All About India

The anatomy of nuclear attack

Posted on: November 12, 2009

Symbol Code Stage Detail
  FADE OUT OR PEACETIME OPS Stage 5 The nuclear core is kept in secure and concealed storage facilities managed by the Atomic Energy Commission. The army trains with the Agni and Prithvi with dummy warheads and the air force practises toss bombing manoeuvres.
  DOUBLE TAKE Stage 4 If the army goes on full alert, then some of the nuclear cores are mated to the warhead by the Defence Research and Development Organisation. Strike plans are reviewed.
  ROUND HOUSE Stage 3 As the alert levels increase, the warhead is mated to the missile and the army begins to chalk out operational plans for moving it into launch positions. Plans for next higher condition are readied and reviewed. But no measures will be taken that are proactive.
  FAST PACE Stage 2 Preliminary action is taken to permit the most rapid transition to maximum readiness, if necessary. The missiles may be moved to launch positions.
  COCKED PISTOL Stage 1 It is a maximum state of readiness posture and the highest state of preparedness to execute strike plans. Targets are decided upon and a launch is imminent. Clearance is awaited for the encrypted code that would give the order from the prime minister to fire.
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