Agni III
The Agni-III missile, capable of carrying nuclear warheads | Flickr | Public.Resource.Org
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New Delhi: India and China have both increased their nuclear weapons stockpile over the last year but New Delhi’s overall numbers are less than half of Beijing’s and also slightly lower than what Pakistan possesses.

In its Yearbook 2020, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a Swedish think tank, has pegged the number of nuclear warheads in the Chinese arsenal at 320, while Pakistan and India are estimated to have 160 and 150 weapons, respectively.

In its 2019 report, SIPRI had calculated China’s nuclear arsenal at 290 and India’s at 130-140. Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal was calculated at 150-160, a number which remains constant in the latest assessment too. 

Decrease in global nuclear weapons numbers

The report states that there has been a decrease in the overall number of nuclear weapons in the world in 2019. This was largely due to Russia and the US — which together still possess over 90 per cent of global nuclear weapons — dismantling retired nuclear weapons. 

The nine nuclear-armed states — the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) — together possessed an estimated 13,400 nuclear weapons at the start of 2020, the think-tank said.

This marked a decrease from the 13,865 nuclear weapons that SIPRI estimated these states possessed at the beginning of 2019. 


Also read: India ‘working faster’ on bridge in Galwan Valley after China’s objections amid stand-off


China displays nuclear weapons more frequently

On the issue of China, SIPRI said Beijing now publicly displays its nuclear forces more frequently than in the past but releases little information about force numbers or future development plans. 

It added that China is in the middle of a significant modernisation and expansion of its nuclear arsenal, and that Beijing is developing the “nuclear triad for the first time”, made up of new land and sea-based missiles and nuclear-capable aircraft. 

India and Pakistan are slowly increasing the size and diversity of their nuclear forces, SIPRI said. 

Different countries relying on different raw material

The raw material for nuclear weapons is fissile material, either highly enriched uranium (HEU) or separated plutonium. 

According to SIPRI, China, France, Russia, the UK and the US have produced both HEU and plutonium for use in their nuclear weapons while India and Israel have produced mainly plutonium.

Pakistan has produced mainly HEU but is increasing its ability to produce plutonium. North Korea has produced plutonium for use in nuclear weapons but is believed to be producing HEU for nuclear weapons as well. 

In April this year, SIPRI had identified India as the third largest military spender in the world, just behind the US and China. 


Also read: India’s escalation worked against Pakistan, time for similar response to China


 

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Of course, collectively China and Pakistan will have more active nuclear payload than India, but SIPRI report did not mention that India has stockpiled enrich uranium and processed plutonium more than both China and Pakistan. In fact, India has a secret facility, data of which is not available to SIPRI that facility has more active nuclear payload than UK, France, China, Pakistan, and so on. So, the headline is logically incorrect.

    • Since I’ve known you Indians, you’ve never cease to brag about your nation which has nothing to offer even it citizen than poverty, Stark corruption and bounty illiterate citizens.
      You talk as if you know CHINA, it is very obvious to the world that CHINA leads your GOD forsaken India in all front😜🤪😝😋😋

  2. Unfortunately SIPRI is yet to cover India’s unsafeguarded nuclear material which has capacity to build 1000s of nuclear weapons. SIPRI and other think tanks overlook this fact. India may look behind in terms of current stockpiles but it wont last long as India has tonnes of unsafeguarded material which will contribute to its weapons stocks.

  3. US next generation missile interceptor programme officially launched

    • The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has released its request for proposal for its Next-Generation Interceptor (NGI), tasked with forming the core of the country’s homeland missile defence.
    • The RFP, released on 24 April, says that it allows contractors 90 days to provide proposals to the government beginning 1 May 2020.
    • With proposals due 31 July, the MDA allowed for a timetable review in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Eventually, two companies will be selected who will compete for the right to build the interceptor, according to the research, development, and acquisition agency that works on ballistic missile defence systems for the US.
    • Specifically, for the NGI programme, the agency earlier requested $664.1 million in fiscal year 2021 as part of a $4.9 billion five-year budget plan.

  4. Russian soldiers to receive wearable thermal imagers

    • Russian Armed Forces will begin receiving Sych wearable thermal imagers for engineering reconnaissance.
    • State tests of the Sych-ZIR wearable engineering reconnaissance device, created at the Ziklon Central Research Institute by the order of the Ministry of Defense, have ended successfully recently and the devices will be available for the Armed Forces starting in 2021.

  5. Pakistan successfully test-fires anti-ship missiles

    • Pakistan successfully conducted a test firing of anti-ship missiles in the North Arabian Sea, said a statement from the Pakistan Navy on Saturday (25 April 2020).
    • According to the statement, warships and airplanes fired anti-ship missiles at sea level which hit their targets accurately.

  6. Export configuration of Russia’s Bumerang combat vehicle to differ from domestic version

    • The Bumerang is the latest standardized wheeled platform for multiservice forces developed by the Military Industrial Company. The platform was used as the basis for developing the K-16 armoured personnel carrier, and the K-17 infantry fighting vehicle.
    • A promotional certificate and an export configuration certificate have been formalized for combat vehicles based on the Bumerang standardized platform. The configuration of the vehicles intended for exports differs from those that go to the Russian Army by communications and automated combat control systems, electromagnetic shielding and protection systems against WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and a means of reducing visibility on the battlefield. At the same time, the combat vehicles’ design will not undergo any changes.
    • Russia has started to promote the export of armoured vehicles based on the latest Bumerang combat platform, with their sales estimated at about $1 billion.
    • Countries of Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the CIS have already displayed their interest in the Bumerang combat vehicle.

  7. India reviews FDI policy

    • The Centre on Saturday, 18 April 2020, amended the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy to ensure no hostile takeover of firms facing stress due to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown.
    • According to the amendment, an entity of a country, which shares land border with India or where the beneficial owner of an investment into India is situated in or is a citizen of any such country, can invest only under the Government route.
    • Just last week, China’s People’s Development Bank had picked up over 1% stake in India’s largest private lender HDFC bank.

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