India and Pakistan appear to be expanding
their nuclear arsenals, according to Swedish think tank Stockholm International
Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Year Book 2021 released on Monday.
According to the SIPRI year book, India
possessed an estimated 156 nuclear warheads at the start of 2021 compared to
150 at the start of last year, while Pakistan had 165 warheads, up from 160 in
A report by the International Institute for
Strategic Studies (IISS), London, in May titled ‘Nuclear Deterrence and
Stability in South Asia: Perceptions and Realities’ said that the two countries
“risk stumbling into using their nuclear weapons through miscalculation or
misinterpretation in a future crisis.”
that China’s evolving profile as a nuclear-weapons state was compounding
India’s security challenges. “Yet control over the drivers of the
India-Pakistan nuclear-deterrence and stability equation remains almost
entirely in the hands of leaders in New Delhi and Islamabad,” it noted.
several Confidence Building Measures and other practical steps in this
direction, IISS concluded that a robust, trusted, reliable, deniable back
channel between the leaderships is the most promising means by which India and
Pakistan could achieve greater strategic and nuclear deterrence stability.
nuclear arsenal consisted of 350 warheads up from 320 at the start of 2020.
nuclear armed states – the U.S., Russia, the U.K., France, China, India,
Pakistan, Israel and North Korea – together possessed an estimated 13,080
nuclear weapons at the start of 2021. Russia and the U.S. together possessed
over 90% of global nuclear weapons and have extensive and expensive modernization
programs under way, SIPRI said.
number of warheads in global military stockpiles now appears to be increasing,
a worrisome sign that the declining trend that has characterized global nuclear
arsenals since the end of the cold war has stalled,” said Hans M. Kristensen,
Associate Senior Fellow with SIPRI’s Nuclear Disarmament, Arms Control and
New Work Underway at
Israeli Nuclear Site
According to armscontrol.org, the Federation of American
Scientists estimates that Israel has produced enough fissile material for about
200 weapons and has assembled around 90 non-deployed nuclear warheads, which
were designed for delivery by its Jericho ballistic missiles and aircraft.
Israel may also have modified its Dolphin-class submarines purchased from
Germany to establish a sea-based nuclear strike capability.
armscontrol.org reported in April that satellite imagery
analyzed by experts at the International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM) in
February 2021 shows significant new construction underway in the southwest
portion of Israel’s main nuclear weapons complex near the city of Dimona.
The construction activity at the Shimon Peres Negev
Nuclear Research Center (NNRC) is within the immediate vicinity of the buildings
that contain the facility’s heavy-water nuclear reactor and reprocessing plant,
which have been used to produce plutonium for the country’s nuclear weapons
arsenal. Israel does not publicly acknowledge possessing nuclear weapons and
has not provided an explanation about the construction activities underway.
According to a Feb. 19 update of the original IPFM blog
post analyzing the satellite imagery of the site, the new construction likely
began in late 2018 or early 2019, but the exact intention of the newly cleared
parcel, measuring 140 meters by 50 meters of excavated land, remains unclear.
North Korea could have 40 to 50 nuclear
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimates that Pyongyang
currently has in possession anywhere from 40 to 50 nuclear weapons, up from
last year, when the country was believed to have stockpiled 30 to 40 warheads.
said its estimates are based on the number of warheads that North Korea could
“potentially build” with the fissile material available.
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