New Delhi: In the afterglow of the successful Agni-IV missile test, touted as a next generation missile, and the precursor to an even more ambitious ICBM test slated for December this year, Dr VK Saraswat, director general of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), discounted talk of an arms race in the neighbourhood.
Dr Saraswat said Wednesday that Delhi was "not playing a game" and was "not in a race", as its missile programme was defensive in nature.
According to Dr Saraswat, India was not interested in the missile inventory of its neighbours but building its missile programme on the basis of its own requirements.
"We are not playing a game. We are not looking at what missile others are having, but what we need to defend ourselves, keeping in view our no-first-use nuclear policy," he said, when asked about a view among strategic thinkers that the missile test by India would lead to an arms race in Asia.
Dr Saraswat said India's missile programme focused on having a defensive capability in the event of any crisis. "Whether they (neighbours Pakistan and China) have 10 or 10,000 missiles, we are not in any race," he said.
He referred to the Cold War era when US and Russia built their nuclear weapon stockpiles to match each other's numbers and capabilities. "We are not in any numbers game. Our security need is defensive and on the basis of what we need to defend ourselves," he said.
India Tuesday successfully tested a new generation Agni-IV missile with a designated 3,500-km range, which is an advanced Agni-II version previously called Agni-II Prime.
An earlier test of Agni-II Prime last year December had failed.