Pakistan’s Nuke Arsenal Bigger, More Advanced Than India

After racing ahead of India in ballistic and cruise missiles Pakistan seems to be surging ahead on the nuclear front too according to the recent statistics of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

A series of recent estimates by international nuclear watchdogs and reputed think tanks hold that Pakistan has a total of 70 to 90 warheads compared to India’s 60 to 80.

Pakistan already posses far superior delivery systems than rival India which include F-16s, long-range ballistic and cruise missiles as well as an advanced second strike capability. With a range of between 2000 km to 3,500 km, Pakistan’s Ghauri and Shaheen (Hatf Series) nuclear-capable are capable delivering nuclear warheads to any part of India. The 4,500km Shaheen III will also be able to hit Tel Aviv once inducted.

In contrast, India has had a series of failed missile tests recently and the only nuclear-capable ballistic missile in India’s arsenal which can be said to be 100% operational as of now is the short-range Prithvi missile (150-300km). Though the 700-km Agni-I and 2,000-km-plus Agni-II ballistic missiles are being ‘inducted’ into the armed forces, the earliest when these missiles can be ‘fully-operational in the numbers required’ is by 2012.

India’s status as a nuclear power has also been described as a “myth” by the scientist who carried out its controversial hydrogen bomb tests in 1998.

He said the device had only “fizzled”. The claims by the test director K Santhanam have provoked an outcry in India which treasures its nuclear status as a symbol of its power in Asia where it has been locked in an arms race with both Pakistan and China.

SIPRI estimates there are a whopping 22,600 active, inactive and stored nuclear warheads around the globe, out of which Russia has more than 12,000 warheads, US has 9,600, France comes third with 300, followed by UK with 225 and Israel has an arsenal of 80 warheads. A. Moin

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