On January 6, 2003, the Government of India announced the creation of a new Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) responsible for the management of India’s tactical and strategic nuclear weapons. The NCA comprises a political council chaired by the prime minister—the only person entitled to authorise the use of nuclear weapons—served by an executive council chaired by the national security adviser.
Their directives are to be operationalised by a new Strategic Forces Command under the control of a Commander-in-Chief of the rank of Air Marshal (or its equivalent) in charge of the management and administration of the tactical and strategic nuclear forces.
The NCA may be seen as the first stage in the development of an effective and robust command-and-control (C2) and indications-and-warning (I&W) systems and infrastructure for its strategic nuclear force.
The StrategicForcesCommand, which will report to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, at present headed by Naval chief Admiral Madhvendra Singh, will allocate some squadrons of Mirage 2000-5 and Su-30MKI fighters and some naval warships and submarines to form the country's first ever nuclear arm, highly placed defence sources said.
An official notification to this effect would be issued soon after the name of the head of the StrategicForcesCommand as well the location of its headquarters is announced, the sources said.
The SFC, sources said, would be the country's second Tri Service Command and would function in coordination with the first one based in Andaman.
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