclear Weapons Geometry of Asia

Body: 


By Greg Thielmann
July 2016

Download PDF

While much of the world’s attention is focused on efforts to halt the nuclear and missile tests of North Korea, the nuclear arsenals and ambitions of India, Pakistan, and China also pose significant dangers and deserve more attention.

The complicated nuclear weapons geometry of Asia extends from the subcontinent to the other side of the world. While Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is designed to counter India’s conventional and nuclear forces, New Delhi measures its own nuclear weapons program against that of China. Beijing, in turn, judges the adequacy of its nuclear arsenal against the threat it perceives from the United States’ strategic offensive and defensive capabilities. And in its efforts to mitigate the ballistic missile threat from North Korea, the United States and its allies in the region are expanding their strategic and theater missile defense capabilities.

In order to fully understand how the pace and direction of nuclear proliferation can be influenced, the interconnections of these countries must be considered, along with the kinds of nuclear weapons they have at their disposal.

Description: 

Asian states Pakistan, India, China, and North Korea comprise four of the world's nine nuclear-armed states. The interconnections of these countries must be considered to fully understand how nuclear nonproliferation can be influenced.

Progress on Nuclear Disarmament, Nonproliferation Inadequate to Meet Threats, New Study Finds

Sections:

Body: 

For Immediate Release: July 15, 2016

Media Contacts: Tony Fleming, communications director, (202) 463-8270 ext. 110; Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, (202) 463-8270 ext. 107

(Washington, D.C.)—President Barack Obama failed to make progress in key nuclear disarmament areas over the course of his second term, but did achieve important steps to improve nuclear materials security and strengthen nonproliferation norms, namely the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, according to a new study released by the Arms Control Association, which evaluates the recent records of all the world’s nuclear-armed states.

The report, "Assessing Progress on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, 2013-2016," is the third in a series that measures the performance of 11 key states in 10 universally-recognized nonproliferation, disarmament, and nuclear security categories over the past three years. The study evaluated the records of China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, India, Israel, Pakistan, and North Korea—each of which possess nuclear weapons—as well as Iran and Syria, which are states of proliferation concern.

“The United States is investing enormous resources to maintain and upgrade nuclear weapons delivery systems and warheads and is keeping its deployed nuclear weapons on ‘launch-under-attack’ readiness posture. The lack of U.S. leadership in these areas contributes to the moribund pace of disarmament,” said Elizabeth Philipp, the Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow at the Arms Control Association, and a co-author of the report.

“Obama should use his remaining months in office to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. strategies and mitigate the risks of inadvertent use. Obama could consider declaring that Washington will not be the first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict,” said Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association and co-author of the report.

“U.S. leadership could spur China and Russia to take positive actions and improve the prospects for further disarmament. Russia’s decision to develop a new missile in violation of its treaty commitments and Moscow’s rebuff of attempts by the United States to negotiate further nuclear reductions is very troublesome, as is the expansion of China’s nuclear arsenal and Beijing’s steps toward increasing the alert levels of its forces,” Philipp added.

“Several states did take significant steps over the past three years to strengthen nuclear security, including action by the United States and Pakistan to ratify key nuclear security treaties,” said Davenport.

“The July 2015 nuclear deal struck between six global powers and Iran was also a significant nonproliferation breakthrough that has significantly reduced Tehran’s nuclear capacity and subjected its activities to more intrusive international monitoring and verification. While the international community must remain vigilant in ensuring that the deal is fully implemented, blocking Iran’s pathways to nuclear weapons negates a serious nonproliferation concern and demonstrates the consequences of flouting the international norms and obligations,” Davenport said.

“For the third time, the United Kingdom received the highest grade of all the states assessed, while North Korea remained at the bottom of the list with the lowest overall grades. North Korea’s recent nuclear test and its ballistic missile development require the next U.S. administration to pursue more robust engagement with Pyongyang to freeze its nuclear activities,” Philipp said.

“Our review of the record indicates that further action must be taken by all 11 states if they are to live up to their international disarmament and nonproliferation responsibilities. By tracking the progress, or lack thereof, of these states over time, we hope this report will serve as a tool to encourage policymakers to increase efforts to reduce the risk posed by nuclear weapons,” Davenport said.

A country-by-country summary can be viewed here.
The full report card can be downloaded here

###

The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.

Description: 

A new study suggests that President Obama, failed to make progress in key nuclear disarmament areas during his second term.

2016 Report Card on Nuclear Disarmament, Nonproliferation Efforts

Table of Contents

Download this report.

Nuclear Suppliers Divided on Indian Bid

July/August 2016

By Daryl G. Kimball

Despite a high-level lobbying effort by the U.S. and Indian governments, the 48 participating governments of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) did not reach consensus at their plenary meeting in Seoul on a controversial bid from nuclear-armed India to join the nuclear technology control body as a full-fledged member.

In recent weeks, Washington and New Delhi had ramped up diplomatic efforts to convince the participating governments of the NSG, which operates by consensus, to agree to allow India, which is not a party to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), to join the group. (See ACT, June 2016.

In a public statement issued after its June 20-24 plenary meeting, the NSG said it “had discussions on the issue of ‘Technical, Legal and Political Aspects of the Participation of non-NPT States in the NSG’ and decided to continue its discussion.”

Outgoing NSG chair Rafael Mariano Grossi of Argentina was tapped to facilitate the ongoing discussions. “I have to go back to each government about their stand, what they discussed and what they will agree too,” Grossi told The Hindu in a June 28 interview.

In 2008, following heavy U.S. lobbying, the NSG agreed to exempt India from its full-scope safeguards requirement for nuclear trade with non-nuclear-weapon states.

Following that decision, India concluded a number of bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements with nuclear supplier states, including Australia, Canada, France, Kazakhstan, and Russia. 

The issue of Indian membership in the NSG has been discussed informally within the group since 2011. Deliberations took on new urgency with the submission of a formal membership bid from India on May 15 and another from Pakistan several days later. 

On May 19, a call for an “Extraordinary Plenary Meeting” of the NSG was issued with “NSG Participation Process to review submissions for participation by non-NPT states” listed as an agenda item. That meeting was held in Vienna on June 9.

On June 3, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sent a two-page letter to several states believed to be skeptical of the Indian membership bid, asking them to “agree not to block consensus on Indian admission” to the NSG, according to a report published by Bloomberg News.

“India has shown strong support for the objectives of the NSG and the global nuclear nonproliferation regime and is a ‘like-minded’ state deserving of NSG admission,” Kerry wrote in his June 3 letter. Other major nuclear suppliers, including France, Russia, and the United Kingdom, support the Indian bid for membership. 

In a letter dated June 7, however, China’s ambassador in Vienna, Shi Zhongjun, wrote to Grossi to object to a formal discussion of the new membership bids at the June 9 meeting or at the plenary meeting in Seoul.

“NPT membership constitutes one of the prerequisite factors for consideration of NSG participation,” the Chinese ambassador wrote. “[M]ore discussions are needed before the Group is in a position to review…participation by any specific non-NPT state at the meetings of the Group.”

“The NSG stands to benefit from the active participation of Indian technical specialists in helping the Group strengthen the international control of nuclear goods and technologies and help strengthen domestic controls on nuclear exports,’’ Canada’s acting high commissioner, Jess Dutton, told The Times of India on June 20. Canada is a major supplier of uranium for India and supports India’s membership bid.

According to a number of NSG representatives who spoke with Arms Control Today on a not-for-attribution basis, however, the June 9 and 20-24 meetings revealed widespread concern about a “politically based” approach to allow Indian membership rather than a new criteria-based policy for considering NSG members. 

“The door is open for the admission of the non-NPT members. It is never closed. It is open. But the members of the NSG should stay focused on whether the criteria should be changed and whether non-NPT members should be admitted into the NSG,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters at a media briefing June 21 in Beijing.

In an effort to win support for its membership bid, senior Indian officials reportedly reached out to many NSG member states, including China. Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar arrived at the Seoul meeting June 21. Prime Minister Narendra Modi traveled to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on June 23 for the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization where he lobbied Chinese President Xi Jinping to support Indian membership in the NSG.

“China doesn’t support Pakistan or India to enter NSG until they follow rules established by members. NSG consensus is in favor of the Non Proliferation Treaty,” said Wang Qun, director-general of the arms control department in the Chinese Foreign Ministry on June 24. “The meeting on Thursday was an effort to find consensus on non-NPT state applications, but differences remain,” Wang said.

A number of NSG participating governments, including some who publicly said they support Indian participation in the NSG, joined China in calling for further consultations to arrive at a consensus approach to any new membership bids, according to diplomatic sources involved in the NSG meetings.

Many participating governments were weighing the potential technical and political costs of allowing one or more non-NPT states to participate in the group, according to the NSG diplomats who spoke with Arms Control Today

One concern cited by one participating state representative regarding Indian membership was that it would require the group to reconsider the definition of a “nuclear-weapon state” in administering NSG guidelines. The guidelines specify that the “fundamental principles for safeguards and export controls should apply to nuclear transfers for peaceful purposes to any non-nuclear-weapon State.” 

In 2008 the NSG agreed that the decision to except India from its comprehensive safeguards standard should not be interpreted to mean that the NSG or its members recognized that India is a nuclear-weapon state as defined by the NPT. 

In a statement issued June 24, Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that “one country” raised “procedural hurdles” regarding India’s membership bid. 

“An overwhelming number of those who took the floor supported India’s membership and appraised India’s application positively. We thank each and every one of them. It is also our understanding that the broad sentiment was to take this matter forward,” Swarup said.

At its meeting last month in Seoul, the Nuclear Suppliers Group did not reach consensus on India’s bid to join the 48-nation group, but agreed to continue discussions on the matter.

India Joins Ballistic Missile Initiatives

July/August 2016

By Kelsey Davenport

India joined a voluntary regime last month that promotes transparency around ballistic missile development and was admitted to an export control regime designed to stem the spread of technologies relevant to developing missiles and unmanned systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). 

New Delhi announced on June 2 that it subscribed to the Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation. On June 27, the Dutch chair of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Piet de Klerk, released a statement saying that the “formal procedures” for Indian membership in the regime were finalized. 

India’s membership in the MTCR was expected after a June 7 joint U.S.-Indian statement, released during Indian President Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington, said that Modi and U.S. President Barack Obama looked forward to India’s “imminent entry” into the MTCR. 

The Hague code of conduct is a voluntary, multilateral initiative subscribed to by 138 countries. It calls on member states “to exercise maximum possible restraint in the development, testing and deployment of ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction (WMD), including, where possible, to reduce national holdings of such missiles.” States also agree not to assist other countries in the development of ballistic missile programs and to “exercise vigilance” in assisting in space launch programs, given the applicability of the technology to missiles. 

Any state can join the code of conduct by subscribing to the group’s principles. Participating states agree to submit pre-launch notifications and declare policies related to ballistic missile development on an annual basis. Austria serves as the administrator for the group. 

India already notifies Pakistan at least 72 hours in advance of ballistic missile flight tests under an agreement reached by the two countries in 2005. (See ACT, November 2005.

The MTCR is an initiative designed to prevent the spread of missiles and unmanned systems capable of delivering nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. The regime, which was formed in 1987, defines WMD-capable delivery systems as missiles or drones capable of carrying a 500-kilogram payload a distance of 300 kilometers. 

MTCR members agree to consider export policy guidelines designed to limit the spread of technologies applicable to the development of WMD-capable missiles and drones.

With India, the MTCR now comprises 35 member states, and new members are admitted on the basis of consensus. 

De Klerk’s statement said that India’s membership “will strengthen international efforts to prevent proliferation of delivery systems” capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.

An official familiar with India’s bid to join the MTCR said on June 22 that one of New Delhi’s “primary motivations” for joining these regimes is to strengthen its bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The official said that India is trying to represent itself as a “responsible member of the international community committed to countering proliferation” of weapons of mass destruction and related technologies. 

Despite these steps, India was not admitted to the NSG at the group’s plenary meeting in June (see page 23).

The official said that the impact of India’s membership on slowing missile proliferation depends on how vigorously New Delhi adheres to MTCR export controls. 

India attempted to join the MTCR at the group’s last plenary meeting, in October 2015, but was blocked by Italy over an unrelated matter. (See ACT, November 2015.) At the time of application, India said its space program was suffering because it was not a member of the regime. 

Many technologies and materials applicable to ballistic missile development are also applicable to space launch vehicles, although the MTCR says the regime is not designed to inhibit space programs. 

India’s membership does not guarantee it access to sensitive technologies, and other MTCR partner countries can still deny exports because the regime’s guidelines “do not distinguish between exports to Partners and exports to non-Partners,” according to a summary on the MTCR website.

India joined a voluntary regime that promotes ballistic missile transparency and was admitted to an export control regime designed to prevent the spread of ballistic missiles. 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - India