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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

India Aircraft
Potential Special Weapons Delivery Systems

The current status of delivery systems for Indian nuclear weapons is unclear. India has developed and tested nuclear weapons that could be delivered on the Prithvi and Agni missiles. Since India probably had nuclear weapons prior to the availability of these missiles, it is probable that the current Indian nuclear weapons inventory includes weapons designed for delivery using aircraft. One or more of the following aircraft types might be used for this purpose. There are no open-source reports suggesting which if any of these aircraft have been equiped to deliver air-dropped atomic weapons. The MiG-27 and the Jaguar were originally designed to perform ground attack missions, and would require only modest modification to deliver nuclear weapons. The MiG-29, Su-30 and Mirage 2000 were originally designed to perform air-to-air combat missions, though they could potentially be modified to deliver air-dropped nuclear weapons.

India has leased four Russian Tupolev Tu-22M3 bombers, which could carry air-launched cruise missiles. India has reportedly upgraded its Russian-built Tu-142 maritime patrol aircraft to carry air-launched cruise missiles.

Aircraft Combat
Payload Speed Inventory
Tu-142 BEAR 10
Jaguar 2,600 km 4,750 kg Mach 1.5 116
MiG-27 1,100 km 4,000 kg Mach 1.7 200
MiG-29 1,500km 3,000 kg Mach 2.35 74
Su-30 1,500 km 8,000 kg Mach 2.0 8+
Mirage 2000 1,850 km 6,300 kg Mach 2.2 42

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Page last modified: 24-07-2011 04:40:05 ZULU