In this article, we will be looking at 10 countries with most nuclear weapons in the world. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of the global defense market, you can go directly to 5 Countries with Most Nuclear Weapons in the World.
The global defense industry is a rapidly growing industry. Countries around the world are investing in weapons and military equipment, with some nations investing heavily in nuclear weapons modernization and development. Nuclear deterrence remains a cornerstone of national security strategies, and this is creating significant opportunities for businesses involved in the weapons supply chain.
The Global Defense Industry: Key Trends and Developments
Several nations and international organizations are actively making efforts to dismantle the existing nuclear arsenal while also putting a ban on the design, development, and testing of nuclear bombs and missiles. Despite such efforts, a number of states around the world allocate a notable budget towards the acquisition, maintenance, and development of nuclear weapons.
While the nuclear weapons market is specifically focused on the development, production, and maintenance of nuclear weapons, it is a subset of the defense industry. The defense industry encompasses the development, production, and maintenance of weapons and equipment used by militaries around the world. According to a report by Business Research Insights, the global defense market’s value was estimated to be worth $2.15 trillion in 2021. The defense market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5% during 2021-2027, pushing the market to reach $2.89 trillion by the end of the forecast period.
In one of our previous articles about countries that export the most weapons in the world, we mentioned that technological advancements, government initiatives, military modernization programs, and growing internal and external security threats are all factors creating a positive outlook for the global defense market. Moreover, growing geopolitical tensions, especially between nuclear forces, such as the US, Russia, and China are driving market growth.
On November 2, Reuters reported that the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, signed a law to revoke Russia’s ratification of the global treaty banning nuclear testing. The report mentions that some Western arms control experts fear that Russia may be looking to test nuclear weapons in an attempt to intimidate and create fear in the middle of the Russia-Ukraine war. However, Russian diplomats have said that Russia will not resume nuclear weapons tests unless the United States does. Moscow also said that its pulling out of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is only to bring Russia in line with the US, which signed but never ratified the treaty.
According to a publication by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), nine states with nuclear weapons spent $82.9 billion in 2022. The Russian invasion of Ukraine also began in 2022. The spending witnessed an overall increase of $2.5 billion from the previous year. The US spent around $43.7 billion in 2022, which is more than the spending of all the other nuclear armed states combined.
A report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) also shows that the total global military expenditure increased by 3.7% to reach a record high of $2.24 trillion in 2022. The US, China, and Russia, were the three biggest spenders as they accounted for about 56% of the world’s total expenditure. The three of the largest spending countries also have some of the strongest armies in the world. Increased spending on weapons and equipment means that there are significant opportunities for corporations operating in the defense industry.
Major Players in the Global Defense Industry
The prominent players operating in the global defense industry include L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:LHX), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), and Raytheon Technologies Corporation (NYSE:RTX).
Based in the US, Raytheon Technologies Corporation (NYSE:RTX) is one of the largest aerospace and defense corporations in the world. On October 26, Raytheon Technologies Corporation (NYSE:RTX) announced that it is teaming up with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to build a manufacturing facility in East Camden, Arkansas, for the production of the Tamir missile for Israel’s Iron Dome Weapon System and its US variant, SkyHunter. The two companies have committed to a $33 million capital investment to construct the new facility. The facility, when operational, will produce missiles for the US Marine Corps as well as other allied partners.
On November 2, L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:LHX) announced that it has been awarded a contract worth $80 million from the US Navy to continue developing advanced systems to modernize electronic warfare (EW) capabilities on F/A-18 aircraft. Under the contract, L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:LHX) will be developing a next generation electronic warfare (EW) system for the Navy’s F/A-18 fleet while also upgrading pilot protection against emerging and future threats. The announcement also mentions that L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:LHX) has been providing innovative EW capabilities to the US Air Force as well as to other allied air services around the world for more than 60 years.
Winning defense contracts can generate significant revenue for defense companies. On September 25, Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) announced that it has been awarded an approximately $705 million contract by the US Air Force to deliver the Stand-in Attack Weapon (SiAW), an air-to-ground missile. During the next 3 years, the Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) will further develop the Stand-in Attack Weapon (SiAW) and conduct platform integration while also completing the flight test program for rapid prototyping in preparation for rapid fielding.
On October 26, Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) reported strong earnings for the fiscal third quarter of 2023. The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $6.18, surpassing EPS estimates by $0.38. The company reported a revenue of $9.78 billion and outperformed revenue estimates by $218.17 million.
Now that we have looked at what some of the major companies in the defense industry are up to, let’s take a look at 10 countries with most nuclear weapons in the world.
In this article, we have ranked 10 countries with most nuclear weapons in the world. To compile a list of countries with nuclear weapons, we consulted the Federation of American Scientists. This database provided us with a list of nine countries and their estimated nuclear warhead inventories. We also used a separate publication by the Federation of American Scientists that provided us with data on the 5 NATO members that host US nuclear weapons on their territory and their respective shares. We narrowed down our selection to rank 10 countries with most nuclear weapons in the world based on the number of nuclear warheads, which are listed below in ascending order.
10 Countries with Most Nuclear Weapons in the World
10. North Korea
Nuclear Warheads: 30
First up on our list of 10 countries with most nuclear weapons in the world is North Korea with an estimated 30 nuclear warheads. To demonstrate its nuclear capabilities, North Korea conducted its first nuclear test underground on October 9, 2006. All 30 nuclear warheads of North Korea are believed to be non-deployed and in the custody of the military.
Some of the top companies in the global defense industry to consider researching and investing in include L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:LHX), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), and Raytheon Technologies Corporation (NYSE:RTX).
Nuclear Warheads: 35
Italy is the only country in our list of 10 countries with most nuclear weapons in the world that does not produce or possess nuclear weapons of its own. Instead, Italy is one of five NATO members that host US nuclear warheads on their territory as part of a nuclear-sharing agreement. According to a publication by the Federation of American Scientists, Italy hosts 35 nuclear weapons as of 2022. Italy hosts the highest number of nuclear warheads out of the 5 NATO members that host US nuclear weapons on their territory.
Nuclear Warheads: 90
Israel does not admit nor deny having nuclear weapons, but it is universally believed to possess weapons of mass destruction. It is believed to be a nuclear-armed country despite not being recognized as a Nuclear Weapons State by the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Estimates made by the US intelligence community suggest that Israel has a nuclear stockpile of approximately 90 warheads.
Nuclear Warheads: 164
In 1974, India tested its first nuclear device as a peaceful nuclear explosion. According to the most recent reported data, India has an estimated 164 nuclear warheads. All the nuclear warheads of India are non-deployed and in the custody of the military.
Nuclear Warheads: 170
Pakistan became a nuclear weapon state when it conducted nuclear tests in May 1998, almost 24 years after India’s first nuclear test. India and Pakistan have a complex and often hostile relationship, despite the fact that both the countries are nuclear powers. With an estimated 170 nuclear warheads, Pakistan ranks higher than India on our list of 10 countries with most nuclear weapons in the world. Pakistan and India are also among the nations that are thought to be increasing their stockpiles.
L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:LHX), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), and Raytheon Technologies Corporation (NYSE:RTX) are some of the leading manufacturers of advanced weapons and military equipment.….CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>