Top 9 countries with Nuclear arsenal in 2022, by warhead status
Information on countries with high nuclear potential is based on data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and Business Insider. The nine countries that officially have weapons of mass destruction form the so-called "Nuclear Club".
The United States was the first nation to develop a nuclear bomb. The number of nuclear warheads owned by the United States increased considerably during the Cold War with the Soviet Union. At the same time, however, the Soviet Union was growing its nuclear arsenal. Russia now has 6,850 more nuclear weapons than any other country in the world.
Here are top 9 countries with nuclear arsenal in 2022:
Number of nuclear warheads: 6800
First test: 1945
Use in combat: 1945 (Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan)
Last test: 1992
The country with the strongest army in the world is also the first power to trigger a nuclear explosion and the first to use nuclear weapons in a fighting situation.
Since then, the United States has produced 66.5 thousand atomic weapons units with over 100 different modifications.
Thus, the main range of American nuclear weapons consists of ballistic missiles on submarines. However, the United States and Russia have refused to participate in negotiations on the complete surrender of nuclear weapons, which began in the spring of 2017.
At the same time, the American military doctrine states that America has enough weapons to guarantee both its own security and the security of its allies. In addition, the United States has promised not to attack non-nuclear states if they abide by the terms of the "Non-Proliferation Treaty".
Number of nuclear warheads: 7000
First test: 1949
Last test: 1990
Russia is the world's No. 1 nuclear power in 2022. Some of the weapons were inherited by Russia after the end of the USSR. Existing nuclear warheads were removed from the military bases of the former Soviet republics. According to the Russian military, they can decide whether to use nuclear weapons in response to similar actions. Or in the case of the attack with ordinary weapons, as a result of which the very existence of Russia will be threatened.
On Sunday, President Vladimir Putin ordered the "maximum alert" of Russia's nuclear deterrent forces, which has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world.
In December 2021, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that modern weapons and equipment now make up 89.1% of Russia's nuclear arsenal.
Number of nuclear warheads: 300
First test: 1960
Last test: 1995
To date, France has conducted more than 200 nuclear weapons tests, starting with an explosion in the then French colony of Algeria and ending with two atolls in French Polynesia. At the same time, France has repeatedly refused to participate in other countries' nuclear peace initiatives. It did not join the moratorium on nuclear testing in the late 1950s, did not sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Military Nuclear Tests in the 1960s, and did not join the "Non-Proliferation Treaty" until the early 1990s.
Number of nuclear warheads: 270
First test: 1964
Last test: 1996
China is the only country that has decided not to drop nuclear bombs or threaten to launch non-nuclear states. And in early 2011, China announced that it would keep its weapons to a minimum. However, since then, China's defense engineers have invented four new types of ballistic missiles that are capable of carrying nuclear warheads. So the question of the exact quantitative expression of this "minimum level" remains open.
Number of nuclear warheads: 215
First test: 1952
Last test: 1991
The United Kingdom is the only country that has not performed tests on its territory. The British preferred to do all the nuclear explosions in Australia and the Pacific Ocean, but in 1991 it was decided to stop them. But in 2015, David Cameron sparked, acknowledging that England was ready to drop a few bombs if needed. But about whom exactly he did not say.
Number of nuclear warheads: 130-140
First test: 1998
Last test: 1998
After the 1974 explosion in India, it was only a matter of time before Islamabad developed its own weapons. The Pakistani prime minister then said: "If India creates its own nuclear weapons, we will make it our own, even if we have to eat grass."
Following India's 1998 test, Pakistan promptly carried out its own detonation, detonating several nuclear bombs at the Chagai test site.
Number of nuclear warheads: 120-130
First test: 1974
Last test: 1998
India did not officially recognize itself as a nuclear power until the end of the last century. However, after the detonation of three nuclear devices in May 1998, two days later, India announced that it was giving up testing.
Number of nuclear warheads: 80
First test: 1979
Last test: 1979
Israel has never stated that it has nuclear weapons, but has not claimed otherwise. In fact, Israel has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. At the same time, Israel is vigilantly monitoring the peaceful and not-so-peaceful atom of its neighbors and, if necessary, does not hesitate to bomb nuclear power plants in other countries - as was the case with Iraq in 1981.
According to rumors, Israel has had every chance of creating a nuclear bomb since 1979, when a suspicious light resembling a nuclear explosion was recorded in the South Atlantic. It is assumed that either Israel or South Africa or both states together are responsible for this test.
Number of nuclear warheads: 10-60
First test: 2006
Last test: 2018
North Korea is also on the list of countries with nuclear weapons in 2022. Atomic activity in North Korea began in the middle of the last century, when Kim Il Sung, frightened by US plans to bomb Pyongyang, sought help from the USSR and China. The development of nuclear weapons began in the 1970s, froze as the political situation improved in the 1990s, and naturally continued to worsen. Already since 2004 the "great prosperous state" has been nuclear.
Tension also creates the fact that the exact number of North Korean nuclear warheads is not yet known. According to some data, the number of nuclear bombs would exceed 20, according to others, reaching 60 units.
It is now known which countries have nuclear weapons. Iran is not among them, but it has not reduced its work on the nuclear program, and there are rumors that it has its own nuclear weapons.
On the other hand, the Iranian authorities claim that they can build it for themselves, but for ideological reasons it is limited to the peaceful use of uranium. Iran's use of the atom is currently under IAEA control as a result of the 2015 agreement, but the status quo may soon change. As of January 6, 2020, Iran has dropped the latest restrictions on the nuclear deal to create nuclear weapons for a possible strike on the United States.
2022 statement preventing the use of countries' nuclear arsenal
On January 3, 2022, the leaders of Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States issued a joint statement on preventing the use of nuclear weapons in war. "We declare that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and that it must never be triggered. Since the use of nuclear weapons would have far-reaching consequences, we also state that nuclear weapons - as long as they continue to exist - would "We believe that the continued proliferation of these weapons should be prevented," according to a statement posted on the Kremlin's website.
It is difficult to disagree with him, because since the terrible bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear weapons have become hundreds of times more powerful. Bemorepanda publishes a list of small but telling facts about the most dangerous weapons on Earth.
People are often said to be the most dangerous animal on the planet. We humans have built the deadliest weapon that can destroy all life on the planet, including ourselves. Nuclear weapons are rightfully considered the most dangerous weapons on Earth. In this article, we have compiled the 25 most important facts about nuclear weapons. It should be noted that many of these facts inspire real horror.
Nuclear weapons facts
The danger of nuclear weapons also lies in the fact that it is believed that no country will be able to ignore them, due to the destructive effect of their use. Thus, even accidental or unauthorized use of nuclear weapons will inevitably entail a response from other nuclear powers, which will lead to the death of all life on Earth.
1. Radiation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Today, Hiroshima and Nagasaki have normal levels of radiation because the bombs dropped on these cities exploded above the ground.
2. Lucky Yamaguchi
Tsutomu Yamaguchi is a Japanese survivor of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.
3. Marathon runner Tanaka
Shigeki Tanaka, another survivor of the Hiroshima bombing, won the Boston Marathon in 1951.
4. Fat Man and Kid
The two bombs that were dropped on Japan were called "Fat Man" and "Baby".
The bomb that destroyed Nagasaki was supposed to be dropped on the Japanese city of Kokura, but clouds and fog completely obscured the Kokura munitions factory, which was the original target. Therefore, the bomber headed for the alternate target - Nagasaki.
6. Bonsai 1626
A bonsai tree that was planted in 1626 survived the Hiroshima explosion. It is currently kept in the American Museum.
7. Tsunami after the bombing
A month after the bombing, Hiroshima was hit by a tsunami that killed another 2,000 people.
8. Conversion nuclear bombs
10% of electricity in the US is generated from converted nuclear bombs.
9. Explosion in space
In 1962, the United States detonated a bomb that was 100 times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Japan. It was blown up in space, almost 400 km above the Pacific Ocean.
10. $2 billion for the war
Until 1988, the US government stored $2 billion at the Mount Pony facility in case of a nuclear war.
11. Attraction in Las Vegas
In the 1950s, ground-based nuclear testing was the main attraction in Las Vegas.
12. Explosion on the moon
The United States, during the Cold War, developed a project to detonate an atomic bomb on the moon to show off its military might.
13. Regular paperclip
The amount of active substance that caused the explosion in Hiroshima was no more than an ordinary paper clip.
14. Number of atomic bombs
Russia today has 8,400 nuclear warheads, the United States - 7,650. All other countries have dozens of times fewer nuclear bombs. There are 300 in France, 225 in the UK and 240 in China.
15. Lost Hell
As a result of the accidents, 11 American nuclear bombs were lost. They were never found.
16. Panama Canal 2
Dr. Edward Teller, the father of the hydrogen bomb, developed this terrible weapon for peaceful purposes. In particular, he suggested that a series of carefully calibrated explosions could create a channel similar to the Panama one.
17. Lost 1958
Somewhere off the coast of Georgia, USA, there is an atomic bomb that was lost by the US Air Force in 1958.
18. Computed tomography
During the CT scan, the patient's body is exposed to the same amount of radiation as if he were standing 2.5 km from the explosion in Hiroshima.
19. Atomic Bomb Museum
In New Mexico, there is an atomic bomb museum at the site of the world's first nuclear test. Trinity Site operates only 12 hours a year.
So, more than 2000 nuclear explosions. Studies conducted in the United States as early as 1961 showed that the level of strontium 90 increased in the body of children born after 1945. The level of cancer also increased.
In addition, artificial isotopes that are produced in the process of a nuclear explosion, such as cesium-137 (or radiocesium), have received unusual applications. Art historians use it to detect fakes. Rather, its presence or absence in the canvas / frame / colors confirms whether the picture was painted before 1945 or later.
20. Neutron bomb
Neutron bombs are atomic bombs designed specifically not to create a big explosion. Instead, they create colossal radioactive radiation.
21. Tsar bomb
The Tsar bomb is the largest atomic bomb, the tests of which were carried out by means of detonation. The explosion was so powerful that the seismic wave after it circled the globe three times.
22. Geography of NATO
As part of the NATO arms exchange program, American nuclear warheads are stored in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.
23. Cesium-137 and strontium-90
One way to check if nuclear tests have been carried out is to detect cesium-137 and strontium-90. These isotopes did not exist in nature until the first use of nuclear weapons in 1945.
24. Drop Over North Carolina
In 1961, two atomic bombs were accidentally dropped from a US Air Force plane over North Carolina. Luckily they didn't explode.
25. Vela Incident
Out of more than 2,000 nuclear tests, one was carried out by an unknown person. The Vela Incident was a reported 1979 Indian Ocean 3-kiloton bomb explosion of unknown origin.
September 22, 1979 there was information about a double flash of light on the Prince Edward Islands, near Antarctica. Such flashes are characteristic of nuclear weapons. The flashes were recorded by the American Vela satellite, which was launched specifically to monitor nuclear activity.
Interestingly, and at the same time scary, no country has yet claimed responsibility for this explosion. Everyone is blamed, including Israel and South Africa, except for the USA.
There is an opinion that there was no incident at all, but there was a banal failure in the satellite equipment. Let's hope so.
Everything you need to know about nuclear war
The relationship between nuclear proliferation and nuclear war - and thus the role of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in preventing nuclear war - is a very complex issue.
Possession of Nuclear Weapons
First of all, it is not proliferation that is important, but the possession of nuclear weapons - not those who seek to create them, but those who already have them. It is also important what weapons these countries have and what doctrines determine the strategy for their use. Nuclear proliferation is an indirect factor: it is implied that if those wishing to acquire nuclear weapons were to achieve their goals, then an increase in the number of nuclear powers would exponentially increase the risk of nuclear war.
But this is just a simplified description of the relationship. The action of the first two factors, direct and indirect, is determined by the third factor - the state of the world at a particular moment in time. How does this three-factor matrix affect the likelihood of nuclear war?
The multipolar nuclear world
Let's start with the first factor: the modern multipolar nuclear world opens up new, more complex and dangerous paths to nuclear war. This happens at three levels: geopolitically, the world of nuclear powers has not only grown to nine countries, but also contains a number of tense nuclear dyads (USA and Russia, USA and China, India and Pakistan) and triangles (India - Pakistan - China and USA - China - Russia).
Technological change occurs in three areas. These are the modernization or creation of nuclear triads on land, at sea or in the air by the five most significant nuclear powers, the opening of new fronts, in particular space and cybernetic ones, and new technologies - from strategic high-precision conventional weapons to directed energy weapons, from hypersonic winged and ballistic systems to advances in sensor technology, as well as the integration of artificial intelligence and quantum computing.
At a conceptual level, there is a shift in nuclear doctrines and strategies towards so-called "limited nuclear options" that include smaller, lower-yield, and more usable nuclear weapons. As a result of the convergence of these factors, in the words of former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry, “the risk that nuclear weapons will be used now is as great, if not greater, than at any peak crisis point of the Cold War.”
The risk of nuclear war
Now let's move on to the second factor, the link between nuclear proliferation and the risk of nuclear war. On the one hand, it seems that the world has moved far from the problems of the 1960s that pushed states to conclude the NPT. At that time, the main impetus was the mutual American-Soviet desire to prevent West Germany from joining the nuclear club. In 1960, US attempts to prevent France from acquiring nuclear weapons failed, and in 1964, the Soviet Union's attempts to stop the Chinese nuclear program failed in the same way.
As a result, West Germany remained the main concern. To secure its acceptance of a potential NPT, the United States proposed the creation of a Multilateral Force (MLF), a joint sea-launched ballistic missile system jointly operated by NATO allies, including Germany. The Soviet Union actively objected, and this had two long-term consequences.
First, in exchange for the US relinquishing the MLF, the Soviet Union agreed to the stationing of US nuclear weapons in West Germany and other NATO allies on the condition that those weapons remain under the exclusive control of the US.
Given the Soviet Union's initial agreement, Russia's subsequent objections to these weapons as violations of the NPT seem unconvincing. However, it, combined with Russia's arsenal of 2,000 sub-strategic nuclear weapons in and around Europe, poses the perpetual problem of the emergence of a nuclear threat in a confrontation like the one currently taking place in Ukraine.
NATO and US nuclear umbrella
Secondly, the result of nuclear non-proliferation has been the increased desire of NATO allies for the US nuclear umbrella. This has made extended deterrence a critical component of US nuclear policy. And extended deterrence is a critical asymmetry that distinguishes the configuration of US and Russian nuclear forces, and also greatly complicates the process of controlling strategic nuclear weapons. It stems from fundamentally different strategic goals facing the two countries: Russia must defend itself, the United States must defend its allies.
This has led Russia to its current "aerospace warfare" approach, and the US and its NATO allies to defend against Russia's growing capability to "restrict and deny access and maneuver" (A2/AD). The discrepancy between the two positions not only raises the risk of unintentional nuclear war to a much higher level, but also makes the weapons intended for these missions much less amenable to arms control measures.
In the half century since the NPT was opened for signature, the nuclear non-proliferation regime has gone through a series of stages, from early fears about the rapid growth of the number of nuclear powers, coinciding with the launch of the Brazilian and South African programs, to preoccupation with a specific region - the Middle East, as well as Separately, North Korea. However, today we have come to a new point where two arrows are pointing in the wrong direction at once.
One is the well-known problems of North Korea's nuclear program and the prospect of a nuclear Iran, with all the implications for further nuclear proliferation.
Case of Japan and Korea
Another new factor is the return to the issue of nuclear weapons for US allies. This time we are talking not only about Germany, but also about Japan and South Korea. In Germany, of course, this is not a near future prospect, but if Europe returns to an era of rough confrontation and the United States becomes increasingly preoccupied with other regions, German thinking may change. In the case of Japan and South Korea, growing concerns about North Korea's aggressive nuclear plans and China's rapid transformation of its nuclear arsenal are no doubt fueling debate over their non-nuclear status.
The danger of an unintentional nuclear war
In the sixty years since the Cuban Missile Crisis, the danger of a deliberately unleashed nuclear war has steadily declined. As well as the danger of an unintentional nuclear war, with the exception of the situation during the Arab-Israeli war in October 1973 and the panic in the fall of 1983 during the NATO exercise AbleArcher. However, the situation has changed over the past decade. As noted earlier, the danger of nuclear war, generated by direct and indirect factors, depends on the state of the world, in particular, on the state of relations between major nuclear powers.
The slow deterioration at this third level now, after February 24, 2022, has suddenly taken a dramatic turn.
The likelihood of such a war growing out of what is happening in Ukraine could have some positive impact, bringing caution to the growing strategic rivalry between the United States and China, easing the path to more serious strategic dialogue between them and to a mutual desire to better manage their nuclear relationship. In addition, the ominous lessons of the Ukraine conflict may make India and Pakistan, as well as India and China, think that they are playing with fire every time they take up arms.
However, the most important bilateral nuclear relationship remains the one between the United States and Russia, and here the effect will almost certainly be to halt progress on nuclear arms control and ruin the prospect of joint action to protect the nuclear non-proliferation regime, let alone strengthen it. . The Strategic Stability Dialogue and its two working groups, launched after the Geneva summit in June, have been suspended. When serious talks can begin between the two countries over control of the increasingly ambitious nuclear weapons programs, it is unclear, as well as whether anything will come after the expiration of the extended New START. More importantly, the risk of an unintentional nuclear war between Russia, the United States, and NATO, which has resurfaced in the last decade but seemed far from reality at first, no longer seems so.
Russian customs officers detained 106 tons of scrap metal from a decommissioned nuclear submarine while trying to export it to China without a license. This was reported by the press service of the Federal Customs Service (FCS).
After cutting the hull of the submarine, they tried to export the steel by a private company under the guise of scrap of ferrous metals. As noted in the department, for the export abroad of metals that can be reused by melting and subsequent forging when creating military equipment, a license of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation of Russia is required.
It was found that the scrap from the submarine was purchased at the shipyard at the auction. The director of the company participated in it, using the license of another company. It is issued to specialized state organizations that have received the right to foreign trade with products of a special category.
A criminal case has been opened against the head of the exporting company under article 226.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Smuggling of military equipment).
Russia is in the final stages of a process of modernizing its strategic and non-strategic nuclear forces, which began several decades ago to modernize Soviet-era weapons with newer systems. In December last year, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported that modern weapons and equipment now make up 89.1% of Russia's nuclear arsenal. See here the countries with Nuclear Weapons.
Here are some interesting facts you need to know about Russian nuclear weapons
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the organization that holds the famous "Clock of the Apocalypse", notes in a report published on February 23 this year that until then that some of Russia's launch vehicles on the border with Ukraine they have the dual capability, meaning they can be used to launch both conventional and nuclear warheads.
The same organization estimated that at the beginning of 2022 Russia's nuclear arsenal numbered about 4,477 nuclear warheads that were assigned to long-range strategic bombers and shorter-range nuclear forces.
Of these, about 1,588 strategic warheads are deployed: about 812 ballistic missiles launched from the ground, about 576 are on nuclear submarines, and possibly another 200 at the airbases of heavy bombers.
Russia's Nuclear Arsenal
Russia's intercontinental ballistic missiles
Russia's Strategic Missile Forces are currently using several types of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), held both in nuclear silos and designated as mobile launch pads.
Valeri Gerasimov, the commander of the Russian General Staff, said in December last year that 95% of Russia's Strategic Missile Forces were permanently ready for battle.
Also late last year, Colonel-General Valeri Gerasimov said in an interview with Krasnaya Zvezda ("Red Star''), the official newspaper of the Moscow Defense Ministry, that the percentage of mobile and silo launchers is "approximately equal. ”.
However, he said that the number of warheads assigned to each silo "is currently slightly higher" than those allocated to mobile launch platforms.
In total, ICBMs are armed with about 60% of Russia's current nuclear warheads.
Based on satellite imagery and information published under the new START Treaty, the US-Russia bilateral agreement on nuclear weapons reduction and limitation, Russia appears to have about 400 ICBMs armed with nuclear warheads, which can be transported to their destination. up to 1,185 warheads.
The ICBMs are organized into three missile armies with a total of 12 divisions consisting of about 40 regiments.
Baikonur nuclear silo
How many nuclear weapons can Russia launch from submarines?
The Russian Navy operates 10 nuclear-powered submarines that can launch ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads. Half are Delta IV class submarines, launched in the early 1980s, while the other 5 are part of the Bora class, which entered the Russian navy in 2010.
Each submarine can carry 16 nuclear ballistic missiles with a total of 800 warheads. However, not all of these submarines are fully operational and the number of warheads loaded in some missiles should have been reduced following the new START Treaty.
Analysts at the Atomic Science Bulletin estimate that Russia's nuclear submarines have about 608 warheads.
Russia's strategic bombers
The Russian Air Force operates two types of heavy bombers capable of launching rockets armed with nuclear warheads: Tu-160 "Blackjack" and Tu-95MS "Bear-H". Analysts estimate that Russia has about 60-70 such bombers, of which only 50 are considered deployed by the provisions of the START agreement.
Both types of bombers can carry nuclear-armed air-to-ground cruise missiles Kh-55 (called "AS-15" by NATO) and upgraded versions can also carry the new Kh-102 cruise missile ("AS-23B").
There are believed to be two versions of the Tu-95: the Tu-95H6, which can carry up to 6 missiles internally, and the Tu-95H16, which was designed to carry missiles both internally and on its wing-mounted pillars. Tu-95H16 can carry a total of 16 missiles.
As for the Tu-160 "Blackjack", each aircraft can carry a total amount of bombs of up to 40,000 kilograms, including 12 AS-15B nuclear cruise missiles.
In total, Russia's strategic bombers have the potential to carry more than 800 nuclear weapons, but estimates put their actual number at about 580.
Tu-160 strategic bomber photographed during a military parade
Russia's non-strategic nuclear weapons
Russia's military has begun to modernize many of its so-called "non-strategic" short-range nuclear weapons and introduce new types.
These efforts are less clear and comprehensive than the program to modernize strategic forces, but they also involve phasing out Soviet-era weapons and replacing them with fewer but newer weapons.
Russia's new systems added to its nuclear capabilities led the Trump administration to accuse Moscow in 2018 of "increasing the total number of [non-strategic] weapons in its arsenal, while significantly improving their launch capabilities."
The Moscow General Staff continues to attach high importance to non-strategic nuclear weapons in the service of its naval, air, tactical, and missile defense forces, as well as short-range ballistic missiles, considering that they are necessary to counterbalance the superiority of the states. United Nations and NATO in terms of conventional forces.
Analysts estimate that Russia currently has 1,912 non-strategic nuclear warheads that can be launched from the air, from the sea, and the ground. Although there are many rumors that Russia has several such weapons, there are currently no publicly available reliable data to prove this.
Everyone continued to increase the number of nuclear weapons
While the US and Russia continued to reduce their total stockpiles of nuclear weapons by dismantling the warheads withdrawn in 2020, both countries had 50 more nuclear warheads in operation in early 2021.
Russia has also increased its total military nuclear stockpile by about 180 warheads, mainly due to the deployment of several intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and ballistic missiles launched at sea (SLBMs).
The strategic nuclear forces deployed by both countries have remained within the limits set by the Treaty on Measures to Further Reduce and Limit Strategic Offensive Weapons in 2010 (New START), although the Treaty does not limit total stockpiles of nuclear warheads.
"The total number of warheads in global military stocks now appears to be rising, a worrying sign that the declining trend in global nuclear arsenals since the end of the Cold War has stagnated," said Hans M. Kristensen, SIPRI Specialist and Director of the Cold War Project. nuclear information of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).
Although Russia and the United States have extended the New Start, prospects for further bilateral control of nuclear weapons between the two nuclear superpowers have remained low.
Russia and the United States together own more than 90% of global nuclear weapons. Both have extensive and costly programs in place to replace and upgrade nuclear warheads, missile and aircraft delivery systems, and production facilities.