NEW DELHI – Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal continues to surge ahead with 100-120 warheads as compared to India’s 90-110. China has more than double that number with 250 warheads. The US and Russia, of course, are in a different league altogether with 7,000-8,000 warheads each, together possessing 93% of all nuclear weapons.
This is the latest assessment of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute which holds that all the nine nuclear-armed countries continue to “modernize” their nuclear arsenals and delivery systems like long-range missiles.
With the US and Russia slowly reducing their huge inventories under the new strategic arms reduction treaty of 2011, the overall number of nuclear weapons continues to decline. But there are still 16,300 nuclear weapons around the globe, of which around 4,000 are “operational”, said SIPRI.
“China, India and Pakistan are the only nuclear weapon states that are expanding their nuclear arsenals, while Israel appears to be waiting to see how the situation in Iran develops,” it added.
But rather than its actual stockpile of warheads as compared to Pakistan and China, the Indian defence establishment remains more worried about its delivery systems. The Indian armed forces still do not have SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missiles) and ICBMs (inter-continental ballistic missiles) in their arsenal, both of which are needed for credible deterrence against its two neighbours.