In a recent report by the Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), it has come to light that both India and Pakistan are enhancing their nuclear arsenals, introducing and developing new delivery systems throughout 2022. The SIPRI Report emphasises that while Pakistan continues to remain the focus of Indian nuclear deterrence, India is notably shifting its focus towards longer-range weapons, including those with the capability to target across China reported The Organiser.

As of January 2023, India possesses 164 nuclear warheads, while Pakistan has 170 warheads in its arsenal, a fact that has been documented in the report. The term warhead stockpile encompasses all deployed warheads, as well as those in central storage, ready for deployment.

Fissile Material, whether highly enriched uranium or separated plutonium, serves as the fundamental ingredient for nuclear weapons. The SIPRI report notes that both India and Pakistan have primarily produced plutonium.

Modernisation of Nuclear Weapons

A critical revelation within the SIPRI report is that the number of operational nuclear weapons is on the rise, reflecting the long-term force modernisation and expansion strategies of various nations. India, along with eight other nuclear weapon countries, the USA, Russia, China, France, North Korea, Israel and Pakistan, continue to modernise their nuclear arsenals. Furthermore, several of these nations have deployed new nuclear-armed or nuclear-capable weapons throughout 2022.

Of the estimated 12,512 warheads worldwide in January 2023, roughly 9,576 are held in military stockpiles, available for potential use, an increase of 86 compared to January 2022. It is noteworthy that the SIPRI report discloses that Russia and the US collectively possess nearly 90 per cent of all nuclear weapons. China’s nuclear arsenal has shown an increase, growing from 350 warheads in January 2022 to 410 in January 2023, with further expansion anticipated.

Report On Military Expenditure

The report also highlights global military expenditure, which surged for the eighth consecutive year in 2022, reaching an estimated $2,240 billion, the highest ever recorded by SIPRI. India’s share of arms imports constituted 11 per cent of this expenditure, alongside countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Australia, and China, contributing to 36 per cent of the total imports.

The SIPRI report underscores the evolving nuclear landscape in the region, with far-reaching implications for global security, as nations continue their efforts to modernise their military capabilities.