News

Nuclear tests and science in South Asia:

Selected statistics and quotes

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Compiled by Eric Arnett

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Statistics

India

Budget of Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation for FY
1996-7: 15 billion rupees

Estimated total Indian expenditure on military research and development in
FY 1996-7: 17 billion rupees

Value of FY 1996-7 Indian military R&D expenditure in foreign exchange: $490
million

Purchasing power of FY 1996-7 Indian military R&D expenditure in Indian
economy: $2 billion

Total Indian expenditure on military, nuclear and space R&D in FY 1994-5: 26
billion rupees

Value of this figure in foreign exchange: $910 million

Purchasing power of this figure in the Indian economy: $3.7 billion

Percentage of Indian military expenditure devoted to R&D: 6.5%

Number of other countries that devote that much of their military
expenditure to R&D: 4

Drop in military output from Indian industry between FY 1990-1 and FY
1996-7: 57%

Percentage of Indian government funding for science spent on military R&D:
28%

Percentage of Indian government funding for science spent on military,
nuclear and space R&D: 68%

Percentage of funding for science in the Indian economy spent on military
R&D: 18%

Number of other countries besides the USA that spend this fraction of the
science funds on defence: 0

Percentage real increase in Indian military R&D funding since beginning
first build-up in 1983: 200%

Percentage real increase in Indian military R&D funding since beginning debt
crisis in 1992: 29%

Percentage by which current government says it will increase military R&D
budget in five years: 100%

Average reliability of Indian power reactors (energy availability factor):
41%

Average reliability of all power reactors in the world: 75%

Number of states party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty with less
reliable power reactors: 0

Number of power reactors in India: 9

Number of these among the six least reliable in the world: 4

Number of these among the 50 least reliable in the world (out of 499): 9

(All figures based on Indian government reports or submissions to the
International Atomic Energy Agency. Currency conversions based on figures
from the International Monetary Fund. Comparisons with other states based on
SIPRI Yearbook.)

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Pakistan

Reported typical Pakistani expenditure on military R&D: 130 million rupees

Value of this figure in foreign exchange: $4 million

Purchasing power of this figure in the Pakistani economy: $20 million

Drop in Pakistani funding for military production between FY 1993-4 and FY
1996-7: 33%

Budget for Pakistani atomic energy research in FY 1996-7: 880 million rupees

Value of this figure in foreign exchange: $24 million

Purchasing power of this figure in the Pakistani economy: $120 million

Average reliability of Pakistan's power reactor (energy availability
factor): 28%

Number of less reliable reactors in the world (out of 499): 0

(All figures based on Pakistani government reports, statements of officials,
or submissions to the International Atomic Energy Agency. Currency
conversions based on figures from the International Monetary Fund.)

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Quotes

Pakistanis appear to have an unwarranted confidence in nuclear deterrence:

`The only reason why these eyeball-to-eyeball confrontations between the
Pakistani and Indian armies [in 1987 and 1990] were not converted into
military conflict was the nuclear factor.'

-- Mushahid Hussain, Information Secretary for the ruling Pakistan Muslim
League, 1991

'There is no danger of even a conventional war between India and Pakistan.
... There is no possibility of an Indian-Pakistan war now.'

-- Mirza Aslam Beg, former Chief of Army Staff, 1993

The Indian military appears not to be deterred:

`It would be feckless to presume that [the current] situation is innately
stable, and does not possess any escalation potential . . . That [the 1987
and 1990] crises had the potential to escalate tensions and lead to a
conventional conflict is indisputable . . . Conventional war is not
implausible.' Indian military leaders do not `believe that Pakistan has a
viable deterrent'. Pakistan's nuclear capability `could only serve as a
"last-resort" weapon'.

-- P. R. Chari, former Additional Secretary of Defence (second ranking
civilian responsible for the IAF), 1995

`I don't see any threat of nuclear capacity or capability in Pakistan.'

-- Former Chief of Army Staff General V. N. Sharma in the context of the
1990 crisis

`The Pakistani nukes do not give me a cold sweat [since Indian nuclear
retaliation] could be in the range of ten megatons for one.'

-- An unnamed former Indian Chief of Army Staff

In fact, the Indian Air Force have long planned to attack Pakistan's nuclear
delivery systems in the event of war:

India's defensive policy against a likely nuclear conventional attack by
Pakistan must aim, at first priority, to minimise the nuclear threat. In
this case, Pakistan's weak point will be its delivery system, because for a
considerable time to come its only recourse will be the fighter-bomber.

-- D. K. Palit, commandant of the Indian Military Academy, 1979

If there is a war, Pakistani military planners are afraid of losing if
nuclear weapons are not used:

The armed forces could not hold up for more than six to eight weeks under
IAF 'plans to neutralise [Pakistani] radars and [surface-to-air missiles]
and destroy the Pakistan Air Force on the ground and in the air.'

-- An unnamed official of Pakistan Air Force, April 1997

The arguably better-trained PAF pilots could not compensate for the
'expected high attrition [on] the ground and [in the] air ... buzzing with
advanced guided [weapons]. ... The IAF has a tremendous edge in numbers and
in the quality of weapons.'

-- Another unnamed official of Pakistan Air Force, April 1997

Pakistan would have to use nuclear weapons early to avoid defeat, and some
Pakistani leaders apparently are not uncomfortable with that:

'In the event of war with India, Pakistan would use nuclear weapons at an
early stage.'

-- Then-President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, 1990

Pakistan can only hope to deter war if Indian planners believe 'we are
primed, almost desperate to use our nuclear capabilities when our national
objectives are threatened, for example, a major crackdown on [the] freedom
movement in Kashmir.'

-- Asad Durrani, former director of Inter-Services Intelligence, 1995

Pakistan may not test, despite the Indian tests:

'Why we are not testing this capability is because of the fact I want to
show the world that Pakistan is a responsible country. ... If India is doing
it out of sheer madness, we do not have to blindly follow suit.'

-- Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, 19 May 1998



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Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control After the Test Ban; and Military Capacity and the Risk of War: China, India, Pakistan and Iran are available from Oxford University Press Visit SIPRI's homepage: <www.sipri.se/projects/technology>!