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Current Affairs

SIPRI Yearbook 2019: Countries reducing nuclear-warheads but modernising arsenals

Date: 19 June 2019 Tags: Reports & Indices

According to 2019 Yearbook of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), worldwide total of nuclear warheads has decreased since 2018 but countries are modernising their nuclear arsenals. The report separately counts deployed warheads (warheads placed on missiles or located on bases with operational forces) and other warheads (stored or reserve warheads and retired warheads awaiting dismantlement).

Key Findings of report

  • 9 nuclear-armed countries (including India) had total of some 13,865 nuclear weapons at start of 2019, 600 nuclear weapons less from 14,465 at the start of 2018 (It does not includes figures for North Korea on account of uncertainty). India has total 130-140 warhead” in 2019, same as in 2018.
  • Of these total 13,865 nuclear weapons, 3,750 are deployed with operational forces and nearly 2,000 of these are kept in state of high operational alert
  • Pakistan, Israel and North Korea—possessed approximately 13 865 nuclear weapons. This marked a decrease from the approximately 14 465 nuclear weapons at the beginning of 2018.
  • Decrease in the overall number of nuclear weapons in the world: It is mainly attributed to US and Russia (together accounting for over 90%  of all nuclear weapons) for reducing arsenals in pursuance of implementating 2010 New START, the treaty which is set to expire in 2021.
  • Modernisation: However, both Russia and US have extensive and expensive programmes under way to replace and modernize their nuclear warheads, missile and aircraft delivery systems and nuclear weapon production facilities.