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|Saturday, August 25, 2001, updated at 17:04(GMT+8)|
India to Take First Step Towards Nuclear WeaponizationIndia will take the first step towards nuclear weaponization of its missiles in a formal top-level interaction in early October this year, reported the Pioneer daily Saturday.
Top generals of the Indian armed forces and scientists of the Bhabha Atomic Research Center, Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Bharat Dynamics Limit are scheduled to discuss nuclear weaponization at the School of Artillery, situated near Nashik, 1,222 kilometers southwest of here, said the daily.
This would be the first concrete step ever taken by the Indian government towards nuclear weaponization since India's nuclear tests in May, 1998.
Defense Minister Jaswant Singh, who is also the minister of external affairs, was expected to participate in the meeting, the paper said..
The experts would discuss the capabilities of Agni missiles, the first land-based strategic weapon designed to carry nuclear warheads and has been planned to be inducted into the Indian Army by the year 2002.
The participants were likely to examine the Agni's nuclear warhead carrying capabilities and the type of nuclear warhead to be fitted on to the missile, added the Pioneer, which attributed the news to sources in New Delhi.
Meanwhile, it said, the government had cleared the raising of a strategic rocket regiment for Agni missiles.
The conclusions of the meeting would help the army concretize its nuclear planning including the conditions bust suited for operationalizing Agni strategic missiles.
Bhabha Atomic Research Center knows the exact capabilities of India's nuclear warheads while the DRDO is the only Indian organization with the know-how to retain a nuclear warhead in the unweaponized state besides the maintaining and mating procedures with the missile in accordance with the second strike capability.
The Bharat Dynamics is a government-run defense undertaking entrusted with the manufacturing of the strategic weapon.
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