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The Indian Navy Nuclear Doctrine

This is a discussion on The Indian Navy Nuclear Doctrine within the Navy & Maritime forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Source: DAILY TIMES – PAKISTAN - Friday, June 25, 2004 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default...-6-2004_pg7_11 Indian Navy announces ‘nuclear doctrine’ * Says it is ...

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Old June 25th, 2004   #1
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The Indian Navy Nuclear Doctrine

Source: DAILY TIMES – PAKISTAN - Friday, June 25, 2004

Indian Navy announces ‘nuclear doctrine’* Says it is most potent force to launch nuclear attack

By Iftikhar Gilani

NEW DELHI: The Indian Navy on Thursday announced a “nuclear doctrine”, saying it was the most potent force to launch a nuclear attack. Though making it clear that the doctrine was not a policy statement, its declaration at a time when relations with Pakistan and China were improving was significant.

The unclassified portion of the naval doctrine called the “Indian Maritime Doctrine” was circulated among politicians, bureaucrats, analysts and naval officers. The doctrine stated that the navy was most suited to carry and deliver a nuclear arsenal.

India’s draft nuclear doctrine unveiled in 1999 called for a “Nuclear Triad” ie the ability for all the three armed forces to be equipped with nuclear weapons, capable of striking from the air, land and sea.

The navy in its doctrine stated that a launch pad in the high seas presented the enemy with a target that could minimise collateral damage. It believed that a launch pad on land was more detectable and if hit by the enemy, the number of civilian casualties could be high.

The navy also said nuclear capability should be undersea, meaning that it wanted to equip submarines with missiles carrying nuclear warheads. The Indian government is holding talks with the Russians to lease two Akula class nuclear submarines (that had both longer undersea duration and ability to fire nuclear weapons) and had for nearly two decades been engaged in making its own nuclear submarine coded Advanced Technical Vehicle.

The army and air force are in the process of writing their doctrines even as there is some debate on whether the armed forces of a sovereign republic that reports to a civilian establishment actually needs a set of rigid principles.

In 2002, India announced that it had formed its Nuclear Command Authority that vested responsibility with the civilian-political leadership, which would act on the advice of a subordinate military and executive committee.

“The Indian Navy recognises that while any formalised maritime doctrine is authoritative, its application should be embarked upon judiciously and astutely,” a release announcing the doctrine said. “The maritime domain is changing rapidly. We must appreciate these changes and shape our strategies and policies to further national interests,” the doctrine stated.

The doctrine had taken note of Pakistan’s “hostile posturing” and China’s plans to configure its navy around two groups, each led by an aircraft carrier. US recognition of Pakistan as a major non-NATO ally had also been taken note of. The navy would be concerned by an inflow of American technology into Pakistan and China’s potential to operate beyond the limit of its territorial waters.

“In an increasingly complex world, the missions of the navy are correspondingly more diverse and complex than ever before. This complexity is global as well as regional and is unlikely to diminish in the 21st century,” the doctrine added.

Activity around India’s maritime area was increasing and pointed to the movements in and around the Persian Gulf in the west and the Straits of Malacca in the southeast, the doctrine stated. The naval strategy in future wars would be to deny the enemy forces access to the sea, it said.

In line with this approach, the doctrine said the navy would monitor and, if necessary, seek to control movement in parts of the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal and secure the coastline and islands and offshore assets such as Bombay High.
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