India has decided to equip its 1500 infantry combat vehicles with automatic Nuclear Biological Chemical (NBC) protection systems to counter Pakistani deployment of nuclear capable Nasr short-range missiles.
Currently, the ICVs have manual versions of NBC protection system. India plans to replace the manual ones with 100 per cent locally designed and developed automatic ones.
The domestic manufacturer Bharat Electronics Limited will supply the required systems to the Indian Army at a cost of $ 190 million, Sputnik reported quoting unnamed sources as saying Monday.
"Since India's neighborhood is nuclearized, it has to make defensive preparations for its forces to survive and fight in a nuclear environment; howsoever unlikely it may be. Pakistan has been flaunting its short range battlefield nuclear weapons. Obviously, the Indian mechanized forces will spearhead an offensive into Pakistan should it create conditions that forces a war on India. Equipping the mechanized vehicles with the protection gear improves their survivability and raises the costs for an opponent in case it plans to use battlefield nuclear weapons," Brigadier Rumel Dahiya (retired), Delhi-based defense expert was quoted as saying by the news web portal.
Pakistan Defense Minister Khawaja Asif had in September publicly warned India that the short-range Nasr missiles may be targeted at Indian conventional land forces 'in case of eventuality'.