Tactical Nuclear Weapons

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Western officials recently confirmed that Russia has moved tactical nuclear weapons from its own borders into neighboring Belarus, several hundred miles closer to NATO territory.

About Tactical Nuclear Weapons

  • Nuclear weapons, just like other weapons, can be categorised into two types: strategic and tactical.
  • Strategic Nuclear Weapons: They refer to nuclear weapons that have bigger objectives, such as destroying cities or larger targets, with larger war-waging objectives in mind.
  • Tactical Nuclear Weapons (TNWs):
    • They are nuclear weapons used for specific tactical gains on the battlefield.
    • They are intended to devastate enemy targets in a specific area without causing widespread destruction and radioactive fallout.
    • These are designed for use in battle as part of an attack with conventional weapon forces. 
    • These warheads can be delivered via a variety of missiles, torpedoes, and gravity bombs from naval, air, or ground forces. They could even be simply driven into an area and detonated.
    • The explosive yield of tactical nuclear weapons can range from under one kiloton to about 100 kilotons, whereas strategic nuclear weapons can have a yield of up to one thousand kilotons.
    • Delivery systems for tactical nuclear weapons also tend to have shorter ranges, typically under 310 miles (500 kilometres), compared with strategic nuclear weapons, which are typically designed to cross continents.
    • They are the least-regulated category of nuclear weapons covered in arms control agreements. 
    • Countries possessing TNWs:
  • Nine countries have tactical nuclear weapons, according to the Federation of American Scientists.
  • They are Russia, the United States, China, France, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea.
  • Russia has a stockpile of an estimated 2,000 tactical nuclear missiles. 
  • The U.S. has an estimated 200 tactical nuclear bombs, half of which are at bases in Europe.

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.A single nuclear weapon can destroy a city and kill most of its people.

Source: Russia’s Nuclear Weapons Are Now in Belarus