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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, although it is unclear whether India currently has such an operational capability. 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 Indian Air Force also operates several other older and less capable types of ground-attack which would seem rather less likely candidates for delivering 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.

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

Sources and Resources

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