- Pakistan has 160 or torpedoes. That, and India’s nuclear stockpile, accounts for a little over 2% of the world’s nuclear arsenal.
- The US and Russia, however, possess over 90% of the global nuclear warheads.
The brewing tension between the Asian nuclear superpowers — India and China is likely to make the whole world nervous.
China is the second largest military spender in the world, followed by India. Over the last one year, both the countries have increased their nuclear weapon stockpile but India is still far behind China in terms of the total nuclear warheads.
China has 320 warheads — more than India and Pakistan combined
According to the recent data by the Swedish think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), China has more than double the number of nuclear weapons compared to India. As of January 2020, India owns nearly 150 warheads while China has a nuclear inventory of 320 weapons.
The report comes on the backdrop of the ongoing standoff between India and China at the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, along the Line of Actual Control.
One megaton of a nuclear weapon yields 1 million tons of TNT, which is enough to destroy 80 square miles. TNT is the amount of energy that is produced during an explosion.
Even a single nuclear weapon holds the power to destroy a city. That’s because these weapons generate ionizing radiations that can kill people or lead to a long term disease like cancer and other genetic damages.
As many as 240 warheads or weapons have been dedicated to China’s land and sea-based missiles and aircraft. “China is in the middle of a significant modernization of its nuclear arsenal. It is developing a so-called nuclear triad for the first time, made up of new land and sea-based missiles and nuclear-capable aircraft,” the report stated.
India’s nuclear warheads
As per the estimates, India assigned 48 nuclear bombs to its aircraft. “While India is expanding the size of its nuclear weapon stockpile as well as its infrastructure for producing nuclear warheads,” added the SIPRI report.
On the other hand, the country has four kinds of land-based nuclear missiles — Prithvi I, Agni I, Agni II, Agni III — which constitute nearly 60 warheads. Agni II, the medium-range ballistic missile, is capable of sending a nuclear warhead approximately over 2,000 kilometers away. While Agni IV, which is known to be under development, would be able to deliver a single nuclear warhead up to 3,500 kilometers away, as published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
While 16 warheads are used in the sea-based ballistic missiles including Dhanush, K15 and K4.
US and Russia possess over 90% of the global nuclear warheads
Meanwhile, Pakistan also has 160 nuclear weapons or torpedoes. That, and India’s nuclear stockpile, accounts for a little over 2% of the world’s nuclear arsenal. Come 2025, India is anticipated to have 250 warheads, according to a researchpublished on the nuclear arsenals in India and Pakistan.
The US and Russia, however, possess over 90% of the global nuclear warheads. But there has been a drop in the overall inventory of the world’s nuclear weapons. That is largely because of the retired weapons that are no longer in the stockpile.
India and Pakistan never signed the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) that internationally recognised countries as nuclear weapon states , but possess nuclear arsenals. While China is a part of the Nuclear Weapon States recognised by the NPT.