1 November 2015

Pakistani nuclear forces, 2015

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...

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Robert S. Norris

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

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Pakistan has a nuclear weapons stockpile of 110 to 130 warheads, an increase from an estimated 90 to 110 warheads in 2011. With several delivery systems in development, four operating plutonium production reactors, and uranium facilities, the country’s stockpile will likely increase over the next 10 years, but by how much will depend on many things. Two key factors will be how many nuclear-capable launchers Islamabad plans to deploy, and how much the Indian nuclear arsenal grows. Based on Pakistan’s performance over the past 20 years and its current and anticipated weapons deployments, the authors estimate that its stockpile could realistically grow to 220 to 250 warheads by 2025, making it the world’s fifth largest nuclear weapon state. Pakistan appears to have six types of currently operational nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, plus at least two more under development: the short-range Shaheen-1A and medium-range Shaheen-3. Pakistan is also developing two new cruise missiles, the ground-launched Babur (Hatf-7) and the air-launched Ra’ad (Hatf-8).