Some interesting information form this dated RAND report: RAND: From Testing to Deploying Nuclear Forces
<p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> Compared with India, China has formidable nuclear forces. China is believed to have deployed some 125 long-range (1700 km or greater) nuclear-armed ballistic missiles.  The missile warheads are thought to have yields of between 200 kT and 5 MT. In addition, China is believed to have some 150 bomber-deliverable nuclear weapons and 120 tactical nuclear weapons deliverable by short-range missiles or artillery. An attack using just a small part of this force could have a devastating effect on an Indian nuclear force. <hr></blockquote><p>The followign confirms many of my assertions:<p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> For these reasons, India might want to base its missile force to the west of Bangladesh. One of the closest viable sites to China would be near the city of Bhagalpur, which is some 3000 km from Beijing. To provide flexibility for basing or for operating a land-based mobile system, a missile range of 3500 km would be required. A missile with a range of 5000 km would be ideal because it could be based almost anywhere in India and still hit Beijing. However, no upgrade of the Agni-2 is likely to produce a missile with a 3500-5000 km range. Thus, India would have to produce a whole new missile.
The Polar Space Launch Vehicle (PSLV) shows that India has the technology to produce the required missile, but the new missile cannot be directly derived from the PSLV because it is too big (it would be big even for an ICBM). The 3500-5000 km ballistic missile would have to be a new development, not derived from any existing Indian missile system,
so it would be neither quick nor inexpensive. Ultimately, such a missile would probably weigh 25-30 metric tons and look something like the French S-3 or M-20 or the Soviet SS-20 ballistic missiles
<hr></blockquote><p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> Another alternative might be some form of mobile basing. A 30-metric-ton missile is light enough to be made road-mobile, but the poor state of India's roads makes this a dangerous proposition. Special roads could be built to transport the missile but would be expensive, and it is not clear that a road long enough to ensure the missile force's survival could be built. India's railroads are in fairly good shape, which makes a rail-mobile system a possibility. The identity of trains carrying nuclear weapons would need to be obscured, and the trains would have to move often enough so that China and Pakistan could not learn their locations. As with any mobile system, there are the problems of physical accidents, theft and physical security, and communication with civilian authorities. To minimize some of these problems, various garrisons could be connected by rail. The trains would normally be at one of the protected garrisons and only occasionally moved between them. This would be a compromise between a constantly mobile system and a fixed one. There would have to be enough garrison locations to ensure sufficient locational uncertainty so that some of the force would survive a first strike. This would increase costs. <p>Mobility on a submarine seems well beyond India's capability for at least ten, and probably 20, years. To build such a submarine, India would have to develop a light water reactor using enriched uranium, which would require India to obtain a source of enriched uranium. Foreign suppliers are not likely to be willing to help India, and in any case India may well not want to be dependent on foreign supplies, with the result that India would have to expand its centrifuge enrichment program to supply the needed material.
<hr></blockquote><p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> One possible option would be to have a mobile system kept safely guarded in garrison during "normal" peacetime. Only in a crisis or on receipt of strategic warning would the force be sent into mobile operation. This raises the issue of whether strategic warning can be the principal means to protect a nuclear force. Some have argued that Wohlstetter's "delicate balance" assumed a "bolt from the blue" attack and that such attacks are unlikely.  This argument, however, ignores the fact that some of the most serious instances of surprise attacks were not "bolts from the blue" but rather "bolts from the gray," and indeed sometimes the gray has been very dark indeed.  For example, the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred only ten days after a war warning had been sent to its commander from the Chief of Naval Operations.  The Israelis depend on strategic warning to mobilize their military forces, but failed to mobilize until just before the start of the 1973 Yom Kippur war despite a situation that could hardly be characterized as "blue skies."  The combat in Kashmir between Indian and Pakistani forces in the spring of 1999 once again illustrates that it is often hard to find "blue skies" in the relations between these two countries. <p> <hr></blockquote>
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> India must also decide on a targeting and use doctrine. Open Indian sources (including the National Security Advisory Board's draft Nuclear Doctrine) call for a minimum or proportional deterrence doctrine. Such a doctrine would require only a small number of delivery vehicles and would target only the opponent's cities. This doctrine might be sufficient for deterring Pakistan, especially if India's main goal were to ensure that nuclear weapons are not used in any conflict. Against China this doctrine might not be enough. A first strike by China against India using approximately 20 nuclear weapons could devastate India's nuclear and air forces, yet China would still have over one hundred nuclear weapons to hit Indian cities should India strike Chinese cities in response. India must determine how it would respond to such an attack. Such a response would probably involve attacking Chinese military targets, which would require a larger and more discriminate nuclear force than would be required by a minimum deterrence doctrine. /QUOTE]<p>[QUOTE]Nor can India easily forgo the possession of thermonuclear weapons if it wants to maintain any sort of balance with China. Despite the common belief that one atomic weapon is enough to destroy a city, in actuality a 10-kT weapon will destroy about 9 sq km of an urban area.  While this yield would be quite enough for a medium-sized city like Hiroshima with a population of about one-quarter million and a built-up area of about 18 sq km, large modern cities typically have populations of 5 to 10 million and built-up areas of 500 to 1,000 sq km or more.
A small Indian retaliatory force of, say, ten 10-kT weapons would barely be enough to disable even one large Chinese city (bearing in mind that not every square kilometer of a city must be destroyed before it stops functioning). However, a 1-MT weapon will destroy an area at least 20 times larger than that of a 10-kT one. Approximately 20 Chinese multimegaton weapons would be enough to disable every Indian city with a population of more than 1 million <hr></blockquote><p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>The second part of the question of further Indian nuclear weapons development concerns stockpile size and how it affects fissile nuclear material requirements. India currently has about 450 kg of separated weapons-grade plutonium,  which would allow the manufacture of about 90 simple fission weapons.  India is currently producing about 25 kg of weapons-grade plutonium per year, which could be increased to about 100 kg per year if India felt it to be necessary. This stockpile of plutonium and its current production rate are probably enough to supply India with an adequate supply of fission weapons. India's fissile material requirements for its thermonuclear weapons are less clear; there is no unclassified estimate of the amount of plutonium required per weapon. Furthermore, all of the five established nuclear-weapon states have produced both plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU). The usual reason given is that thermonuclear weapons require highly enriched uranium. India has only a very small uranium enrichment capacity. It could currently produce at most only 10 kg of HEU per year. It also has produced kilogram quantities of U-233 by irradiating thorium in its power reactors. It is unclear whether it used some of its limited supplies of HEU or U-233 in its thermonuclear test or whether it has found a way to make thermonuclear weapons without HEU. Either way, India might have to increase its fissile material production if it wants to make tens of thermonuclear weapons. If it makes plutonium-only thermonuclear weapons, then these weapons might well use more plutonium than a standard fission weapon. If India uses HEU or U-233, then it will have to undertake a major expansion in its ability to produce these materials. <hr></blockquote>
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> Pakistan has already made the decision to expand its stockpile of fissile material. From the mid-1980s to the early 1990s (when production stopped as a result of U.S. pressure) Pakistan produced some 200 kg of HEU at its enrichment plant at Kahuta.  Assuming 15 kg of HEU per weapon, this would have given Pakistan enough HEU for approximately 13 fission nuclear weapons. If Pakistan really did test six nuclear weapons in May 1998, afterwards it would have had only enough HEU for seven more weapons. Given this fact, it is not surprising that there are reports that Pakistan restarted production of HEU at Kahuta in the spring of 1998.  Although HEU may not have been produced at Kahuta during the 1991-1998 period, Kahuta was in operation during this time and the Pakistanis stockpiled medium enriched uranium product. Using this intermediate product to produce HEU would have given Pakistan some 200 kg of additional HEU by the end of 1998.  Pakistan would then have had enough total HEU to produce approximately 20 nuclear weapons. At this point, the intermediate product stockpile would be exhausted and Kahuta would have gone back to producing HEU from natural uranium. When Kahuta last operated, it produced some 25 kg of HEU per year (starting from natural uranium), which is enough for about 1.7 weapons per year. Pakistan may have already expanded the production rate at this facility or it may expand it in the future. <p>In addition, Pakistan is reported to have started the operation of its 50-MW heavy-water plutonium production reactor at Khushab.  Significantly, this reactor is reported to have started operation in April 1998, before the Indian tests. Where Pakistan obtained the heavy water needed to start this reactor has not been publicly stated. It probably took about a year for the reactor to reach full-power operation and the plutonium production in the fuel to achieve equilibrium. At this point, the reactor would start discharging about 11 kg of plutonium per year. Assuming 5 kg of plutonium per weapon, this will be enough for some 2.2 weapons per year. The number of plutonium weapons is additive with whatever HEU weapons are produced by Kahuta's
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> Conclusions
Each of the five major nuclear powers has had to create deployed nuclear forces that meet the requirements for a deterrent force. It has been a long and expensive process. When the British, French, and Chinese first deployed their nuclear forces, they could not survive a Soviet first strike. These countries wanted (and needed) such forces anyway. As soon as they had the capability, both Britain and France deployed nuclear ballistic missile submarines. China has moved toward survivable forces somewhat more slowly, but even it has developed nuclear ballistic missile submarines and land-mobile missiles. <hr></blockquote>