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SIPRI Findings on Nuclear Arsenals

Context:

Recently, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Yearbook 2023 revealed that China could potentially have as many Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) as U.S. or Russia by the end of the decade.

Relevance:

GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. SIPRI Findings on Nuclear Arsenals
  2. About SIPRI

SIPRI Findings on Nuclear Arsenals

Global Nuclear Arsenals:
  • The United States, Russia, and China are among the nine nuclear-armed states that continue to modernize and expand their nuclear arsenals.
  • Other nuclear-armed countries include the UK, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel.
  • The total global inventory of warheads is estimated at 12,512, with around 9,576 warheads held in military stockpiles.
Dominance of Russia and U.S.:
  • Russia has the highest number of stored nuclear arsenals followed by US and China while the US has deployed the highest number of nuclear arsenals followed by Russia and France.
  • Russia and the United States possess nearly 90% of all nuclear weapons.
  • Both countries have relatively stable sizes of their nuclear arsenals.
Arms Control Concerns:
  • Transparency and dialogue regarding nuclear forces between Russia and the United States declined after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • The strategic stability dialogue and the New START treaty have been suspended, halting discussions for a follow-on treaty.
New START Limits Maintained:
  • Despite strained relations, both Russia and the United States remain within the limits set by the New START treaty for their deployed strategic nuclear forces.
India’s Nuclear Arsenal:
  • India’s nuclear arsenal expanded from 160 warheads in 2022 to 164 warheads in 2023.
  • India’s focus is increasingly on longer-range weapons capable of reaching targets in China.
  • Upgrades to ballistic missiles, including a submarine-launched intermediate-range ballistic missile and the forthcoming
  • Agni Prime ballistic missile.
China’s Nuclear Arsenal:
  • China’s nuclear arsenal grew from 350 warheads in January 2022 to 410 warheads in January 2023.
  • The expansion raises concerns as it contradicts China’s stated goal of maintaining minimum nuclear forces for national security.

About SIPRI

  • Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) is an independent international think-tank institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
  • It was established in 1966 at Stockholm (Sweden).
  • It provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.

-Source: The Hindu


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