India’s hypersonics hint at nuclear strike policy shift

With little fanfare, India successfully tested its Shaurya hypersonic weapon with a strike range of 1,000 kilometers back in October. But analysts are now starting to wonder whether the weapon’s development could signal a move away from New Delhi’s stated “no first use” (NFU) nuclear policy.

The missile was launched from Abdul Kalam Island, maneuvered during its terminal phase and struck its designated impact point in the Bay of Bengal. Because India keeps the Shaurya program under a tight shroud of secrecy, scant technical details are publicly available.

The weapon is allegedly an improved land-based version of the Sagarika submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), which was first developed in the 1990s.

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