India is making progress with efforts to raise its arsenal of nuclear weapons while upgrading technology for an assured strike-back, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) stated in its annual report.
India has added about 10 more nuclear warheads to its arsenal, which was estimated at 110-120 in 2016, Firstpost quoted the annnual report as saying Wednesday.
The report also mentioned about the indigenous Agni-V missile, which is India's latest road-mobile, canister-launched ballistic missile with a reported intercontinental range and capability of reaching significant targets in China.
India is gradually expanding the size of its nuclear weapon stockpile as well as its infrastructure for producing nuclear warheads. The report also referred to India's determination to build six fast breeder reactors over the next 15 years, which is likely to strengthen the country’s capacity drastically to produce plutonium for weapons.
Two of these reactors are expected to be built at Kalpakkam, around 70 kilometres from Chennai while the locations for four others have not been decided.
India has so far not released any official figures of its warheads even though it continues to follow the principle of minimum credible deterrent and a no-first use policy, the report added.
The SIPRI report also states that India is currently working on a new unsafeguarded gas centrifuge facility.
The move is motivated by its plans to build new naval propulsion reactors, could be used to blend its current plutonium arsenal with uranium secondaries.
The report states that India is highly focussed at developing "the naval component of its triad of nuclear forces in pursuit of an assured second-strike capability" while citing the recent induction of India's first indigenously built nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant. The submarine, it says, is capable of carrying two-stage 700-kilometre, range SLBM.
"India is also developing a more advanced SLBM that will have a range of up to 3,500 kilometres," the report added.