Strategic Forces Command
The Strategic Forces Command (SFC), sometimes called Strategic Nuclear Command, forms part of India's Nuclear Command Authority (NCA). It is responsible for the management and administration of the country's tactical and strategic nuclear weapons stockpile. It was created on 4 January 2003 by the Vajpayee Government. Air Marshal Teja Mohan Asthana became its first commander-in-chief.
|Strategic Forces Command|
|Founded||4 January 2003|
|Air Marshal Navkaranjit Singh Dhillon, AVSM|
It is the responsibility of the Strategic Forces Command to operationalize the directives of the NCA under the leadership of a Commander-in-Chief who is a three-star rank officer. It will have the sole responsibility of initiating the process of delivering nuclear weapons and warheads, after acquiring explicit approval from the NCA. The exact selection of the target area shall be decided by the SFC through a calibrated, cumulative process involving various levels of decision-making, and with formal approval by the NCA.
The SFC manages and administers all strategic forces by exercising complete command and control over nuclear assets, and producing all contingency plans as needed to fulfill the required tasks. Since its inception, the SFC’s command, control and communication systems have been firmly established, and the command has attained a high state of operational readiness.
The Agni-I and Agni-II ballistic missiles are operational under the SFC, while the Agni-III missile is being inducted. The Hindu reported in September 2012 that Agni-III missiles were operational under the Strategic Forces Command and a user test of rail mobile Agni-III was carried out 21 September 2012. The SFC carried out the second user trial of rail mobile Agni-III missile on 23 December 2013.
The Prithvi missile inducted into India’s Strategic Forces Command in 2003, the first missile to be developed under India’s prestigious IGMDP strengthens India’s nuclear deterrence A missile unit of the elite Strategic Forces Command (SFC) successfully launched a Prithvi missile on 07-January-2014 from the test range at Chandipur.
It was reported by Hindustan Times on 12 September 2010 that to increase its lethal power, India's tri-services strike force is planning to acquire 40 fighter planes capable of delivering nuclear weapons. The SFC has submitted a proposal to the Defence Ministry for setting up two dedicated squadrons of fighter aircraft which will act as a mini-Air Force. This will be the first time that the SFC, which at present depends on the Indian Air Force for delivering nuclear weapons under its command, will have its own aerial assets.
|Prithvi-I||Short-range ballistic missile||150||Deployed|
|Prithvi-II||Short-range ballistic missile||250–350|
|Prithvi-III||Short-range ballistic missile||350–600|
|Agni-I||Short / Medium-range ballistic missile||700–1,250|
|Agni-II||Medium-range ballistic missile||2,000–3,000|
|Agni-III||Intermediate-range ballistic missile||3,500–5,000|
|Agni-IV||Intermediate-range ballistic missile||4,000 km||Tested successfully|
|Agni-V||Intermediate / Intercontinental ballistic missile||5,000–8,000|
|Agni-VI||Intercontinental ballistic missile & probable MIRV||8,000–12,000||Under development|
|Surya||Intercontinental ballistic missile & MIRV||12,000–16,000||Unconfirmed|
|Dhanush||Short-range ballistic missile||350||Operational|
|Sagarika (K-15)||Submarine-launched ballistic missile||700||Operational|
|K-4||Submarine-launched ballistic missile||3,500||Tested|
List of commanders
|No.||Rank||Name||Branch||Assumed Office||Left Office|
|1||Air Marshal||Tej Mohan Asthana||10 January 2003||30 June 2004|
|2||Ajit Bhavnani||12 July 2004||18 August 2005|
|3||Avinash Deodata Joshi||22 August 2005||31 December 2006|
|4||Vice Admiral||Vijay Shankar||December 2006||30 September 2008|
|5||Lieutenant General||Balraj Singh Nagal||30 September 2008||December 2010|
|6||Air Marshal||Kughikombil Joseph Mathews||1 January 2011||31 October 2012|
|7||Vice Admiral||Surinder Pal Singh Cheema||1 November 2012||June 2014|
|8||Lieutenant General||Amit Sharma||13 June 2014||31 July 2016|
|9||Air Marshal||Jasbir Walia||1 August 2016||30 March 2019|
|10||Navkaranjit Singh Dhillon||30 March 2019||Incumbent|
- Andaman and Nicobar Command
- Minimum Credible Deterrence
- Armed Forces Special Operations Division
- Defence Cyber Agency
- Integrated Defence Staff
- Integrated Space Cell
- Indian Nuclear Command Authority
- Special Forces of India
- List of Indian Air Force stations
- List of Indian Navy bases
- India's overseas military bases
- Joint warfare
- "India all set to set up nuclear forces command". Times of India. 30 December 2002. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
- "Air Marshal Asthana to head Strategic Forces Command". Times of India. 10 January 2003. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
- "Indian Army wants sole right over post of Strategic Forces Commander". Zee News. 29 July 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- "Agni-I launched for the first time by Strategic Forces Command". Outlook India. 23 March 2008. Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
- T.S. Subramanian, Y. Mallikarjun. "Agni-II soars in success". The Hindu.
- India Poised To Test Agni-V Missile
- Y. Mallikarjun. "Agni-III test-fired successfully". The Hindu.
- "Press Information Bureau".
- Y. Mallikarjun. "Agni-III test-fired by SFC personnel". The Hindu.
- "Prithvi Launch Successful".
- Strategic Command to acquire 40 nuclear capable fighters Archived 2010-10-17 at the Wayback Machine
- "India s Dhanush Undergoes 1st Night Test - SP's Naval Forces". Retrieved 27 July 2015.
- Press Trust of India (25 March 2014). "India test fires long range N-missile launched from under sea". Retrieved 27 July 2015.
- "Air Marshal Asthana to head Strategic Forces Command". The Times of India. 10 January 2003. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
- "Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar to take over as C-in-C of Andaman and Nicobar". OneIndia. Archived from the original on 27 December 2017. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
- "Lt Gen Nagal is new Strategic Forces commander". 30 September 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
- "Lt Gen Amit Sharma, VSM Appointed Commander - in - Chief Strategic Force Command". 13 June 2014.