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Nuke weapons nations: Who has the biggest firepower

Last updated on: October 1, 2012 09:47 IST

Nuke weapons nations: Who has the biggest firepower

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The bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a turning point in mankind's history, events that marked the beginning of humanity's ability to instantly self-annihilate.

As of today, there are nine countries generally recognised to own nuclear weapons, with Iran actively seeking to join this group.

Let's begin with India.

India is estimated to have 80-100 nuclear warheads. It is also developing a range of delivery vehicles, including land- and sea-based missiles, bombers, and submarines. There are no official estimates of the size of India's stockpile of fissile materials, though it is known that India produces both highly enriched Uranium for its nuclear submarines and plutonium for weapons

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Image: Agni-V missile being tested


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Pakistan

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Pakistan is estimated to have 90-110 nuclear warheads

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China

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Estimates suggest China currently has approximately 240 nuclear warheads

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Image: DF-31A TEL missiles on display at a parade

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United States of America

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United States has approximately 5,000 warheads, which includes 1,737 deployed strategic warheads, 500 operational tactical weapons (some 200 deployed in Europe), and 2,700 reserve warheads (active and inactive) in storage.

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Image: A Patriot missile battery


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Russia

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Russia has approximately 5,500 total warheads, including 1,492 operational strategic warheads, 2,000 operational tactical warheads (not deployed), and 2,000 reserve warheads in storage

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Image: The Russian SS-27 or Topol-M

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United Kingdom

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United Kingdom has fewer than 160 deployed strategic warheads with a total stockpile of up to 225.

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Image: A Trident missile being test-fired


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France

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France has fewer than 300 operational warheads.

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North Korea

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North Korea has separated enough plutonium for roughly 10 nuclear warheads.

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Israel

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Israel possesses between 75 to 200 nuclear warheads.

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Image: A Boeing 707 aerially refuels 3 Israeli F-15 Eagles
Photographs: Yanatan Zalk/Israeli Air Force
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