India has more nuclear weapons than Pakistan; US biggest spender, says SIPRI report | Top updates

SIPRI report: An ICAN report showed nuclear countries spent a total of $91.4 billion on their arsenals in 2023 — $2,898 per second. Further, the coalition of disarmament activists noted a $10.7 billion increase in global spending on nuclear weapons compared to 2022.

Livemint, Written By Jocelyn Fernandes
Updated18 Jun 2024, 12:25 PM IST
File photo. Image shows an unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile test launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The world's nine nuclear-armed states continue to modernise their nuclear weapons as the countries continue to deepen their reliance on such deterrence in 2023, a Swedish think tank SIPRI's report said on June 17.
File photo. Image shows an unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile test launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The world’s nine nuclear-armed states continue to modernise their nuclear weapons as the countries continue to deepen their reliance on such deterrence in 2023, a Swedish think tank SIPRI’s report said on June 17.(Staff Sgt. J.T. Armstrong / U.S. Air Force via AP)

SIPRI Report: The world's nine nuclear-armed states modernised their nuclear weapons and deepened their reliance on deterrence in 2023, according to a Swedish think tank, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), AP reported.

“We have not seen nuclear weapons playing such a prominent role in international relations since the Cold War,” said Wilfred Wan, director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's weapons of mass destruction program.

 

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Nuclear spending on the rise

A separate report by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) revealed that the nine nuclear-armed states spent a combined total of $91.4 billion on their arsenals in 2023. This amounts to $2,898 per second.

The Geneva-based coalition of disarmament activists, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017, noted a $10.7 billion increase in global spending on nuclear weapons compared to 2022.

The United States accounted for 80 percent of the increased investment in nuclear weapons, spending $51.5 billion, more than all the other nuclear-armed countries combined. China was the next biggest spender, pumping in $11.8 billion, and Russia rounded off the top three, spending $8.3 billion.

“There has been a notable upward trend in the amount of money devoted to developing these most inhumane and destructive of weapons over the past five years. All this money is not improving global security; in fact, it’s threatening people wherever they live,” said Alicia Sanders-Zakre, Policy and Research Coordinator with ICAN.

 

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Here are the top 13 Updates from the SIPRI report

  • Nine nuclear-armed nations, including the US, Russia, France, China, India, and Pakistan, continued to modernise their arsenals and deployed new nuclear-capable weapon systems in 2023, according to a Swedish think-tank.
  • SIPRI reported that China's nuclear arsenal grew from 410 warheads in January 2023 to 500 in January 2024, with further growth expected.
  • The report stated that approximately 2,100 of the deployed warheads were on high operational alert on ballistic missiles, mostly belonging to Russia or the US. For the first time, China is also believed to have some warheads on high operational alert.
  • SIPRI noted that the nine nuclear-armed states – the US, Russia, the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel – continued modernising their nuclear arsenals and deployed new nuclear-armed or nuclear-capable systems in 2023.
  • Of an estimated global total of 12,121 warheads in January 2024, about 9,585 were in military stockpiles for potential use. Approximately 3,904 of those warheads were deployed with missiles and aircraft, 60 more than in January 2023, with the rest in central storage.
  • Russia and the US hold almost 90 per cent of all nuclear weapons, with their military stockpiles remaining relatively stable in 2023. However, Russia is estimated to have deployed around 36 more warheads with operational forces than in January 2023.

 

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  • SIPRI's Yearbook 2024 indicated that transparency regarding nuclear forces has decreased in both countries following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, with increased debates around nuclear-sharing arrangements.
  • India's 'stored' nuclear warheads were 172 in January this year, while Pakistan's were 170. India slightly expanded its nuclear arsenal in 2023, and both countries continued to develop new nuclear delivery systems.
  • India is focusing more on longer-range weapons capable of reaching targets throughout China, while Pakistan remains the primary focus of India's nuclear deterrent.
  • Among Asian nuclear powers, India, Pakistan, and North Korea are pursuing the capability to deploy multiple warheads on ballistic missiles, the report added. This is something that China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US already possess.
  • Depending on its force structure decisions, China could potentially match the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) numbers of Russia or the US by the end of the decade, though its overall stockpile is expected to remain smaller.
  • China is expanding its nuclear arsenal faster than any other country, according to Hans M Kristensen, Associate Senior Fellow with SIPRI's Weapons of Mass Destruction Programme and Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS). Kristensen noted that nearly all nuclear-armed states have plans or significant efforts to increase their nuclear forces.
  • SIPRI stressed that all estimates were approximate. The institute revises its world nuclear forces data annually based on new information and updates to earlier assessments.

(With inputs from AP and PTI)

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First Published:18 Jun 2024, 12:25 PM IST
HomeNewsworldIndia has more nuclear weapons than Pakistan; US biggest spender, says SIPRI report | Top updates

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