Pakistani nuclear forces, 2018

Nuclear Notebook: How many nuclear weapons does Pakistan have?

Pakistan continues to expand its nuclear arsenal with more warheads, more delivery systems, and a growing fissile materials production industry. Analysis of a large number of commercial satellite images of Pakistani army garrisons and air force bases shows what appear to be mobile launchers and underground facilities that might be related to nuclear forces.

We estimate that Pakistan now has a nuclear weapons stockpile of 140 to 150 warheads (See Table 1). This stockpile exceeds the projection made by the US Defense Intelligence Agency in 1999 that Pakistan would have 60 to 80 warheads by 2020 (US Defense Intelligence Agency 1999, 38).

With several delivery systems in development, four plutonium production reactors, and its uranium enrichment facilities expanding, however, Pakistan has a stockpile that will likely increase further over the next 10 years. The size of the increase will depend on many factors…

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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, Robert S. Norris, a senior fellow with the FAS and Julia Diamond, a consultant to the project. 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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