- LONDON (Reuters) - India
and Pakistan are massing troops and weapons along their volatile border
in the biggest military build-up the region has seen in almost 15 years,
stoking fears of war between the world's newest nuclear powers.
- The world has five "official" nuclear powers
-- the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France.
- Other countries -- including Pakistan and India -- are
known to be nuclear-capable. However, this could mean possession of a few
nuclear devices that could be packed on to warplanes and dropped as
bombs" rather than sophisticated warheads deployed on missiles.
- Estimates of the global nuclear stockpile range from
24,700 to 33,300 weapons. Following is a summary of the estimated
of declared and undeclared nuclear powers.
- - UNITED STATES: The United States has more than 7,000
strategic nuclear warheads; with some 1,670 tactical warheads and stocks,
the arsenal numbers about 10,000-12,000. The United States is the only
country to station land-based nuclear weapons outside its borders.
- - RUSSIA: Russia has roughly 6,000 deployed strategic
nuclear warheads but the arsenal jumps to some 20,000 when stored and
warheads are added in. Like the United States, it keeps some 2,000-2,500
weapons on high-alert status.
- - FRANCE: France has an estimated 400-482 strategic
and 20 non-strategic nuclear warheads.
- - BRITAIN: Britain has an estimated 160 strategic and
100 non-strategic nuclear warheads. Its Trident submarines, one of which
is continuously on submerged patrol, are capable of launching
- - CHINA: China has an estimated 140-290 strategic and
120-150 non-strategic nuclear warheads. It has only one working ballistic
- - PAKISTAN: Pakistan says its "minimum nuclear
deterrent" includes ballistic missiles that can hit deep inside India.
Analysts put the Pakistani arsenal at between 10 bombs at the time of its
May 1998 nuclear tests and up to 48 now.
- - INDIA: Scientific and arms monitoring groups around
the world estimate India has between 55 and 110 bombs. Most analysts
the figure is towards the lower end.
- - NORTH KOREA: The West suspects that Pyongyang might
already have a small number of warheads, perhaps as many as 10, and two
devices that could be carried by truck, boat or aircraft. Despite a 1994
accord that froze its nuclear programme, it has made no move to work with
international inspectors trying to analyse its past atomic arms
- - ISRAEL: Israel is generally regarded as having nuclear
weapons in its arsenal. Experts say it may have produced as many as 200
nuclear weapons. Others say it has enough estimated weapons-grade fissile
material to produce 100 weapons.
- - IRAQ: Iraq's nuclear programme was dismantled after
its defeat in the 1991 Gulf War. Western experts say the country had been
about two or three years away from producing a crude bomb. It is trying
to reconstitute its nuclear programme.
- - IRAN: Iran is widely suspected by military experts
of pursuing a nuclear weapons programme but it not considered to have
- NOTE - Figures have been compiled from estimates of
analysts, Abolition 2000, the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers, the
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Bulletin of the Atomic
- Nuclear states do not declare figures for tactical
weapons, which include a broad range of devices from landmines and
shells to air-dropped or missile-launched warheads.
- (additional reporting by John Chalmers in
- Copyright © 2002 Reuters Limited. All rights