With Israel keeping mum throughout the years over its nuclear program, a new report by a US think tank has revealed that Israel has amassed some 115 nuclear warheads since the country’s inception of its nuclear weapons program.
The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) revealed the findings in a November 19 report that claims Israel is in possession of approximately 660 kilograms of plutonium. The report finds that Israel began its production of plutonium in 1963 at its Dimona reactor, “the heart of Israel’s nuclear weapons production.”
The author concludes that based on the timeframe, Israel today would be in possession of 115 nuclear weapons, with each nuclear weapon needing between three to five kilograms of plutonium.
“Based on the total production of plutonium, the median for the number of nuclear weapons is about 165 with a standard deviation of 33 and a full range of about 90-290 weapons,” wrote former UN nuclear inspector David Albright. “Likely, Israel did not build this many nuclear weapons. A reasonable assumption is that the number of deployed weapons is 30 percent lower, or 115 nuclear weapons as of the end of 2014.”
According to Albright, Israel not only has an entire cache of nuclear weapons but “a wide range of delivery vehicles for its nuclear weapons.”
Beginning in the 1960s, with help from France, Israel first developed the Jericho ballistic missile capable of handling a nuclear payload. Since then, the country has developed “several improved missiles since then on its own, as well as nuclear-capable cruise missiles.”
Israel “also has aircraft that can deliver nuclear weapons and may have the capability to launch nuclear-tipped cruise missiles from its submarines.”
Israel has never confirmed nor denied possessing a nuclear weapons program and it not a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Albright acknowledges that the findings of the report are based on assessments and foreign reports.