Indian army increasing CBRN preparedness

The Indian armed forces recently began outfitting an increasing number of units with chemical, biological and nuclear defense equipment.

The Indian Defense Research and Development Organization intends to purchase or produce nerve agent detectors, dosimeters, portable gas chromatographs, autoject injectors, integrated field shelters, respiratory equipment, roentgenometers and decontamination systems, according to

DRDO threat analysis considers overt nuclear war to be a remote possibility, but recognizes a clear and present danger from the threat of non-state actors using dirty bombs, or biological and chemical agents to wreck havoc.

"Today, 85percent of NBC defense inventory held by armed forces has been developed by DRDO, and produced by defense PSUs and around 60 private companies," DRDO chief controller Dr. W Selvamurthy, said, TimesofIndia.IndiaTimes reports.

Selvamurthy said the Indian armed forces inventory currently includes 64 products used for detection, protection, medical management and decontamination.

"Non-state actors either independently or in collusion with state adversaries can employ NBC materials as a low-cost, high impact option to destabilize India," Selvamurthy said, reports. "We have to be prepared.

"A state can use a proxy like al-Qaeda, for instance, to deliver biological warfare agents like plaque, anthrax, typhoid, SARS etc. Biological agents are easier and cheaper to develop then nuclear weapons and are potentially far more destructive than chemical agents to unprotected military forces or civilian populations.”