Home > News > PTI

India can build ICBM in two years: US

July 16, 2003 09:10 IST

India could convert its Polar Space Launch Vehicle into an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile within a year or two of a decision to do so, says a National Intelligence Estimate, representing a consensus of all US intelligence agencies, including the CIA, projecting trends through 2015.

Most components needed for an ICBM are available from India's indigenous space programme, it says, adding New Delhi believes that a nuclear-capable missile delivery option is necessary to deter Pakistani first use of nuclear weapons and thereby preserve the option to wage limited conventional war.

"Nuclear weapons also serve as a hedge against a confrontation with China," the NIE says.

The NIE expects Agni to be the mainstay of India's nuclear-armed missile force.

It assesses that Sagarika, a submarine-launched ballistic missile, would probably not be deployed until 2010 or later.

India continues to push towards self-sufficiency, specially regarding its missile programme. "Nevertheless, New Delhi still relies heavily on foreign assistance," it says.

Pakistan, it says, since the 1980s, has pursued development of an indigenous ballistic missile capacity in an attempt to avoid reliance on a foreign entity.

Islamabad will continue with its present ballistic missile production goals until it has achieved a survivable, flexible force capable of striking a large number of targets throughout most of India, it adds.

Foreign support for Pakistan's 'ambitious' solid-propellant ballistic missile acquisition and development programme 'has been critical', the NIE says.

Article Tools

Email this Article

Printer-Friendly Format

Letter to the Editor

Related Stories

Akash's induction in 2004

Trishul test-fired for 3rd time

India test-fires Trishul missile

People Who Read This Also Read

Pakistani lawmakers reach India

Menon reaches Islamabad

CBI arrests Yasin Malik

© Copyright 2003 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

Copyright © 2003 rediff.com India Limited. All Rights Reserved.