Modi Sarkar has taken the first real step in giving India’s capital city, Delhi, a security cover that cities such as Beijing and Washington already have a nuclear missile shield. Two long-range missile-tracking radars have been placed in the national capital region. When completed, the shield would be able to intercept incoming missiles fired from as far as 3,100 miles away, anonymous government officials told the Economic Times, an Indian newspaper. The Swordfish radars, which were developed with Israeli assistance, are the first step of an accelerated process that would create a missile defense system for major Indian cities. The next one in line is reportedly the city of Mumbai.The missile shield system will require several dozen missiles to be produced annually in the first phase. Missile defense systems in India use both long- and short range interceptors. Officials said India was better prepared in developing short-range interceptor missiles. The long range system will require more tests.
Officials say the Modi government’s view is that given the growing sophistication of the nuclear arsenal in India’s neighborhood, the lack of a missile defense system was a major security gap. The missile shield is even more critical for India given its ‘no first use’ policy for nuclear weapons, a doctrine that Pakistan doesn’t follow.
A major project cleared by the Modi government in its first months in power was to approve setting up a $1-billion facility in DRDO to manufacture vital seeker systems. Seeker systems, direct missiles in the final phase of targeting. The facility, expected to come up near Hyderabad, is critical a missile shield. They reportedly added that it is even more important considering that Indian policy does not authorize the first use of nuclear weapons, a doctrine Pakistan does not follow.