2021 estimate of nuclear weapons held by all nuclear powers.

The missile trailer located in the compound of the Oscar -01 launch control facility at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force). No date or further attribution attached to photo. (Note – if the access door is open and missile transport is getting ready, that is actually a launch facility, not and LCF.)

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute publishes a huge yearbook every yeare. I just learned about this. Yeah, yeah, I’m slow to catch on. I know. That’s why I’m writing this blog – to slowly catch on.

Anyway, I will not be buying the new edition because it runs about $100. Recent copies will run $60-$150 on eBay so will not be getting any of those. Copies 10 years or more from the past can be had for under $10. Might get one of those.

On 6/14/21 SIPRI announced release of their hot-off-the-press 2021 edition. Scroll to the very bottom of the linked page and you can see a link to a free copy of chapter 10 on World Nuclear Forces.

Following tables slice and dice information in the press release and chapter 10 for their estimates of world nuclear forces as of January 2021.

In the following tables, “deployed” is estimate of the deployed warheads either placed on missiles or located at bases where there are operational forces, which would allow rapid loading of the weapons.

“Other” means the warheads which are stored, reserves, or retired awaiting disassembly.

A foot note reminds us the British previously had an announced goal of dropping their inventory down to 180 but they announced this year they will increase the ceiling to 260.

The estimates for North Korea are guesses on how many weapons could be built based on the amount of fissible material they have produced.

Our weapons, along with our closest strategic allies:

 Deployed  Other  2021 total 
 USA         1,800        3,750        5,550
 UK            120           105           225
 France            280              10           290

Our primary adversaries:

 Deployed  Other  2021 total 
 Russia         1,625        4,630        6,255
 China            350           350
 North Korea  (40-50)  (40-50) 

The three other nuclear powers:

 Deployed  Other  2021 total 
 India            156           156
 Pakistan            165           165
 Israel               90              90

Here’s a recap of our inventory and our two primary adversaries:

 Deployed  Other  2021 total 
 USA         1,800        3,750        5,550
 Russia         1,625        4,630        6,255
 China            350           350

Here’s the current year change in the estimated inventories, showing 2021 compared to 2020:

 2021 total  2020 total 
 USA         5,550        5,800
 UK            225           215
 France            290           290
 Russia         6,255        6,375
 China            350           320
 India            156           150
 Pakistan            165           160
 Israel               90              90
 North Korea  (40-50)  (30-40) 

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