Pakistan expanding Nuclear arsenal

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Sailor, May 22, 2009.

  1. Sailor

    Sailor Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2009
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    5
    May 21, 2009
    Article from: The Australian

    WASHINGTON: Satellite images issued yesterday show Pakistan has expanded two sites crucial to its nuclear program, as part of an effort to bolster the destructive power of its atomic arsenal, according to a US arms control institute report.

    The images show a big expansion near Dera Ghazi Khan of a chemical plant complex that produces uranium hexafluoride and uranium metal, materials used to produce nuclear weapons, Institute for Science and International Security analysts said.

    And at a site near Rawalpindi, photos suggest Pakistan had "added a second plutonium separation plant adjacent to the old one", according to the report.

    It also says Pakistan has been building two new plutonium production reactors in recent years.

    "All together, these recent expansion activities indicate that Pakistan is indeed progressing in a strategic plan to improve the destructiveness and deliverability of its nuclear arsenal," it says.

    The expansion would enable Pakistan to build smaller, lighter plutonium-fission weapons and thermonuclear weapons that employ "plutonium as the nuclear trigger and enriched and natural enriched uranium in the secondary", the ISIS report says.

    Images taken on August 25 of the chemical plant near Dera Ghazi Khan show new industrial buildings, new anti-aircraft installations and several new settling ponds as part of the expansion, according to the report.

    The satellite images follow confirmation last week from top US military officer Admiral Mike Mullen that Pakistan was expanding its nuclear arsenal.

    Admiral Mullen said, however, that US military assistance to Pakistan was not being used by Islamabad to bolster its nuclear weapons program.

    Given the turmoil in Pakistan as the army wages war against Taliban militants in the northwest, the ISIS report says the "security of its nuclear assets remains in question".

    "An expansion in nuclear weapons production capabilities needlessly complicates efforts to improve the security of Pakistan's nuclear assets," it says.

    In the past few years, the Dera Ghazi Khan nuclear site has been the target of at least one attack by more than a dozen gunmen, according to the institute, which cites media reports.

    But the attacks have been blamed on separatists from the nearby Baloch region of Pakistan and not the Taliban, the report says.

    "The brazen ground assault and nearby bombings are nevertheless troubling, considering the role the Dera Ghazi Khan plant plays in Pakistan's nuclear weapons program," it says.

    Central Intelligence Agency director Leon Panetta said on Monday that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal was "pretty secure" amid concerns the weapons could fall into the hands of Taliban militants.

    "Right now we are confident that the Pakistanis do have a pretty secure approach to trying to protect these weapons," Mr Panetta said.

    "But it is something that we continue to watch, because obviously the last thing we want is for the Taliban to have access to nuclear weapons in Pakistan."
     
  2.  
  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,550
    Likes Received:
    6,554
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/30/AR2011013004136.html


    Pakistan's nuclear arsenal now totals more than 100 deployed weapons, a doubling of its stockpile over the past several years in one of the world's most unstable regions, according to estimates by non-government analysts.

    The Pakistanis have significantly accelerated production of uranium and plutonium for bombs and developed new weapons to deliver them. After years of approximate weapons parity, experts said, Pakistan has now edged ahead of India, its nuclear-armed rival.

    An escalation of the South Asian arms race poses a dilemma for the Obama administration, which has worked to improve its economic, political and defense ties with India, while seeking to deepen its relationship with Pakistan as a crucial component of its Afghanistan war strategy.

    In politically fragile Pakistan, the administration is caught between fears of proliferation or possible terrorist attempts to seize nuclear materials and Pakistani suspicions that the United States aims to control or limit its weapons program and favors India.

    Those suspicions were on public display last week at the opening session of U.N. disarmament talks in Geneva, where Pakistani Ambassador Zamir Akram accused the United States and other major powers of "double standards and discrimination" for pushing a global treaty banning all future production of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium.

    Adoption of what is known as the "fissile materials cutoff treaty," a key element of President Obama's worldwide non-proliferation agenda, requires international consensus. Pakistan has long been the lone holdout.
    ad_icon

    While Pakistan has produced more nuclear-armed weapons, India is believed to have larger existing stockpiles of such fissile material for future weapons. That long-term Indian advantage, Pakistan has charged, was further enhanced by a 2008 U.S.-India civil nuclear cooperation agreement. The administration has deflected Pakistan's demands for a similar deal.

    Brig. Gen. Nazir Butt, defense attache at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, said the number of Pakistan's weapons and the status of its production facilities were confidential.

    "Pakistan lives in a tough neighborhood and will never be oblivious to its security needs," Butt said. "As a nuclear power, we are very confident of our deterrent capabilities."

    But the administration's determination to bring the fissile materials ban to completion this year may compel it to confront more directly the issue of proliferation in South Asia. As U.S. arms negotiator Rose Gottemoeller told Bloomberg news at the U.N. conference Thursday: "Patience is running out."

    Other nuclear powers have their own interests in the region. China, which sees India as a major regional competitor, has major investments in Pakistan and a commitment to supply it with at least two nuclear-energy reactors.

    Russia has increased its cooperation with India and told Pakistan last week that it was "disturbed" about its arms buildup.

    "It's a risky path, particularly for a government under pressure," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, fresh from a visit to Islamabad, said during remarks at the Nixon Center on Thursday.

    Wary of upsetting Pakistan's always-fragile political balance, the White House rarely mentions the country's arsenal in public except to voice confidence in its strong internal safeguards, with warheads kept separate from delivery vehicles. But the level of U.S. concern was reflected during last month's White House war review, when Pakistan's nuclear security was set as one of two long-term strategy objectives there, along with the defeat of al-Qaeda, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    A publicly released summary of the classified review document made no reference to the nuclear issue, and the White House deflected questions on grounds that it was an intelligence matter. This week, a spokesman said the administration would not respond to inquiries about the size of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

    National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor referred to Obama's assurance at last spring's Nuclear Security Summit that he felt "confident about Pakistan's security around its nuclear weapons program." Vietor noted that Obama hs encouraged "all nations" to support negotiations on the fissile cutoff treaty.

    "The administration is always trying to keep people from talking about this knowledgeably," said David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security and a leading analyst on the world's nuclear forces. "They're always trying to downplay" the numbers and insisting that "it's smaller than you think."

    "It's hard to say how much the U.S. knows," said Hans M. Kristensen, director of the nuclear information project at the Federation of American Scientists and author of the annual global nuclear weapons inventory published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. "Probably a fair amount. But it's a mixed bag - Pakistan is an ally, and they can't undercut it with a statement of concern in public."
    ad_icon

    Beyond intelligence on the ground, U.S. officials assess Pakistan's nuclear weapons program with the same tools used by the outside experts - satellite photos of nuclear-related installations, estimates of fissile-material production and weapons development, and publicly available statements and facts.

    Four years ago, the Pakistani arsenal was estimated at 30 to 60 weapons.

    "They have been expanding pretty rapidly," Albright said. Based on recently accelerated production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium, "they could have more than doubled in that period," with current estimates of up to 110 weapons.

    Kristensen said it was "not unreasonable" to say that Pakistan has now produced at least 100 weapons. Shaun Gregory, director of the Pakistan Security Research Unit at Britain's University of Bradford, put the number at between 100 and 110.

    Some Pakistani officials have intimated they have even more. But just as the United States has a vested interest in publicly downplaying the total, Pakistan sees advantage in "playing up the number of weapons they've got," Gregory said. "They're at a disadvantage with India with conventional forces," in terms of both weaponry and personnel.

    Only three nuclear countries - Pakistan, India and Israel - have never signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. India is estimated to have 60 to 100 weapons; numbers are even less precise for Israel's undeclared program, estimated at up to 200. North Korea, which has conducted nuclear tests and is believed to have produced enough fissile material for at least a half-dozen bombs, withdrew from the treaty in 2003.

    Those figures make Pakistan the world's fifth largest nuclear power, ahead of "legal" powers France and Britain. The vast bulk of nuclear stockpiles are held by the United States and Russia, followed by China.

    While Pakistan has no declared nuclear doctrine, it sees its arsenal as a deterrent to an attack by the Indian forces that are heavily deployed near its border. India has vowed no first-use of nuclear weapons, but it depends on its second-strike capability to deter the Pakistanis.

    The United States imposed nuclear-related sanctions on both Pakistan and India after weapons tests in 1998, but lifted them shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. With U.S. guidance and a $100 million assistance program, Pakistan moved to increase international confidence by overhauling its command and control structures.

    Revelations in 2004 about an illegal international nuclear procurement network run by Pakistani nuclear official A.Q. Khan, which supplied nuclear materials to Libya, Iran and North Korea, led to further steps to improve security.

    The 2008 agreement that permits India to purchase nuclear fuel for civilian purposes was a spur to Pakistani weapons production, experts said. Pakistan maintains that the treaty allows India to divert more of its own resources for military use.

    As Pakistan sees India becoming a great power, "nuclear weapons become a very attractive psychological equalizer," said George Perkovich, vice president for studies and a non-proliferation specialist at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

    The 1998 test date is a quasi-holiday in Pakistan, and the test site was once declared a national monument, part of the nuclear chest-thumping that, along with political instability, makes U.S. officials as nervous as the actual number of weapons.
    ad_icon

    In December 2008, Peter Lavoie, the U.S. national intelligence officer for South Asia, told NATO officials that "despite pending economic catastrophe, Pakistan is producing nuclear weapons at a faster rate than any other country in the world," according to a classified State Department cable released late last year by the Internet site WikiLeaks.

    Publication of the document so angered Pakistani army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani that he told journalists there that the "real aim of U.S. [war] strategy is to de-nuclearize Pakistan," according to local media reports.

    In 2009, Congress passed a $7.5 billion aid package for Pakistan with the stipulation that the administration provide regular assessments of whether any of the money "directly or indirectly aided the expansion of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program."

    While continuing to produce of weapons-grade uranium at two sites, Pakistan has sharply increased its production of plutonium, allowing it to make lighter warheads for more mobile delivery systems. Its newest missile, the Shaheen II, has a range of 1,500 miles and is about to go into operational deployment, Kristensen said. Pakistan also has developed nuclear-capable land- and air-launched cruise missiles.

    [email protected]
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    24,274
    Likes Received:
    11,283
    Location:
    BANGalore
    Nothing new in this article. It has come out before as well. Pakistan is racing against time to make a big inventory of nukes before its forced to sign FMCT.
    India has nothing to be worried about.
    One more thing to pick from the article is the use of the term deployed weapons which is false. Neither india nor pakistan have deployed nukes. They are in component form and separated from delivery platforms.
     
  5. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Messages:
    20,997
    Likes Received:
    11,830
    Location:
    Akhand Bharat

    You never know, u can't trust them.
     
  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    24,274
    Likes Received:
    11,283
    Location:
    BANGalore
    They cannot do it.. its not a matter of trust, its a matter of security of their crown jewels.
     
  7. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    7,541
    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    Bangalore
    ah this comes again, another fart from Washington to make India react to report and give some information about it's arsenal. Unfortunately for them that's not going to happen.
     
  8. Contract Killer

    Contract Killer Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Mozambique
    Poor people of Pakistan...............they dont even know that this Black Hole of Nuclear Warheads (100+) will engulf them self one day.......

    Just imagine............. what if one or two bombs fall in hands of these terrorists or some Shia or Sunny groups? Just think about it.
     
  9. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Messages:
    5,326
    Likes Received:
    1,493
    recently over COAS said in Deccan Chronicle that he doesn't fear about tactical Bious Bakistani nukes
     
  10. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    24,274
    Likes Received:
    11,283
    Location:
    BANGalore
    Just read the entire report only now...the quote above is what i was talking about time running out for pak. FMCT. And the other important factor is large fissile material stockpile of India which puts it in a very comfortable position.

    Come to think of it, the longer Pak delays on the FMCT, the more harmful its going to be for it when it compares its stockpile with India. Civil nuke deal has got India fresh yellow cake and it has freed up its own other sources up for use in bombs.

    I remember to have put up an article by Albright on indias stockpile on another thread two or three days back. it was a 10 year old report but still relevant. at that time it was estimated that india has enough fissile material to make over a 1000 bombs.. i remember reading another report sometime back which put that figure at over 2000 now.
     
  11. Parthy

    Parthy Air Warrior Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,313
    Likes Received:
    145
    Pakistan has 110 N-weapons, edges ahead of India: US Report

    Pakistan has doubled its nuclear arms stockpile to 110 warheads, developing new weapons to deliver them and significantly accelerating production of uranium and plutonium for bombs to edge ahead of India.

    Islamabad's nuclear weapons stockpile now totals more than 110 deployed weapons in a sharp jump from an estimated 30-80 weapons fours years ago, 'Washington Post' has reported.

    "Pakistan has expanded its nuclear weapons production capability rapidly", the Post quoted David Albright president of the Institute for Science and International Security as saying.

    Albright said that based on accelerated production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium, Pakistan may now have an arsenal of up to 110 weapons.

    The non-government US analyst said that while continuing to produce weapons-grade uranium at two sites, Islamabad has sharply increased its production of plutonium, enabling it to make lighter warheads for more mobile delivery system.

    Pakistan has developed a new missile Shaheen II, with a range of 1,500 miles which is about to go into operation deployment. The country has also developed nuclear capable land and air launched cruise missiles, the Institute said in a new report.

    "The Pakistanis have significantly accelerated production of uranium and plutonium for bombs and developed new weapons to deliver them. After years of approximate weapons parity, experts said, Pakistan has now edged ahead of India, its nuclear-armed rival", Washington Post said.

    The paper said while Pakistan has produced more nuclear-armed weapons, India is believed to have larger existing stockpiles of such fissile material for future weapons.

    Dubbing Pakistan as one of the world's most unstable region, Post said an escalation of nuclear arms race in South Asia possess a dilemma for Obama Administration.

    It said in politically fragile Pakistan, the Administration is caught between fears of proliferation or possible terrorist attempts to seize nuclear materials and Pakistani suspicions that the US aims to control or limit its weapons programme and favours India.

    Quoting Pakistan's Defense attache at its embassy in Washington, Post said the number of Pakistani nuclear weapons are heavily deployed near its border with India.

    The paper said that in December 2008, Peter Lavoie, US national intelligence officer for South Asia, told NATO officials that "despite pending economic catastrophe, Pakistan is producing nuclear weapons at a faster rate than in any other country in the world". PTI AKD BDS 01311332 NNNN



    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...ad-of-India-US-Report/articleshow/7396500.cms
     
  12. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Messages:
    2,465
    Likes Received:
    1,923
    Location:
    La La Land
    Funny comments on TOI:
    Well we have Rahul,sonia,A Raja,Kalmadi,Sharad Pawar. We will throw them on Pakistan and Pakistan will be finished.

    Pakistan reminds me of those afgan pics ... people living in penury and brandishing AK-47's.

    This is a serious one:
    thanks to china and our wolf in lamb's skin friend america.
     
  13. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Messages:
    3,620
    Likes Received:
    2,390
    Note that our neighbours have worst than the specimen you mentioned...
    On a more serious note due to rapid indian armed forces upgrade which Pakistan armed forces cannot match due to inadequate finances the solution is to bolster nuclear deterrence this is a good and bad news.

    Good news is that conventionally we will widen the gap against them
    Bad news that superiority might be in danger should there be any conflict and pakis defence collapse the risk of trigerring nuclear war becomes feasible.
     
  14. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    11,613
    Likes Received:
    5,670
    Related Threads merged.

    Guys, please check if a thread already exist or not by using search feature. It takes only 5 seconds and reduces staff workload
     
  15. chex3009

    chex3009 Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    IL
    Wouldn't the Chinese nuclear deal do the same to pakistanis that US nuke deal has done to India, it would free up their domestic fissile material for producing Nuclear bombs.

    But with our announcement of inducting Arihant class Nuclear Submarines from 2012 onwards, they are fearing us like anything.

    Add to that certain statements coming from our Navy Chief that the INS Arihant will be on deterrent patrol from the day of its induction.

    Pakistanis are already panicking and producing these numbers at a faster rated before they are forced to sign FMCT.
     
  16. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    24,274
    Likes Received:
    11,283
    Location:
    BANGalore
    China will not be able to give pak a deal as it will not pass NSG. Without that there is no deal.
    Remember in spite of the deal india is not able to get uranium from australia. Pakistan can forget about it. And any deal without US and NSG sanction means no uranium at all from any uranium supplier. That's why pakistan is crying hoarse.
     
  17. captonjohn

    captonjohn Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    179
    That's just a number game and no need to worry much about pakistan's nuclear arsenal. All of these weapons are not deployed and to deploy these weapons they'll need to transport them to deployment location which will take time. Such actions can't be hidden from Indian eyes and we can have enough time to destroy these deployed weapons. Plus if IAF achieve total air superiority on pakistani region then it can easily destroy all radars and without radars how they'll direct missile to its target? India should focus on its air superiority ability and SEAD missions capability.
     
  18. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,711
    Likes Received:
    723
    Location:
    Bihar, BanGalore , India
    DO ballistic missiled need Radar guidance to hit the target ? If that's the case then I don't think Even china has Radars that covers whole India .
     
  19. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    24,274
    Likes Received:
    11,283
    Location:
    BANGalore
    Ballistic missiles don't need radar guidance.
     
  20. rizwan78

    rizwan78 Regular Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Messages:
    283
    Likes Received:
    110
    You should worry about the naxals mate, the separation movements and Hindu extremism are spreading very rapidly in India, imagine what happens if some of your ready made bombs falls in the hand of RSS fellows ?
     
  21. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,711
    Likes Received:
    723
    Location:
    Bihar, BanGalore , India
    Then Pakistan is finished for sure . Trolling apart why I always feel all pakistanis commenting here are always under influence of some kind of grass. Maoism is a problem and there is already very sincere effort to tackle them . many paramilitary units are trained in jungle warfare . AT least in India Army is not killing its own citizens like in Baloochistan and NWFP . Army believe in killing only pakistanis and pakistan trained terrorists .
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011

Share This Page