While Indian scientists and engineers who monitored and embellished the results of Indian Nuclear Tests a decade ago, are holding their fingers between their teeth, the Delhi press has been shocked to learn about the successful nuclear program of Pakistan.
“Based on the seismic measurements and also the opinion from experts there was a much lower yield in the thermonuclear device test” conducted at Pokhran in May 1998. In nuclear parlance, a test is described as a fizzle when it fails to meet the desired yield. Affirming that India would need more tests, Santhanam cautioned against India being pressurized into signing the CTBT.Asia Times. August 26, India battles with nuclear fallout By Ninan Koshy
|Shaheen II taking off from the launchpad|
|Nuclear Fireball created as a nuclear warhead carrying Shaheen II precisely hits its target|
"It is this claim of perfection that is under serious challenge and generally believed to be dubious, if not hollow. Prominent scientists such as A Gopalkrishnan, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and P K Iyengar are in agreement with the criticism of Santhanam and point out that the single thermonuclear device India tested in 1998 did not function at all as per design and did not produce anything near the expected design yield."Asia Times. August 26, India battles with nuclear fallout By Ninan Koshy
This Times of India (TOI) report is an eye opener for all the "Greater India" utopia residents. The TOI personally called Hans Kristensen and asked him poignant questions about Pakistan’s Nuclear program and its missiles.
|Ghouri taking off|
WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s rapidly ramped up nuclear arsenal is now 70-90% strong with increasingly sophisticated bomb designs and smart delivery systems aimed primarily at India, two US researchers have said, even as Islamabad is running from pillar to post seeking foreign aid to stem an economic collapse.In a paper written for the Bulletin for Atomic Scientists, Robert Norris of the Natural Resources Defense Council and Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists say Pakistan is “busily enhancing its capabilities across the board, with new nuclear-capable ballistic missiles being readied for deployment, and two nuclear capable cruise missiles under development."Two new plutonium production reactors and a second chemical separation facility also are under construction.The paper essentially upgrades Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal both quantitatively (from 60 weapons last year to 70-90 now) and qualitatively — from uranium-base to being plutonium-centric.“The fact that they are preparing nuclear-capable cruise missiles suggests their scientists have been able to miniaturize nuclear warheads by using plutonium,” Kristensen told ToI. “They are shifting their nuclear base from uranium to plutonium…in a sense, they are turning a chapter.”Plutonium-based warheads are lighter and easier to handle, a better fit for nimble cruise missiles. India’s nuclear arsenal is largely plutonium-based.Kristensen said Pakistan’s weapons and deliver-systems can be assumed to be India-specific because Islamabad “has not declared any other adversary.” The United States has been expressing concern to Pakistan about its accelerated program and urging it hold back, but there does not appear to be any concerted effort from Washington to influence Pakistan’s decisions, he added.… But that does not seem to have impacted the multi-billion dollar ramping up of its nuclear arsenal in the absence of any US effort to leverage the economic handle it has on Islamabad.Times of India. Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN 2 September 2009, 12:01am IST
|Ghouri Missile immediately after lift off|
Pakistan has not only made huge strides in the political arena, working with the U.S and China, it has now befriended Russia which opens up huge new areas of cooperation between the former foes. In the defense arena, India has been wasting billions of Dollars without getting its money’s worth. The new 123 deal places huge restrictions on its testing capabilities. The Indian Nuclear program is untested. Therefore the bombs placed on its failed missiles are mere duds. This makes India highly vulnerable in the areas that Bharat Verma has identified in the Indian Defense Review. For Pakistan, a strident China and a confident Pakistan will therefore be harder to deal with. Bangladesh, Nepal and SriLanka smelling blood will exact their revenge on the Bharati bully and fight against its hegemony.
Islamabad, on its part, uses its role as a so-called ally in the war against extremists to keep expanding its nuclear program by implicitly threatening to cease helping the US – a nightmare scenario for Washington since most of the supplies to its forces in Afghanistan goes through Pakistan.“Both countries have a trump card to play. We have not heard any any descriptions about how they play it out,” Kristensen said.In their paper, Kristensen and Norris say Pakistan is improving its weapon designs, moving beyond its first-generation nuclear weapons that relied on Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU). After pursuing plutonium-based designs for more than a decade, Islamabad appears to have mastered the technology.Central to that effort, the paper says, is the 40–50-megawatt heavy water Khushab plutonium production reactor, which was completed in 1998 and is located at Joharabad in the Khushab district of Punjab. Six surface-to-air missile batteries surround the site to protect against air strikes. Norris and Kristensen say as a sign of its confidence in its plutonium designs, Pakistan is building two additional heavy water reactors at the Khushab site, which will more than triple the country’s plutonium production.Explaining the changing nature of the Pak arsenal, they say all of these efforts suggest that Pakistan is preparing to increase and enhance its nuclear forces. In particular, the new facilities provide the Pakistani military with several options: fabricating weapons that use plutonium cores; mixing plutonium with HEU to make composite cores; and/or using tritium to “boost” warheads’ yield.
Without referencing the recent controversy in India about the success or otherwise of its thermo-nuclear test in 1998 (now dubbed the sizzle vs fizzle debate), the paper says “absent a successful full-scale thermonuclear test (by Pakistan), it is premature to suggest that Pakistan is producing two-stage thermonuclear weapons” – in other words, it has yet to acquire a Hydrogen Bomb.But, they say, the types of facilities under construction suggest that Pakistan has decided to supplement and perhaps replace its heavy uranium-based weapons with smaller, lighter plutonium-based designs that could be delivered further by ballistic missiles than its current warheads and that could be used in cruise missiles. Pakistan rapidly ramping up India-specific nuclear arsenal.Times of India. Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN 2 September 2009, 12:01am IST
The bottom line is that the Pakistani program is larger, more potent and more lethal than India could have ever imagined. The Pakistan Nuclear program has moved light years beyond the Heavy Enriched Uranium and has now firmly gone beyond Plutonium and Tritium usage. Though Hans Kristensen didn’t quiet say it–but he did inform the TOI and other news sources that the Pakistani Nuclear program is beyond the Hydrogen Bomb stage–this makes it a very advanced program.
Shaheen II gaining altitudeNEW DELHI, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) — Indian Army Chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor said on Wednesday that Pakistan was going well beyond deterrence after reports Islamabad had increased its nuclear arsenal and was working to add cruise missiles.“There were certain degrees of deterrence and the figure of 70 to 90 nuclear warheads directed against a country certainly goes beyond the concept of deterrence,” Kapoor said in the western Indian city of Pune.“It is a matter of concern for us,” he added.Gen. Kapoor was commenting on an article published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist about the enhanced nuclear arsenal of neighboring Pakistan.“A new nuclear-capable ballistic missile is being readied for deployment, and two nuclear-capable cruise missiles are under development. Two new plutonium production reactors and a second chemical separation facility also are under construction,” said the U.S. journal.Pakistan has previously denied it is adding to its nuclear warheads. Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said in May his country did not need to expand its nuclear arsenal but would maintain a minimum nuclear deterrence that was essential for its defense and stability. Editor: Mu Xuequan
The Pakistani program was originally based on a Uranium program which has smaller yields. Now the miniaturized nuclear program has been successfully placed on top of very lethal Shaheen II missiles which can reach every nook and corner of Asia and half of Europe. Actually the Pakistani Inter Continental Ballistic Missile Technology (ICBM) allows it to reach all corners of the globe.