SIPRI Current Affairs - 2020

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9 nuclear countries have total 14,935 nuclear warheads: SIPRI

According to updated count by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the number of nuclear warheads with nine nuclear countries has reduced from 14,935 at start of 2017 to 14,465 at start of 2018. These nine countries are United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. SIPRI is an independent think tank that uses open sources to compile such data since 1966.

SIPRI’s report Highilgihts

Out of 14,465 nuclear warheads at the beginning of 2018, 3750 are actually deployed. This compared with 14,935 warheads at the start of 2017. Russia (with 6850 nuclear warheads) and US (with 6450 warheads) hold 92% of world’s total nuclear warheads. However, they have long-term programmes under way to replace and modernise their nuclear warheads and nuclear weapons production facilities.

World’s nuclear powers are reducing their nuclear arsenals but they are also modernising, putting fresh and worrying focus on strategic deterrence. The reduction is due to arms control commitments by US and Russia in 2010 Treaty on Measures for Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START Treaty).

Britain has 215 nuclear warheads, France has 300, China has 280, India 130-140, Pakistan 140-150, Israel 80 and North Korea 10-20. These countries are either deploying or planning to deploy new nuclear weapons system. North Korea also demonstrated unexpected rapid progress in testing of two new types of long-range ballistic missile delivery systems for delivery of its nuclear weapons.

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India emerges as fifth largest military spender in 2017: SIPRI

According to recently released report of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India has emerged as fifth largest military spender in 2017. India had spent $63.9 billion on defence in 2017, an increase of 5.5% compared with 2016, when it was in the sixth spot overall.

Key Facts

Global defence spending: The world’s five biggest military spenders in 2017 are United States ($610 billion), China ($228 billion), Saudi Arabia (69.4 billion), Russia (66.3 billion) and India ($63.9 billion). They together accounted for 60% of global military spending. The total global military expenditure in 2017 rose to $1,739 billion, a marginal increase of 1.1% in real terms from 2016. It accounted for 2.2% of global gross domestic product in 2017.

India’s defence spending: It was higher than that of France ($57.8 billion), UK ($47.2 billion) and Germany ($44.3 billion) in 2017. It has grown in past decade for several reasons, including mounting salary bill for about 1.4 million serving personnel and pensions for more than 2 million veterans, projects worth billions of dollars to induct new warships, combat fighter jets, helicopters, artillery guns and infantry weapons and to enhance capabilities. India has been world’s largest weapons importer in last five years and arms exported by US to India during 2013-17 registered a 557% jump when compared to 2008-12.

China: It was second-largest defence spender globally in 2017. It had increased its defence spending by 5.6% to an estimated $228 billion in 2017. It defence spending share in global military expenditure rose from 5.8% in 2008 to 13% in 2017. It also accounted for 48% of Asian total and was 3.6 times that of India.


In Union Budget 2018-19, Government had allocated Rs. 2.95 lakh crore for military spending during 2018-19, down from Rs 2.74 lakh crore in 2017-18 budget. The military budget had slipped to just 1.57% of the GDP. The total figure includes Rs. 99,563 crore for buying new weapons and systems, which is up from Rs. 86,488 crore in previous fiscal. The budget had breached Rs. 4 lakh-crore mark after factoring in defence pensions (Rs. 1.08 lakh crore).


It in international institute based in Stockholm, Sweden. It dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. It was established in 1966. It provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources to policymakers, researchers, media and interested public.

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