Home Australia China now has 500 nuclear warheads and its nuclear arsenal is growing “faster than that of any other country”, a think tank warns.

China now has 500 nuclear warheads and its nuclear arsenal is growing “faster than that of any other country”, a think tank warns.

0 comment
Xi Xinping has increased his country's nuclear arsenal from 410 to 500 in a single year (File image)
  • China has increased its nuclear arsenal from 410 to 500 in a single year
  • Experts said China was expanding its arsenal “faster than any other country.”
  • The Pentagon warned that China could have up to 1,000 by 2030

China is expanding its nuclear arsenal faster than any other major superpower and commands 500, a leading European think tank has warned.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute wrote in a report released Monday that Xi Xinping has increased his country’s nuclear arsenal from 410 to 500 in a single year.

The rise in nuclear weapons meant that “China is expanding its nuclear arsenal faster than any other country” in absolute terms, weapons of mass destruction expert Hans M. Kristensen told Insider.

North Korea has also increased its arsenal, going from 30 to 50 warheads in a single year, an increase of 40%.

It comes as the US Department of Defense warned that China could have up to 1,000 nuclear warheads by 2030.

Xi Xinping has increased his country’s nuclear arsenal from 410 to 500 in a single year (File image)

The rise of nuclear weapons meant that

The rise of nuclear weapons meant that “China is expanding its nuclear arsenal faster than any other country” in absolute terms (File Image)

The Pentagon said in a report on China’s growing nuclear powers: “These changes in the numbers, capabilities and readiness of the People’s Republic of China’s nuclear forces in the coming years are likely to outpace potential nuclear force developments.” of any competitor”.

While the UK has only 225 warheads in 2024, around half the weapons it controlled in the 1970s, the government announced earlier this year that it was developing a new warhead for its Trident missiles.

Currently, the Trident II D5 missile is manufactured in the US and is “docked” to British-made warheads at HMNB Clyde in Scotland after they leave Kings Bay, Georgia.

The government added that it was returning the Valiant supercomputer to service to help “validate the design, performance and reliability” of the new warhead.

The MoD stated in its March Defense Nuclear Enterprise Command Paper: “Replacing the UK warhead will ensure the UK deterrent remains state-of-the-art, secure and effective.”

But questions remain over whether the UK could even make good use of the new warheads, given the poor track record of the missiles they will be fitted to.

In February, then-UK defense chief Grant Shapps was forced to try to save face after a Trident missile failed during a test off the coast of Florida.

The missile’s first stage booster motor failed to ignite, causing it to fall and sink.

Shapps told Parliament that while he was at Trident to witness the “anomaly”, he insisted he had “reaffirmed the effectiveness of the UK’s nuclear deterrent”.

He stated that Trident remained “effective, reliable and formidable”.

But critics said the UK needed to rethink its nuclear submarine programme.

“The United Kingdom’s nuclear weapons program is not working and needs an urgent rethink,” David Cullen, director of the British monitoring group Nuclear Information Service, told CBS News at the time.

“This failure has occurred in a context in which the Navy struggles to maintain patrols (of the Trident submarine) and costs are skyrocketing.”

You may also like