Index


F94-1392

NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
WASHINGTON, D.C 20504

August 4, 2000

Dear Mr. Pineo:

This is in further response to your July 25, 1994 Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of "Report to Congress on Status of China, India and Pakistan Nuclear and Ballistic Missile Programs" that was received by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on or before July 28, 1993.

As an organization in the Executive Office of the President that advises and assists the President, the National Security Council is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. However, the NSC accepts and processes requests from the public and releases information as appropriate on a discretionary basis. In accordance with that policy, we have reviewed the document and determined that it may be declassified and released in part. The information withheld remains properly classified under section 1.5(c) of Executive Order 12958. A copy of the document is attached.

If you would like reconsideration of any decision to withhold information, please write to the Executive Secretary, National Security Council, Washington, D.C. 20504, within sixty {60) days of receipt of this letter.

Sincerely,

Rod Soubers
Director
Access Management:

Attachment; a/s

Mr. Paul Pineo
Federation of American Scientists Fund
307 Massachusetts Ave., N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002


Report to Congress on Status of China, India and Pakistan Nuclear and Ballistic Missile Programs

People's Republic of China

China continues slowly to expand its small nuclear deterrent force, which currently relies on about twenty deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles and about 40-50 intermediate and medium-range ballistic missiles. Beijing sees this as the minimum requirement for maintaining its status as a world power and for deterring nuclear attack by the United States and the former Soviet Union as well as regional adversaries. Underlying this small nuclear force is a nuclear strategy that does not rely on massive retaliation but rather on inflicting unacceptable damage on population and industrial centers and eliminating regional facilities such as airfields and naval bases that support nuclear operations. This is a strategy based on retaliation, the assumption that there will be a period of warning before any attack and on maximizing force survivability through deception and mobility.

Current Forces

The Chinese nuclear testing program has been characterized as slow by Western standards, averaging around one test per year, with a total of 37 tests to date. (2.5 lines were omitted) work is underway on warheads for a new ICBM and tactical missiles. Since 198O, China has unilaterally observed the Limited Test Ban Treaty by conducting only underground tests. Currently, work is underway for one test planned for 1993 (1.5 lines omitted)

China's intercontinental ballistic missile force consists of two types of liquid-propellant missiles. The intercontinental range CSS-4, based in missile silos, is China's only weapon capable of hitting targets in the United States and much of the former Soviet Union. Currently, seven to ten of these missiles may be deployed. China also maintains a small deployed force of some ten 5,500 kilometer range CSS-3 ICBMs, an older, liquid propellant missile able to reach targets in the former Soviet Union as well as throughout Asia and the western Pacific. Two of the CSS-3s are based in silos but most are stored in caves and must be rolled out to adjacent launch pads for firing.


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In addition to its ICBM force, China has one nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, the Xia, which is to be armed with 12 CSS-NX-3 missiles with ranges of approximately 2,000 kilometers. Neither the Xia nor the CSS-NX-3 missile have become operational. (A Golf-class submarine which was used in the early testing of the CSS-NX-3 is capable of carrying two of these missiles.) The Chinese Air Force has no units whose primary mission is to deliver Chinaís small stockpile of nuclear bombs. Rather, some units may be tasked for nuclear delivery as a contingency mission.

China maintains a small missile force suitable for attacking regional targets. The Css-2 intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) first became operational in 1971, has a range of about 3,000 kilometers (1.5 lines omitted) It is liquid-fueled and road-transportable. Approximately 45 of these missiles are deployed. The CSS-2 force is being supplemented by the more modern CSS-5 medium-range ballistic missile. Deployment of this missile seems to have begun in the early 1990s and it is likely that these missiles will eventually replace the CSS-2.

China has also developed short-range guided missiles, primarily for export. Of particular note are the M-9 short range ballistic missile (SRBM), which has a range of up to 600 kilometers, the M-11 SRBM which has an advertised range of 80-290 kilometers (the actual range is over 300 kilometers) and the 8610 SRBM with a range of 150 kilometers. We expect the M-9 and M-11 missiles to be fielded by the Chinese military over the next several years.

As part of its effort to upgrade its nuclear deterrent, China has sought to take advantage of foreign technologies through utilizing dual-use, technologies, cooperative programs with other countries, or through acquisition by clandestine means. Its ability to absorb advanced technologies has been uneven, although it seems to have improved in recent years. Areas of interest in the future may include guidance and control technologies for ballistic missiles and cruise, missiles, advanced composite materials for use in missile reentry vehicles, rocket motors and airframes, submarine propulsion systems, software, and equipment for nuclear weapons development.


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Future Developments

The growth of Chinaís nuclear forces has progressed slowly in the past and should continue slowly in the future, partly because of budget constraints. Aside from a slow expansion in operational systems, modernization will concentrate on enhancing the forceís safety and survivability, improving accuracy, and insuring greater ease of operation. Potential programs include the following:

India

We believe India maintains a nuclear weapons development effort to go along with its active, program to develop delivery systems for those weapons. Indiaís program began in earnest following the 1962 Sino-Indian War, primarily in response to China's possession of nuclear weaponry, but also to enhance its international political and technical prestige. This effort culminated in the 1974 "peaceful nuclear explosion" at the Thar Desert Test Site. More recently, India's nuclear weapons program has taken on the additional role of countering Pakistan's nuclear capability. While there is little information on India's nuclear strategy and doctrine, it probably views its nuclear weapons capability as a deterrent against nuclear attack by its neighbors, to be used in response to a first strike.

Nuclear Weapons Program

(2.5 lines omitted) Moreover, it has probably manufactured sufficient parts to assemble within days a handful of those weapons for delivery by aircraft.


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India has a well developed infrastructure supporting its nuclear weapons program. The leading institution for nuclear research and development is the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC). Several projects at BARC are directly related to the production of fissile material which could be utilized for military purposes. These facilities include the CIRUS and Dhruva research reactors, a spent-fuel reprocessing plant, and experimental facilities for fabricating and machining plutonium. BARC also has a uranium metal plant and a fuel element fabrication plant. In addition to BARC, India has been attempting to develop gas-centrifuge technology to enrich uranium at a facility near Mysore. That facility has begun limited operations, but is beset by technical difficulties.

Several other unsafeguarded nuclear facilities -- heavy Water moderated, natural-uranium-fueled reactors at civilian nuclear power plants near Madras, Narora and Kakrapar -- could provide a source of plutonium for India's nuclear weapons program, but this is unlikely for political, technical, and economic reasons. If it chose to do so, India would have to greatly expand the production capabilities of fuel fabrication facilities and uranium ore concentration plants, improve the reliability of fuel reloading machines and overcome its inadequate fuel reprocessing capability for spent fuel from civilian power plants.

India maintained other facilities related to its nuclear research and development program. The Chandigarh Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory has the most comprehensive high- explosives test instrumentation in India and probably participated in experimentation necessary for the 1974 nuclear test. India also continues to maintain the Thar Desert nuclear test site in a state of readiness which would allow the conduct of a test within a few months if necessary.

The future direction of India's nuclear program remains unclear. With current capabilities, India can produce sufficient nuclear material for a handful of new weapons every year. If it decided to do so, India could increase the amount of available weapons-grade plutonium through devoting more resources to the Dhruva research reactor and by not using stockpiled plutonium for its breeder reactor program. Successful production of HEU capability with gas centrifuge technology would also add to the availability of weapons-grade material. India might also use unsafeguarded civilian reactors to produce weapons-grade plutonium. None of these developments is likely in the near future. Moreover, since the CIRUS production reactor is reaching the end of its productive life, India's plutonium production capacity could drop in the near future.


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India may be exploring technologies useful for boosted and thermonuclear weapons. Facilities near Mysore and at BARC designed to produce lithium and tritium used in such weapons could be completed. However, without a significant nuclear test program or information from a foreign source, India is unlikely to be able to develop a reliable design for such weapons.

Delivery Systems

India is seeking a diverse force of dual-purpose missiles and aircraft capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Currently, India would probably rely on modern aircraft for nuclear delivery missions. Mirage 2000s are modern aircraft for nuclear delivery missions. (1.5 lines omitted) Some transport and fighter aircraft are also available Ė including the IL-76, An-32, C-130 transports, and the Jaguar and the MIG-29 aircraft. However, only fighters are likely to prove sufficiently survivable for such a mission. By the beginning of the next century, Indiaís inventory of aircraft available for nuclear delivery is likely to decline. As a result, over the next few years, India may seek new aircraft to replace its aging inventory.

In addition to modern aircraft, India is actively developing ballistic missiles able to deliver nuclear weapons, work on such systems began in the mid to late 1970s. There are two ballistic missiles in the Indian program. The first, the Agni medium range ballistic missile (MRBM), is a two-stage missile, referred to by India as a "technology demonstrator." India claims the Agni is capable of carrying a payload of 1000 kilograms to a range of about 2500 kilometers, though we believe the range is less. The Agni has been tested twice unsuccessfully and may not become available until later this decade. Moreover, the missile may have insufficient range to reach important targets. Consequently, the Agni may never be deployed. If it, it may only be fielded in small numbers. Alternatively, India may use the Agni as a stepping-stone to develop a missile with greater range.

The second Indian missile, the Prithvi short-range ballistic missile (SRBM), may be deployed with the Army and Air Force units by late 1993 although it could easily slip until next year. The Prithvi is a liquid-fueled, mobile single stage missile with a range of 150 kilometers and a payload of 1000 kilograms; India has discussed extending the range of the system to 250 kilometers with a decreased payload of 500 kilograms. The longer-range variant is for use by the Indian Air Force. The Prithvi will


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have a variety of warheads, including sub-munitions and maybe fuel-air explosives. We do not know whether it will carry a chemical or nuclear payload. There appears to be serious opposition to the Prithvi program by some senior Indian officials given its high cost, its lack of clear mission, and the declining Indian defense budget. This may cause even further delays in deployment of the Prithvi.

India also has a satellite launch vehicle (SLV) program from which it has transferred some knowledge and hardware to its ballistic missile program. For example, the first stage of Indiaís Augmented Space Launch Vehicle is the same as the first stage of the Agni. The Indian Space Research Organization is developing two other SLVs, the Polar Space Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the Geosynchronous Space Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

India has been relatively self-sufficient in ballistic missile and nuclear development efforts. It has acquired foreign technology in the past, principally in areas such as missile guidance and control and missile test tracking equipment for its space launch vehicle program. Presently, New Delhi has contracted with Russia for cryogenic engine technology for its GSLV. As mandated by legislation, the U.S. has sanctioned entities in both nations for this transaction. (Nuclear procurement efforts may be increasing because of various problems India is encountering in its program.)

India may attempt to build a more survivable, flexible, longer-ranged force of delivery systems over the next decade. But India will need new aircraft given the increasing obsolescence of those available to it for nuclear missions, and New Delhi may have trouble finding willing suppliers given its Nuclear program. As a result, missiles may increasingly become the delivery system of choice. These systems are likely to be mobile, immune to defenses and have longer-ranges, enabling India to strike at a growing number of targets.

Pakistan

Pakistan's nuclear weapons program is intended both to deter India and to offset that country's conventional military superiority. Begun in earnest following India's "peaceful nuclear explosion" in 1974, Pakistan's efforts culminated with the capability to rapidly assemble a nuclear device if necessary by the end of the 1980s. The strategy governing the possible use of those weapons remains unclear although it is quite likely that Pakistan views them as a means to shock the international community to take action in case of an imminent Indian victory in a conventional war.

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Nuclear Capability

Currently, Pakistan has the ability to assemble (words omitted) nuclear weapons. Islamabadís main nuclear research and development center is the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH) in Rawalpindi. This complex includes the a small research reactor, a pilot-scale reprocessing facility, and other research-related sites/ Pakistanís only power reactor, the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) commissioned by Canada in 1971, is rated at 125 megawatt (MWe) and uses natural uranium as a fuel and heavy water as a moderator. Islamabad has contracted to receive a 300 MWe pressurized water reactor from China; this facility is scheduled to be completed at Chasma by the end of the decade.

Pakistan has facilities corresponding to the other steps of the fuel cycle, including a uranium mining and concentration facility at Dera Ghazi Khan and a fuel fabrication plant at Chasma. Uranium enrichment takes place primarily at the Khan Research Laboratory in Kahuta. Pakistan has prepared a site (words omitted) that could be used for a nuclear test.

Pakistanís future nuclear efforts are likely to concentrate on expanding its ability to produce fissile materials and on technological improvements. Islamabad is building a reactor apparently well suited for plutonium production along with a plant to produce heavy water for the reactor. Such a plant, will not be available until later this decade and may depend on Pakistanís success in acquiring key technologies from abroad. Pakistan will also need to build a production-scale reprocessing facility before it can add weapons grade plutonium to its present stockpile of highly enriched uranium.

Aside from increasing fissile material availability, Pakistan is also probably seeking to reduce the size and weight of its nuclear devices to improve its ability to deliver them with both aircraft and missiles, it may also seek to develop advanced designs although, like India, in the absence of nuclear tests or outside assistance, the reliability of those designs would be open to question.

Delivery Systems

Pakistan is seeking to develop a force consisting of both aircraft and missiles to deliver nuclear weapons. Currently, Pakistan probably would rely on its F-l6 fighters, and possibly Mirage III and V aircraft, for such a mission. However, these aircraft have limited range, because they lack aerial refueling, and therefore can only strike targets in the western part of


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India. Moreover, unless US military aid is resumed, Pakistanís ability to deliver nuclear weapons with F-16s will erode over time. Eventually, most or all of these aircraft may have to be grounded. As a result, Pakistan may have to seek new aircraft from other suppliers.

Pakistan is actively attempting to develop a missile delivery force which would be more survivable and have greater range than aircraft. However, its efforts are less advanced than India. Its modest development program is focusing on three indigenously produced missiles. The first, the Hatf I, can carry 450-500 kilograms about 80 kilometers and has proven to have poor accuracy. It is in production and probably has already been deployed in limited numbers. The second missile, the Hatf II, combines two such rockets into a 300 kilometer range system. The test program of the Hatf II has had little success. Neither missile is capable of carrying a nuclear weapon that Pakistan can currently assemble. Pakistan is forming a rocket brigade that will include the Hatf missiles and perhaps missiles acquired from foreign sources. It also appears to be in early stages of developing at least one other system with even greater range and payload capabilities than either the Hatf I or II.

Because of difficulties encountered in building its own missiles and India's more advanced program, Pakistan has sought to import foreign-manufactured systems and production technology. As a result of its close relationship with China, Pakistan has sought for a number of years to acquire missiles from that country. Recent reports indicate Pakistan may have received M-11-related equipment, possibly including missiles, late last year. This system has an advertised range of 80 to 290 kilometers, although this actual range is over 300 kilometers, and can carry a payload of 800 kilograms. We have approached both countries asking for clarification of what was delivered and continue to keep this issue under investigation and review. (3-4 lines omitted)

Pakistan continues to seek support from companies in Europe, Asia and the United States regarding key components for both its nuclear and missile programs. Pakistan is especially interested in items applicable to missile guidance and control and precision machine tools and other dual-use commodities with applications to both missile and nuclear development. We regularly approach supplier nations when we receive reports of such activity, alerting them to the potential transfers and asking that they be stopped.