16 June 2014: Nuclear forces reduced while modernizations continue, says SIPRI

(Stockholm, 16 June 2014) Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) today launches its annual nuclear forces data, which assesses the current trends and developments in world nuclear arsenals. The data shows that while the overall number of nuclear weapons in the world continues to decline, none of the nuclear weapon-possessing states are prepared to give up their nuclear arsenals for the foreseeable future.

 

At the start of 2014 nine states—the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea—possessed approximately 4000 operational nuclear weapons. If all nuclear warheads are counted, these states together possessed a total of approximately 16 300 nuclear weapons (see table 1) compared to 17 270 in early 2013.


Reductions slow and modernizations continue

Over the past five years there has been a steady decline in the overall number of nuclear warheads in the world (see table 2). The decrease is due mainly to Russia and the USA—which together still account for more than 93 per cent of all nuclear weapons—further reducing their inventories of strategic nuclear weapons under the terms of the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START).

At the same time, all five legally recognized nuclear weapon states—China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA—are either deploying new nuclear weapon delivery systems or have announced programmes to do so. India and Pakistan continue to develop new systems capable of delivering nuclear weapons and are expanding their capacities to produce fissile material for military purposes.

There is an emerging consensus in the expert community that North Korea has produced a small number of nuclear weapons, as distinct from rudimentary nuclear explosive devices.


Table 1. World nuclear forces, 2014

Country

Year of first

nuclear test

Deployed warheads*

Other warheads

Total 2014

USA

1945

1920

5380

7300

Russia

1949

1600

 6400

8000

UK

1952

160

 65

225

France

1960

290

10

300

China

1964

 

250

250

India

1974

 

 90–110

90–110

Pakistan

1998

 

100–120

100–120

Israel

. .

 

80

80

North Korea

2006

 

6–8

6–8

Total

 

3970

12 350

16 300

Source: SIPRI Yearbook 2014 

* ‘Deployed’ means warheads placed on missiles or located on bases with operational forces. 

All estimates are approximate and are as of January 2014.


‘Once again this year, the nuclear weapon-possessing states took little action to indicate a genuine willingness to work toward complete dismantlement of their nuclear arsenals. The long term modernization programmes under way in these states suggest their views that nuclear weapons will remain deeply embedded elements of their strategic calculus,’ say SIPRI Researchers Shannon Kile and Phillip Patton Schell.


Table 2. World nuclear forces, 2010–14

Country*

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

USA

9600

8500

8000

7700

7300

Russia

12 000

11 000

10 000

8500

8000

UK

225

225

225

225

225

France

300

300

300

300

300

China

240

240

240

250

250

India

60–80

80–100

80–100

90–110

90–110

Pakistan

70–90

90–110

90–110

100–120

100–120

Israel

80

80

80

80

80

Total

22 600

20 530

19 000

17 270

16 300

Sources: SIPRI Yearbooks 2010–2014

* Based on public information about North Korea’s past plutonium production activities, it is estimated here that North Korea has built 6–8 nuclear weapons.

 

For editors

The SIPRI Yearbook is a compendium of cutting-edge information and analysis on developments in armaments, disarmament and international security. Three major Yearbook data sets were pre-launched earlier in 2014: the SIPRI Top 100 arms-producing companies (31 January), international arms transfers (17 March) and world military expenditure data (14 April). See the earlier releases at www.sipri.org/media/pressreleases.

SIPRI Yearbook 2014 is published by Oxford University Press and will be available later in 2014. Learn more at www.sipriyearbook.org.

 

For information and interview requests contact Stephanie Blenckner (blenckner@sipri.org, +46 8 655 97 47) or Emily Bloom (, +46 8 655 97 97).
SIPRI in the media
SIPRI Yearbook data launches 2014

31 Jan. 2014:
 Top 100 arms-producing companies for 2012. Read the press release or access the Top 100 list.

17 Mar. 2014: International arms transfers data for 2013. Read the press release or download the Fact Sheet.

14 Apr. 2014: World military expenditure data for 2013. Read the press release or download the Fact Sheet.

16 June 2014
: Launch of SIPRI's world nuclear forces figures. Read the press release or visit our nuclear forces pages.

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