RT-Engels: 19-06-2024,

New Delhi and Beijing are both ramping up their capabilities, according to the latest report by SIPRI

India expanded its nuclear arsenal in 2023 with an emphasis on developing warheads capable of striking targets in neighboring China, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported in its annual assessment released on Monday. 

According to the think tank, India is estimated to have increased its number of nuclear missiles from 164 to 172, surpassing Pakistan, the third major nuclear power in the region, which has 170 nuclear warheads. China, at the same time, has increased its atomic arsenal significantly during the same period, from 410 warheads in January 2023 to 500 in January 2024. 

“While Pakistan remains the main focus of India’s nuclear deterrent, India appears to be placing growing emphasis on longer-range weapons, including those capable of reaching targets throughout China,” SIPRI noted. 

Last year, India conducted the first test flight of the 5,000km range nuclear-capable Agni-5 missile equipped with Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology, meaning warheads can be directed from a single missile at enemy targets thousands of kilometers apart.  

‘Pralay’, a surface-to-surface short-range missile similar to Russia’s ‘Iskander’, is also being readied for deployment along disputed borders with China and Pakistan, reports suggested last year. 

Modi announces first launch of India’s most powerful missile

Hans M Kristensen, associate senior fellow with SIPRI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Program, noted that China is expanding its nuclear arsenal “faster than any other country.” Moreover,

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