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India has a moral Necessity of Missile Defense against enemies

Young Bites. Dated: 12/7/2017 8:41:39 AM

( Sh. Nikhil Gupta )
Defense is moral . The missile threat to India is real. The problem that missile defense faces is continued adherence to the strategic rationale which is known as Assured Destruction and it is rooted in game theory. Its object is not defending against nuclear attacks but deterring them. Assuming rational actors on both sides this theory argues that nations are unlikely to take any course of action if the expected cost is likely to exceed the expected reward. If the costs of a nuclear attack are raised to an intolerable level, it will certainly be in neither side’s interest to start a war. Therefore all a country needed was to achieve deterrence i.e. to build a second-strike capability . Deterrence means that a country must have the ability to absorb a pre-emptive attack by a hostile power and still respond with devastating force. And, if both sides possess second-strike capability, the system becomes a mutually reinforcing deterrent, hence the term Mutually Assured Destruction or MAD. A country that could defend itself successfully against a second strike could launch its own attack with impunity. Homeland defense is the physical security of the territory and citizens of a country . It is the primary national security priority and ultimate moral requirement of any state. After all liberal democracies are formed to preserve and defend the lives, rights, and property of the people who bring them into being. Thus the state attains its moral character and accepts certain responsibilities for internal defense i.e. police and courts and for external defense i.e. national security. The state has no right to make its citizens hostage to the decision-makers of a hostile power or to place their very survival in the hands of foreign rulers. To do so violates the primary covenant between the citizens and the state.
In the case of defense against weapons of mass destruction the moral case becomes overwhelming. Launching a missile is easy. Hitting another missile with a missile is one of the hardest challenges of modern military engineering .Weapons of mass destruction have the potential of wreaking widespread havoc. Hence, they are the weapons that are most critical for the military to defend against. Nuclear weapons have three essential characteristics: They are very expensive, they must be delivered, and they are fearsome. These aspects dominate all modern strategic thinking. Because of their high cost, nations are economically inhibited from actually using nuclear weapons. They are usually considered both a prestige item and a deterrent. India has good number of deliverable nuclear weapons but she has been inclined to use it even though there was occasionally a war with enemy Pakistan . But not all nations are rational. Having a bomb is not particularly useful unless it can be delivered. There are three existing methods of delivery: surface, airborne, and ballistic missile. Ballistic missile delivery is the current challenge. Long range ballistic missiles have three flight regimes: boost phase, exo-atmospheric and endo-atmospheric. The best way to kill a missile, and its warheads, is in its boost phase when the missile is most vulnerable and its fiery rocket engines keep it from hiding. But boost phase interception requires that the defensive weapon be in a position to intercept the missile. This usually means space basing for which huge resources are needed. Exo-atmospheric interception is probably the toughest system level challenge. This is not because it is hard. Rather, it is because of the geographical dynamics of the situation. The interceptors and sensors must be properly sited. The sensors must be close enough to the flight path see what is happening despite the Earth’s curvature. The interceptors must be able to reach the deployed warheads. The missile defense radars and other sensors must be able to see and track the missiles through boost, and the warheads throughout midcourse. Picking out the warheads while they are coasting through space accompanied by sophisticated decoys is a technical challenge. Once a warhead has been located, killing it is not all that difficult. Hitting a bullet with a bullet is actually rather easy with the use of a self-adapting servo. A servo is a sensor which detects the error when a desired condition is no longer met. It also has an actuator which operates in such a way as to reduce or eliminate the error. Endo-atmospheric defense is the easiest to do from a technical standpoint. Except that it also requires the greatest resources. That is a matter of geography. Once a warhead enters the atmosphere its deceiving decoys are stripped away, leaving the warhead nakedly visible. However, to intercept the warhead, the interceptor must be stationed near the warhead’s target. Since it is impossible to know ahead of time the intent of the enemy, interceptors must surround each and every high-value target. This means a massive investment in interceptor systems because a modern nation has so very many high value targets.
Due to the necessity of Missile Defense India is in the process of approving a multi-billion dollar purchase of five S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems from Russia. In this deal India is looking to begin the development of a formidable air defence layer to its already capable set-up involving land and sea-based assets. This is to eventually expand the missile defence coverage through the induction of the indigenously developed Prithvi-line of medium-to-long and short-range SAMs. That said the S-400 with its 400km range is for India a welcoming layer and for enemy Pakistan a challenge that can be described as another big pull in India’s favour . The S-400 is in reality a multi-layered system. In other words, it is equipped to engage targets at varied medium to long-range brackets. This is done by equipping the S-400 with a series of different missiles, each missile focused on engaging from a specific range. These missiles are strategically-focused munitions meant to defend against ballistic missiles and long-range bombers. These missiles are tactically-oriented, i.e. they were clearly designed to intercept enemy fighter aircraft or incoming missiles . The S-400 is notable for its ability to shoot down stealth aircraft. Armed with a powerful radar system, it can track 100 targets at once within a 40 to 400 km range and shoot down six at a time. The purchase of five S-400 systems was completed at the 17th India–Russia summit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr Vladimir Putin of Russia . The missile system can engage up to 36 targets simultaneously within 400 km. China recently imported S-400 Triumf missile systems from Russia . Indian decision to purchase S-400 is clearly aimed to improve long-range air defense capabilities. Indo-Israeli MR-SAM (70km) will be providing Medium range air defense capabilities and DRDO’s upcoming XR-SAM (250km) air defense missile system will only strengthen long-range tracking and Interception abilities of India. Very Long range 400 km surface-to-air missiles are usually used to target strategic assets like Mid-air refuellers, Bombers, Transport and airborne early warning and control aircrafts which usually operate from a standoff distance from the theater of operations. theoretically can also take down soft targets like low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites and is capable of exo-atmospheric interception of IRBM (intermediate-range ballistic missile) warheads in their terminal phase. Long range 250 km surface-to-air missiles are far more effective against smaller, agile & highly maneuverable targets like fighter aircraft, Electronic warfare airplanes, Strategic cruise missiles, Reconnaissance or armed Drones within its range. Pakistan has inducted a Chinese-made Low-to-Medium altitude Air Defence System (LOMADS) LY 80. TheS-400 system will enable India to track all Pakistani airbases and Chinese bases in Tibet, thus bringing India’s defence capability at par with China. Together with Spyder defence system, the upcoming India-Israel joint venture, medium range surface-to-air missile system and the indigenously developed short range air defence system the S-400 is expected to augument India’s air defence shield.
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