A new report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has weighed in with an educated guess about the Israeli military’s secretive nuclear weapons program, estimating the nation has around 80 “strategic” level nuclear weapons.
The estimate suggests 50 of the warheads are for Jericho II medium range missiles, with another 30 gravity bombs to be dropped from warplanes. The report says it is possible that smaller tactical nukes could also be in the nation’s arsenal.
If true, this would make Israel’s arsenal the smallest of the eight nuclear powers, though roughly in line with India and Pakistan who both, like Israel, are not signatories to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). SIPRI put their arsenals in the range of 90-120 warheads.
Israel had been believed to have a considerably larger arsenal than this, with past estimates mostly in the 200 warhead range and some suggesting the number could be as high as 400. Israel is the only nuclear weapons state in the Middle East.
The report was critical not only of the non-NPT nations with nuclear arsenals, but also of the signatories who they reported are flouting treaty requirements to work toward disarmament, noting that all five such powers are working on new nuclear weapons or plan to do so.
10 thoughts on “Report: Israel Has At Least 80 Nukes”
This estimate ignores the submarine-based cruise missile warheads. Those are very much "strategic" and are now deployed against Iran.
Fifteen years ago, the USAF proliferation center reported the 400 number, as Israeli deliverable devices both fusion (H-bombs) and fission bombs (A-bombs). It is not credible that the number went down by a factor of five.
I don't believe these numbers for a minute. No one, including the U.S., is even allowed to inspect Israel's nuclear facilities or its weapons program, for which it still maintains an official position of plausible deniability. I think the best estimate is still from Mordechai Vanunu who knew enough about the program that he had to be kidnapped and kept incommunicado in solitary for 18 years and is still kept away from the public. Vanunu estimated 200. I think a good guess today would include an extrapolation in numbers and type- so for example, I would expect Israel to have reversed engineered, or built from plans given or stolen from the U.S., depleted uranium ordinance and other types of nuclear weaponry. And don't forget the warheads for its six nuclear powered submarines. The numbers themselves could be staggering since it would have all been paid for by Uncle Sam, including maybe even from some of that 2 trillion dollars that Dov Zakheim at the Pentagon said had disappeared at the time of 9/11.
Israel as far as I know does not possess nuclear powered submarines. It does have German diesel-electric nuclear capable submarines meaning with launch capability of its nuclear armed ballistic missiles.
Though the number of nuclear warheads in its possession is probably closer to the double of this estimate, it is still exponentially above what it can use in its neighborhood without committing fallout suicide. So the question I've always posed, whom are the extras targeting? Russia and Europe are within range of its missiles. And according to Seymour Hersh, in his book "The Samson Option", they are.
The Dolphins are NOT Diesel-electric subs, but are driven by an extremely sophisticated fuel-cell, which makes it the the quietest sub in the world with a true gobal-wide submerged range, too.
Yep. How can you possibly believe any of it? There is no way to verify and even then they'd likely store anything out of sight and mind. It's all smoke and mirrors.
This report completely leaves out the dozens of nukes to be delivered by cruise-missiles on board of german-made Dolphin-class-subs, which were even FITTED with larger-than-usual "torpedo"-tubes , to be able to fire said cruise-missiles from under water.
So the alledged "200 Israeli nukes" for me still stand.
I am ashamed to be the citizen of a country which KNOWINGLY delivers nuke-ready subs to Israel.
(There's probably much more on the net about that. Just search for it. )
See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil.
Israel has never tested a nuclear weapon, so regardless how many there are, none of them may work. The missiles mentioned are not in silos for immediate launch. They're on mobile launchers that have to be taken out of bunkers and prepared. So they're vulnerable to attack.
The German subs are diesel-electric. Saying they're "nuclear-capable" doesn't mean much, as SLCMs are launched out of torpedo tubes, and all (military) subs are "nuclear-capable". diesel-electric subs have to surface every 8 hours or so and are vulnerable then. They're no match for nuclear-powered subs in terms of speed.
I don't think Israel has ever tested the range of cruise missiles, so they may not work either. There was a report once of a test in the Indian ocean, but that might've been India…
Sorry to see the entire Middle East under mushroom clouds.
Swedish report for some reason intentionally did not include Israel's submarine-based nuke warheads. Five operational attack subs, 6 medium-large and four large tubes apiece, assume two rounds of reloads, gives 150 extra nukes unaccounted for. No reason to have nuclear-capable attack sub if you're not going to load it; Israel has ordered at least two more rush from Germany. Report also ignores multi-nuke MIRV warheads for missiles. Report also ignores Israel develops powerful thermonuclear H-bomb warheads boosted with tritium, see sales of excess tritium to South Africa. There are also rumours of neutron bombs and EMP weapons. Swedes were apparently being conservative and only listing the minimum confirmed, not probable. This point has been missed.
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