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Army General to take command of N-arsenal

August 25, 2008 16:06 IST

For the first time, an Army General is set to take over command of the country's strategic forces and nuclear arsenal.

Lt-Gen Balraj Singh Nagal will take over command of the country's strategic forces and nuclear arsenal, an official announcement said.

Nagal, currently Director General (logistics) at the Army headquarters, will take over as Commander-In-Chief of the strategic forces command on September 30, the announcement said.

The Army general will take over from Vice-Admiral Vijay Shanker, who has been shifted as Commander-In-Chief of the nation's other Tri-service command based in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Nagal, would be the first army officer to take over command of the nuclear weapon operating forces. So far, only Air Force and Naval officers have headed the command, which was set up very recently.

Army along with Air Force are the only two forces operating nuclear missiles and bombs. India, so far, is making efforts to build an under-sea missile launch capability.

Army has raised three to four specialised missile groups to operate both the short- and the long-range surface-to-surface Prithvi and Agni missiles. Both the missiles have the capability to carry conventional as well as nuclear warheads.

Army has also set up a new unit to operate the Indo-Russian supersonic Brahmos cruise missile.

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