INDIA MULLS USING MEDIUM RANGE BALLISTIC MISSILES FOR CONVENTIONAL ROLES, PUTTING CHINESE TARGETS DEEP IN TIBET UNDER STRIKE RANGE: REPORT
Shaurya medium range ballistic missile (MRBM)
In a significant development, India is mulling to start operating medium range ballistic missiles (MRBM) in conventional roles, as per latest reports.
The induction of these MRBM in the upcoming rocket forces, which was recently approved, is also under consideration, alongside the Pralay tactical ballistic missile (TBM) and BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.
According to the report, the armed forces are actively working on building the capability to deploy these ballistic missiles in non-nuclear, conventional roles to strike targets at medium ranges.
Following the introduction of Pralay missiles, which possess a striking range of 150-500 kilometres, the defence forces are contemplating the acquisition of ballistic missiles with even longer ranges, potentially reaching up to 1,500 km, exclusively for conventional roles.
According to the report, these missiles are expected to be highly mobile.
These MRBMs will be primarily intended for use against China, since the maximum distance for hitting any target in Pakistan is around 400 km to 600 km. On the other hand, major Chinese targets are in the ranges exceeding 700 km deep in Tibet.
These MRBMs with a range of more than 1,000 kilometres will put all Chinese targets deep in Tibet under strike range of Indian rocket forces.
It’s worth noting that both China and Pakistan have already deployed ballistic missiles for tactical purposes.
The ‘Pralay’ missiles, developed by the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), are positioned for further enhancements in range to meet evolving military requirements.
India has an existing inventory of missiles suitable for medium-range strike capabilities, including the well-known Agni series of weapon systems. These missiles may be integrated into the plan for enhancing India’s conventional strike capabilities.
Sources indicate that different branches of the armed forces will incorporate these ballistic missiles into their inventories. Once this process is completed, there may be considerations for establishing a dedicated force to utilise them in an integrated manner, reflecting a strategic approach to conventional missile capabilities.
Furthermore, the defence forces have seen a significant boost with the extension of the range of the BrahMos cruise missiles, substantially increasing their effectiveness. A long-range test of these cruise missiles is on the horizon, further bolstering India’s missile capabilities.