State of Armaments, Disarmament and International Security

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According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) annual assessment of the ‘state of armaments, disarmament and international security’, the global inventory of nuclear warheads has increased over the past year.

About State of Armaments, Disarmament and International Security:


  • It is an annual assessment of the Sweden-based think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
  • Highlights:
    • As on January 2023, the world has 9,576 nuclear weapons in military stockpiles for potential use.
    • That is 86 more than the number in January 2022.
    • Of this stockpile, an estimated 3,844 warheads were ‘deployed’ with missiles and aircraft.
    • Around 2,000 of these ‘deployed’ weapons — nearly all of which belonged to Russia or the USA—were kept in a state of high operational alert, meaning that they were fitted to missiles or held at airbases hosting nuclear bombers.
    • Nine nuclear-armed states — the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel — continue to modernise their nuclear arsenals and deployed several new nuclear-armed or nuclear-capable weapon systems in 2022.
    • The estimate of the size of China’s nuclear arsenal increased from 350 warheads in January 2022 to 410 in January 2023.
    • India was estimated to have a growing stockpile of about 164 nuclear weapons, up from 160 the previous year. These weapons were assigned to a maturing nuclear triad of aircraft, land-based missiles and nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs).
    • Pakistan possessed approximately 170 nuclear warheads as of January 2023 — up from 165 from the previous year.


Q1) What are nuclear weapons?

A nuclear weapon is a device that uses a nuclear reaction to create an explosion. This explosion is much more powerful than that of conventional explosives (like TNT). When a nuclear weapon explodes, it gives off four types of energy: a blast wave, intense light, heat, and radiation. Nuclear weapons can be in the form of bombs or missiles.

Source: In a year, global inventory of N-warheads rises by 86