Pakistani nuclear forces, 2015

By Hans M. Kristensen, Robert S. Norris | November 1, 2015


Nuclear Notebook: How many nuclear bombs does Pakistan have?

Pakistan continues to expand its nuclear arsenal and is growing its fissile materials production industry. Since our last Nuclear Notebook on the country in 2011 (Kristensen and Norris, 2011), it has deployed two new nuclear-capable short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) and a new medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM), and is developing two extended-range nuclear-capable ballistic missiles and two new nuclear-capable cruise missiles.

We estimate that Pakistan has a nuclear weapons stockpile of 110 to 130 warheads, an increase from an estimated 90 to 110 warheads in 2011 (Kristensen and Norris, 2011). The US Defense Intelligence Agency projected in 1999 that by 2020 Pakistan would have 60 to 80 warheads (US Defense Intelligence Agency, 1999), but it appears to have reached that level more than a decade early, in 2006 or 2007 (Norris and Kristensen, 2007). In January 2011, our then-estimate of Pakistan’s stockpile was confirmed in The New York Times by “officials and outsiders familiar with the American assessment” who said that the official US estimate for “deployed weapons” ranged “from the mid-90s to more than 110” (Sanger and Schmitt, 2011)…

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The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by Hans M. Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project with the Federation of American Scientists and Robert S. Norris, a senior fellow with the FAS. The Nuclear Notebook column has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook column has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987.

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