1 November 2014

Israeli nuclear weapons, 2014

Hans M. Kristensen

Kristensen is the director of the Nuclear Information Project with the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) in Washington, DC. His work focuses on researching and writing about the status of...


Robert S. Norris

Norris is a senior fellow with the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, DC. A former senior research...


Although the Israeli government neither confirms nor denies that it possesses nuclear weapons, it is generally accepted by friend and foe alike that Israel is a nuclear-armed state—and has been so for nearly half a century. The basis for this conclusion has been strengthened significantly since our previous estimate in 2002, particularly thanks to new documents obtained by scholars under the US Freedom of Information Act and other openly available sources. 1 We conclude that many of the public claims about the size of the Israeli nuclear arsenal are exaggerated. We estimate that Israel has a stockpile of approximately 80 nuclear warheads for delivery by two dozen missiles, a couple of squadrons of aircraft, and perhaps a small number of sea-launched cruise missiles.

Region: Middle East