Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Counting Nukes in 2013: Israel, India, Pakistan, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States

Israel possesses some 80 nuclear warheads —rather fewer than once thought, and lower than the nuclear arsenal of countries that are officially in possession of atomic weapons —according to the new 2013 yearbook put out by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a leading think tank on global security issues.

Of those warheads, 50 are for medium-range ballistic missiles and 30 are for bombs carried by aircraft, the report said.

In addition, "Israel may also have produced non-strategic nuclear weapons, including artillery shells and atomic demolition munitions," the Guardian reported Monday.


India and Pakistan, also countries that have not signed the NPT but that nonetheless possess nuclear weapons, each have around 90-120 warheads, SIPRI found, while the NPT countries have many hundreds, or, in the case of the US and Russia, many thousands, more.


At the start of 2013 the five NPT states, plus India, Pakistan and Israel, possessed "approximately 4,400 operational nuclear weapons. Nearly 2,000 of these are kept in a state of high operational alert.

If all nuclear warheads are counted, these states together possess a total of approximately 17,265 nuclear weapons… as compared with 19,000 at the beginning of 2012," SIPRI stated.