Pakistan is slowly building up its nuclear arsenal

Is Pakistan slowly building up its nuclear arsenal?

ET Online | 17 Jun 2020, 01:06 PM IST

Pak building nuclear arsenal?

Pakistan may be slowly increasing its military missile material holdings, which include both weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium. In a report produced by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute(SIPRI), Pakistan has produced mainly HEU, but is increasing its ability to produce plutonium. The country now has 160 nuclear warheads. India has 150.

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Nuclear missiles

Pakistan’s nuclear-capable ballistic missile arsenal currently includes two types of medium-range ballistic missile: the liquid-fuelled, road-mobile Ghauri (Hatf-5), with a range of 1250 km; and the two-stage, solid-fuelled, road-mobile Shaheen-II (Hatf-6) with a range of 2000 km. (Representative Image)

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On the shopping list

The Pakistan Air Force currently operates 160 Mirage aircraft, of which 120 are fighter-bombers. According to reports, Pakistan plans to buy 36 more Mirage V aircraft from Egypt. (Representative image)

Agencies

Cue from China

Pakistan is acquiring a significant number of JF-17 aircraft, jointly developed with China, to replace the ageing Mirage aircraft. Pakistan currently operates about 100 JF-17s in four to six squadrons, according to the SIPRI report. Pakistan also ordered eight air-independent propulsion-powered conventional submarines from China, the first of which is expected to be delivered in 2022. (Representative Image)

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The triad

To achieve secure second-strike capability, Pakistan wants to create a nuclear triad by developing a sea-based nuclear force. The Babur-3 submarine-launched cruise missile could help develop a nuclear capability for the Pakistan Navy’s three diesel-electric Agosta class submarines. The Babur-3 was first test launched in 2017.’ (Representative Image)

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