Accession Number:



Global Nuclear Landscape 2018

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

Defense Intelligence Agency Washington United States

Personal Author(s):

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Five themes in foreign nuclear development and proliferation are 1. Increasing numbers or capabilities of weapons in existing programs. 2. Enduring security threats to weapons and material. 3. Countries developing new delivery systems with increased capabilities. 4. Countries developing nuclear weapons with smaller yields, improved precision, and increased range for military or coercive use on the battlefield. 5. Countries developing new nuclear weapons without conducting large-scale nuclear tests. Examples of these themes include - Russia, China, and North Korea are increasing stockpiles of nuclear weapons and enhancing delivery systems. - Nuclear use doctrines, smaller nuclear weapons, growing stockpiles, and the movement of additional weapons and material increase opportunities for theft or diversion. - As multiple countries, particularly those with less established weapons programs, seek to build ever smaller and more sophisticated nuclear weapons, their technical ambitions may lead to compromises in safety which, taken with the increasing size of stockpiles, could make a weapons accident more likely. - North Korea is developing a wide variety of new delivery systems, and China is developing a mobile missile with multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles MIRVs. - In order to counter missile defense, countries are developing new categories of weapon systems. China and Russia are developing hypersonic glide vehicles, and Russia is probably developing a nuclear-armed, nuclear powered underwater vehicle. - Since the turn of the century, North Korea has been the only nation to have conducted large-scale nuclear tests, but other countries are also developing new nuclear weapons without conducting large-scale tests.

Subject Categories:

  • Nuclear Weapons

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