Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal to overtake India’s: SIPRI

London: “Our conservative estimates are that Pakistan has 60 warheads and could produce 100 nuclear weapons at short notice. In comparison India had also 60 to 70 nuclear warheads,” the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said.

Pakistan has 60 nuclear warheads and with two new plutonium reactors nearing completion in Khusab, its weapons grade plutonium production will jump seven-fold, according to latest figures released by the Swedish institute SIPRI.

SIPRI also said that Islamabad was developing an air launched cruise missile Ra’ad and had also carried out four tests of its land launched sub-sonic cruise missile Babur. But it said that it was not clear whether these missiles would be developed to carry nuclear warheads.

The Swedish think-tank said that Pakistan’s Khusab I reactor was giving the country 10 to 12 kg of weapons grade plutonium.

Islamabad had earmarked 32 US-supplied F-16 fighters along with short-range Ghaznavi I and Shaheen I missiles as the delivery systems for its nuclear weapons, it said.

SIPRI said while 400-km ranges Ghaznavi I and 1,200-km Shaheen I missiles were operational, Pakistan’s other two potent missiles — medium range ballistic missile Ghauri I and Shaheen II — were still in development stage.

In comparison, India had also 60 to 70 nuclear warheads, the think-tank said.

New Delhi had only short-range surface to surface Prithvi I (with the range of up to 500 km) and medium-range Agni I (upto 700 km) missiles deployed as nuclear weapon delivery systems, it said.

The Swedish institute said India’s two other missiles Agni II (with the range of 1,200 kms) and Agni III (3,000 kms) were still under development, though Agni II had been handed over to the Army for user trial.

SIPRI also said that New Delhi was also developing a 1,000-km range sub-sonic cruise missile Nirbhay and had also test fired the land-based version of the undersea missile K-15 which is being called Shourya.

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