A missile shield for Delhi and Mumbai

DRDO says because the BMD system is concentrated on the terminal phase as compared to mid-course interception, the testing with modified Prithvi missiles provides sufficient validation for deployment. Even if Pakistan produces more nuclear weapons, employing the BMD has to be a strategic decision made by India while considering the China factor. China will not be constrained in its strategic capabilities to assuage India’s concerns so long as it perceives a threat from the US. Moreover, a BMD system goes beyond its military potential. In its post-Gulf War review, Netherlands defence ministry stated that although the military use of the Patriot missile system was largely ineffective, its psychological value was very high.

While deployment of the BMD system is hugely welcome, the silence of India’s political leadership on the subject is not. As with the nuclear weapons programme, it is India’s political leadership and not the DRDO chief which should have taken the nation into confidence