An overt nuclear war may be a remote possibility but the threat of non-state actors unleashing "dirty" nuclear bombs, biological or chemical agents to wreak havoc remains a clear and present danger.
Keeping in mind the seriousness of the threat, Indian armed forces have inducted NBC defence equipment worth Rs 1,200 crore and another Rs 1,200 crore is in the pipeline. These range from nerve agent detectors, dosimeters, portable gas chromatographs, autoject injectors and first-aid kits to NBC integrated field shelters, respiratory masks and suits, roentgenometers, NBC reconnaissance vehicles and decontamination systems.
Armed with a fresh "detailed' NBC threat analysis, DRDO estimates military as well as civilian forces in India will need to induct NBC defence equipment worth around Rs 10,000 crore over the next five years to guard against such asymmetric warfare.
"Today, 85% of NBC defence inventory held by armed forces has been developed by DRDO, and produced by defence PSUs and around 60 private companies," said DRDO chief controller Dr W Selvamurthy.