The U.S. assessment of Pakistan, has been greatly upgraded. A U.S. official stated that Pakistani air and missile delivery systems are now believed to be “fully capable of a nuclear exchange if something happens.” Other officials noted that Pakistan’s air force, with its U.S. F-16’s and its French Mirage fighter-bombers, are superior at penetrating enemy airspace than India’s Soviet-designed MiGs and Sukhois. Its is also being said that due to far superior operational readiness maintained by Pakistan Air Force, they can penetrate Indian lines of defense at least 700 to 825 mile with in first 25 minutes of full scale conflict. They can deliver nuclear devices within these 25 minutes.
Most importantly, Pakistan is now thought to possess about 42 nuclear-capable missiles ready to launch within 7 to 10 minutes, the Chinese M-11 short-range missile. Pakistan’s Gauri I & II provides clear edge over India. At the same time Pakistan’s Saheen I missile creates more problems for India because it is one of its own kind in world and considered as one of the top most missile systems around. But the real cause of concern is Gauri III (The reports say that Ghauri-III is capable of carrying an 800 kg warhead) & Saheen II. As about Shaheen-II Islamabad claims it has a range of 2,400 km, it is capable of carrying a 1,000 kg warhead and has a solid propellant, there are unconfirmed reports that these are laser guided cruse missiles,
(Pakistan has raised an artillery unit in Rawalpindi to handle its latest long-range ballistic missile — Ghauri-III — and has given another unit the responsibility for the M-11 missiles it acquired from China, according to reports reaching here.
Both these missiles are nuclear-capable and Islamabad claims that Ghauri-III has a range of 2,500 to 3,000 km, which covers even a faraway Indian city like Bangalore, the reports say.)
This creates a big question mark on Indian defense experts that what to do about this. Third line of defense is Pakistan Navy which has acquired French Augusta 90B submarines. These are considered state of the art in delivering nuclear tipped missiles. Which creates are major concern for defense experts in India.
The experts say that though India could be a massive nuclear power, Pakistan’s delivery systems and the “tested” nuclear weapon carrying capabilities of its missiles place that country in better position that India.