India has over the past few days conducted a rare war game involving the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) to validate its command and control systems,which culminated with the consecutive test firing of two nuclear-capable Prithvi missiles.
The war exercise,the endgame of which coincided with Mondays meeting of the Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) that is headed by the PM,tested sensors,systems and the command structure of the strategic command.
Sources said the successive launch of the Prithvi II missile over two days was part of a war game scenario that was played out by the SFC to test its response to a nuclear strike.
Both the launches were conducted as a culmination to a strategic training exercise. The aim of this exercise to war game our readiness to undertake launches in various contingencies under varied conditions,thereby was validated, an SFC officer said.
Details were not made available,but sources pointed out that the firing of two missiles was rare and would indicate a scenario in which a second strike was carried out. The two missiles that were launched as part of the exercise were randomly selected from the stock with the SFC units. Both launches were conducted with precision and the missiles met all test parameters.
While it was not made clear whether the NCA meeting was connected with the war game,the PM took stock of the preparedness levels of the strategic arsenal in the meeting with the chiefs of the three armed forces,the National Security Advisor and the Commander of the SFC. The NCA meeting is held once in six months.
At present,the strategic forces,led by a Lt Gen equivalent officer,operate three missile systems the Prithvi,Agni I and Agni II.