Analysts at the Natural Resources Defense Council estimate that the Soviet arsenal reached its peak in 1986 at approximately 30,000 non-strategic i.e. tactical warheads. In Arbman and Thornton, Russia’s Tactical Nuclear Weapons, Part 1: Background and Policy Issues, it is stated that “In 1987, NATO estimated that the Warsaw Pact had deployed 1,360-1,365 short-range nuclear-tipped missiles in Eastern Europe.”
Warsaw Pact Military Planning in Central Europe: Revelations from the East German Archives, revealed that “The Soviet
Inventory of tactical nuclear weapons consisted of short-range missiles; artillery fired Atomic projectiles, atomic demolition munitions, nuclear-equipped air defense missiles and aircraft-delivered and sea-based weapons.”
The Indian nuclear strategists must be aware of the fact that any development to destabilize the regional balance will be answered by Pakistan. For the Indians, the concept of TNWs is so new that when the range of Nasr was announced, the Indian media and a few experts issued funny statements about its range; while the serious ones, after knowing its alarmingly close range capability, called Nasr a ‘doctrine buster’.
And a ‘doctrine buster’ it is.