This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
Israel possesses some 80 nuclear warheads — fewer compared with prior estimates .
This number is included in the 2013 report issued by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a leading think tank on global security issues.
According to this report , 50 warheads 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,”
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.
Despite pledging not to do so, the countries that have signed the NPT are still developing new nuclear weapons technology and are prepared to hold on to their stores, the report said.
“All five legally recognized nuclear weapon states — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States — are either deploying new nuclear weapon delivery systems or have announced programs to do so, and appear determined to retain their nuclear arsenals indefinitely,” SIPRI said in a press release, while noting that with the exception of China, which “seems to be expanding its nuclear arsenal,” overall numbers of nuclear weapons possessed by NPT countries have been falling.
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.
The report attributed the decrease to Russia and the US having reduced their inventories to fulfill their obligations under New START, the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, and the culling of obsolete weapons.
SIPRI does not count North Korea and Iran as nuclear powers, as their respective programs are still considered in their nascent stages.