How many nuclear warheads does Israel have?

Testing new rocket engine for Jericho rocket forced Iran to intensify its own program.

Tehran is concerned about the Israel’s “nuclear missile targeting Iran.” This statement was made by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. At the same time, the minister accused the West of the fact that neither the United States, nor Britain, nor Germany, nor France have ever condemned and do not condemn the existence of “the only nuclear arsenal located in Asia Minor.”

This statement was not the result of the activities of Iranian intelligence services. The successful test of the “new rocket-propulsion system” was reported by the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Israel. The tests were held at the military base of Palmahim and were planned. Engine parameters and specifications are not reported. It is not even known whether it is a modernization of the existing one or whether it is a completely new development.

At the same time, the Israeli media specified the meaning of these tests: the new engine can be used in long-range missiles such as “Khets” and “Jericho”.

But in this information you can see only one “nuclear missile aimed at Iran.” Because the “Khets” is a family of anti-missiles designed for inter-atmospheric interception of medium-range ballistic missiles. The latest modification of the Khets-3 air defense system allows interception at an altitude of up to 100 km. The complex is primarily designed to counter the Iranian Shahab and Sajil missiles. That is, it is a weapon of defense. But, it is clear that Tehran cannot please its improvement.

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But the improvement of the Jericho rocket is exactly what Tehran has outraged. This is an offensive weapon. And it is, indeed, primarily intended for the shelling of Iran. Moreover, like any Israeli offensive weapon, it is kept as secret as possible. Even more than the Chinese secret their weapons.

And this is absolutely understandable, because where there are missiles, there are nuclear warheads, the presence of which Israel categorically refuses to recognize. In this connection, the Iranian wording “nuclear missile aimed at Iran” is completely valid.

is what is known about the Jericho ballistic missile. True, it must be borne in mind that all this is not passport data, but information obtained from sources in the defense industry or from non-Israeli military experts.

There are three modifications of Jericho. The first appeared in the early 70s. The missile is single-stage, short-range – about 500 km. The thrown weight – 450 kg.

The second modification, adopted in the mid-80s, is more serious. The rocket has two stages. The range increased to 3,500 km, and the casting weight reached a ton.

And finally, in the middle of the zero years, a three-stage rocket Jericho-3 appeared. Data on it varies greatly. The range in various sources (official information does not exist) is indicated both as 4000 km, and as 5000 km, and as 6500 km. There are even allegations that this is an intercontinental missile, whose maximum range reaches 11500 km. At the same time, everyone unanimously claims that the third stage can carry 2-4 detachable individual guided warheads. And these blocks can be nuclear.

There is evidence that Israel is currently developing a more powerful Jericho-4 missile. So the new test engine is just for her and is intended. True, it is not entirely clear why Israel, which has exclusively regional opponents, needed an ICBM. For Iran, a medium-range missile is enough. Could Israel, in obedience to US secret plans, intend to exert pressure on China?

However, it would be more rational to assume that the goal of the new development is not to increase the range, but to increase the energy efficiency of the rocket. This is necessary in order to increase the ability to break through missile defense systems. Such techniques include reducing the active portion of the flight when the main engine is operating, and equipping the rocket with additional cargo, which includes both false targets and electronic warfare equipment.

And now about Israeli nuclear weapons. Tel Aviv does not refute, but does not confirm its presence. That is, he answers all requests in silence. At the same time, Israel has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The founder of the Jewish state, Ben-Gurion, since his election in 1948 to the post of chairman of the Israeli government, has repeatedly stated that only nuclear weapons will allow Israel to maintain its independence, surrounded by hostile states. And this became the most important point of the country’s development program, of course, not officially announced.

The real creation of nuclear weapons began with the installation of a 28 MW French nuclear reactor in the Nague desert near the city of Dimon in 1957. It allowed to receive 3 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium per year. Subsequently, the reactor was improved, and the output reached 10 kilograms per year.

Of course, Israel did not build the bomb on its own. In these years, French, Americans, specialists from South Africa, with whom Tel Aviv had cooperation, were involved in these works. As well as Jews who worked in the American defense industry, but moved to the holy lands.

There is two conclusive evidence that Israel was actively developing the bomb and, in the end, made it.

The American physicist Edward Teller, the father of the hydrogen bomb, and himself the Jew, has been advising Israeli nuclear colleagues for a long time since the beginning of the 60s. He visited Israel six times, where he not only gave lectures at Tel Aviv University, but also visited classified objects.

In 1976, CIA officer Carl Duckett, testifying to the US Congress, announced the existence of nuclear weapons in Israel. At the same time, he referred to the reliability of the information received from “one American scientist.” Many years later, in 1990, Edward Teller admitted that it was he who provided the information to the CIA.

The second certificate was received in 1985. Mordechai Vanunu, a technician at Moson-2 nuclear center who left Israel, handed over more than 60 photographs of classified objects to the British newspaper The Sunday Times, providing them with detailed comments. This material fully confirms Israel’s nuclear weapons. Moreover, in the center of Dimon there are capacities that produce thermonuclear charges.

Soon after, Mossad stole Mordecai Vanunu in Italy. A trial took place, the former technician was sentenced to 18 years in prison. He did not sit quite a bit. But in freedom, strict sanctions were imposed on him: a ban on leaving the camp, approaching foreign embassies, using the Internet and mobile communications, and talking to foreign journalists. He is obliged to notify the police about his every move around the country.

Well, the amount of indirect evidence of the creation of Israel’s nuclear potential is approaching three dozen. There are shipments by sea of ​​tens of tons of nuclear material, and hundreds of tons of uranium ore, and the transfer of finished fuses for the plutonium bomb, and documentation stolen by Mossad agents, and much more. Interestingly, with significantly fewer indirect evidence on North Korea and Iran, US guardians of international norms and agreements have long begun to accuse these countries of nuclear treachery.

Probably, by the end of the year, military unit 54160 with bad fame will be disbanded, and its commanders fired.

But there is absolute silence. Because secret agreements in which the interests of the United States are taken into account are much more important than international treaties and agreements. Shortly after the Congressional investigation into Israel’s bomb presence, Prime Minister Golda Meir flew to Washington. Closed negotiations took place with US President Richard Nixon. Their results were subsequently revealed by the director of the Washington Institute for Middle Eastern Policy Robert Setlof: “In essence, the deal was that Israel would keep its nuclear deterrence deep in the basement, and Washington would keep its criticism locked in a closet.”

And now, after more than half a century, this mechanism continues to work. But at the same time, Golda Meir once lucidly illustrated the situation: we do not have nuclear weapons, but if necessary we will use them.

In conclusion, what potential has so far accumulated in Israel. Of course, this is an assessment of experts who relied in their calculations on a number of indirect evidence, quite reliable.

American experts cite the dynamics of production and stockpiling of nuclear warheads. In the mid-70s there were 15, in 1982 – 35, at the beginning of the Gulf War of 1991 – 55. There is evidence that in 2004 the production of warheads was frozen, at that time Israel possessed 80 nuclear warheads.

Russia, on the basis of information obtained by the Foreign Intelligence Service, has slightly different figures – now Israel can possess from 100 to 200 warheads.

In 2013, the British specialized publication, The Nuclear Research Bulletin, wrote about 80 warheads. At the same time, Israel has accumulated materials from which up to 190 nuclear charges can be produced.

As for the power of warheads, it should be within 5 kilotons. That is, it is a tactical nuclear weapon.