Israel Wields Nearly 100 Nuclear Warheads, Says Peace Research Group

An Israeli F-16 warplane takes off to a mission in Lebanon, July 16, 2006. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

Israel has 80-90 nuclear weapons which can be delivered in a variety of ways.

Israel has 80 to 90 nuclear warheads according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which bills itself as an “independent resource on global security,” and released its SIPRI Yearbook 2019 findings on Monday.

Of Israel’s warheads, approximately 30 are gravity bombs and 50 can be delivered by ballistic missile, the report says. SIPRI also refers to unconfirmed reports that Israel’s Dolphin-class submarines are capable of launching nuclear warheads. “Israel has a long-standing policy of not commenting on its nuclear arsenal,” the report notes.

Israel’s nuclear capabilities were only part of the report which looked at the “current state of armaments, disarmament and international security” around the world. The key takeaway of this year’s report, according to SIPRI Governing Board Chair Jan Eliasson is that “despite an overall decrease in the number of nuclear warheads in 2018, all nuclear weapon-possessing states continue to modernize their nuclear arsenals.”

Russia and U.S. have sophisticated programs to replace and modernize their nuclear warheads, production facilities and missile and aircraft delivery systems, SIPRI says. “In 2018, the US Department of Defense set out plans to develop new nuclear weapons and modify others to give them expanded military roles and missions,” it reports.

Roughly 13,865 nuclear weapons in the world are possessed by nine states —the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), according to the report.

Russia and the U.S. account for 90 percent of those weapons. The numbers held by the two are roughly equivalent, SIPRI says. The U.S. has 1,750 deployed nuclear warheads to Russia’s 1,600. The U.S. also has 4,435 “other warheads” and Russia 4,900. SIPRI defines “other warheads” as warheads that are in reserve, stored or retired.

SIPRI says that information on nuclear arms capabilities is limited. While the U.S., U.K. and France disclose information, Russia does not. India and Pakistan provide little information. North Korea, while saying they’ve conducted tests, “provides no information about its nuclear weapon capabilities.”

(World Israel News)

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