A copy of a report filed by a PTI correspondent today is affixed below. I think it's a load of hogwash, for the following reasons amongst others:
(a) There is no need to "acquire" 40 nuclear capable fighters. India already has several types that are more than capable of undertaking this role.
(b) Secrecy and surprise would dictate "hiding" an aircraft-borne nuclear capability within the IAF's many bases and aircraft... not handing over this job to an identifiable, and therefore targetable, two squadrons located at bases which would be known.
(c) I would be really surprised if an MoD official leaked this information to a PTI correspondent!
But read the report anyway. It's attached below.
Strategic Command to acquire 40 nuclear capable fighters
Ajit K Dubey
New Delhi, Sep 12 (PTI) With an aim of increasing its lethal power, India's tri-services strike force is planning to acquire 40 fighter planes capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) has submitted a proposal to the Defence Ministry for setting up two dedicated squadrons of fighter aircraft which will act as "mini-Air Force", ministry sources told PTI.
This will be the first time that SFC, which at present depends on the Indian Air Force for delivering nuclear weapons under its command, will have its own aerial assets, they said.
The SFC does not want untested fighters but the ones which are battle proven and have capabilities to deliver nuclear-tipped missiles, the sources said.