Austin wrote:War with China is low probability but we need to cater to that with effective nuclear deterrence and conventional long range cruise missile.
I imagine Pakistan, possessing both effective nuclear deterrence and conventional long range cruise missile, is thinking much the same thing.
Unfortunately, nuclear weapons are always a last resort, unless you wish to risk precipitating a MAD scenario. And conventional cruise missiles are just single-use UAVs with an explosive payload. With good network of aerial sensors (AWACS + aerostats + low level radar) linked in with well dispersed cost effective SAM units, intercepting them is not
an exceptionally challenging task.
(During the 1973 Yom Kippur war, the Egyptian Air Force Tu-16s launched 25 KSR-2 cruise missiles at Israel. Israeli Mirages
intercepted and destroyed 20 of them.)
They mention India specific electronic but that means hardwiring Rafale for nuclear role.
A more likely but prosaic explanation is the required integration of Indian datalinks, comms & IFF modules.