Sunday, November 28, 2010

Israel Nuclear And Biological Weapons

Isreael Nuclear Weapons And Plutonium

Jericho-3 ICBM
This chart summarizes data available from public sources. Precise assessment of a state's capabilities is difficult because most weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs remain secret and cannot be verified independently.

Most public estimates range between 100-200 weapons (e.g., Amy Dockser Marcus, "Growing Dangers: U.S. Drive to Curb Doomsday Weapons In Mideast Is Faltering," Wall Street Journal, 9/6/96, p. A1), but one analyst concludes that "the Israeli nuclear arsenal contains as many as 400 deliverable nuclear and thermonuclear weapons." Harold Hough, "Could Israel's Nuclear Assets Survive A First Strike?" Jane's Intelligence Review, 9/97, p. 410.

Israel's nuclear capability is by most accounts quite sophisticated, and may include "intercontinental-range, fractional-orbit-delivered thermonuclear weapons; thermonuclear or boosted nuclear-armed, two-stage, solid-fuel, intermediate-range ballistic missiles with a range of 3,000km; older, less accurate, nuclear-armed, theatre-range, solid-fuel ballistic missiles; air-deliverable, variable-yield, boosted nuclear bombs; artillery-delivered, enhanced-radiation, tactical weapons; and small nuclear demolition charges."

Sophisticated nuclear weapons program with an estimated 100-200 weapons, which can be delivered by ballistic missiles or aircraft. Nuclear arsenal may include thermonuclear weapons.

IRR-1 5MW research reactor at Soreq, under IAEA safeguards. IRR-2 40-150MW heavy water reactor and plutonium processing facility at Dimona, which are not under IAEA safeguards. Not a signatory of the NPT; signed the CTBT.

For future Plutonium production projections, it is assumed that the Dimaona reactor will maintain a power of 40 to 70 MW(t), and produce about 8.8 to15 kg of Plutonium per year. It is also assumed that each warhead requires an average of 5 kg of weapon-grade Plutonium.

Based on the Plutonium production estimates, and the estimate of 5 kg per warhead, Israel could have constructed between 52 and 94 warheads up to the end of 1990, and could have produced another 24
weapons in 1991.

Shavit Missile
The most recent version of the missile seems to be a two-stage, solid-fuel propellant with a range of up to 900 miles (1,500 kilometers) with a 2,200 pound payload.

There are reports that Israel is developing a Jericho III missile, based on a booster it developed with South Africa in the 1980s. Jane‘s estimated that the missile has a range of up to 5,000 kilometers and a 1,000-kilogram warhead. This estimate is based largely on a declassified Defense Intelligence Agency estimate of the launch capability of the Shavit booster that Israel tested on September 19, 1988.

Israel Biological Weapons

Production capability and extensive research reportedly conducted at the Biological Research Institute in Ness Ziona. No publicly confirmed evidence of production. Not a signatory of the BTWC.
Isreal Ballistic missiles
Israel launched a Jericho II missile across the Mediterranean that landed about 250 miles north of Benghazi, Libya. The missile flew over 800 miles, and U.S. experts felt it had a maximum range of up to 900-940 miles (1,450 kilometers), which would allow the Jericho II to cover virtually all of the Arab world.

1. Approximately 50 Jericho-2 Medium Range Ballistic missiles with 1,500km range and 1,000kg payload, nuclear warheads may be stored in close proximity.

2. Approximately 50-100 Jericho-1 Short Range Ballistic missiles with 500-1,000km range and 500kg payload.

4. MGM-52 Lance missiles with 130km range and 450kg payload.

5. Shavit space launch vehicle (SLV) with 4,500km range and 150-250kg payload.

6. Unconfirmed reports of Jericho-3 program under development using Shavit technologies, with a range up to 4,800km and 1,000kg payload.

7. Developing LK-1 and LK-2 (Shavit upgrades) with 350kg and 800kg payloads, respectively.

Israael Cruiser Missile

1. Gabriel-4 anti-ship cruise missile with 200km range and 500kg payload.
2. Harpoon anti-ship cruise missile with 120km range and 220kg payload.
5. Alleged Popeye Turbo air-launched cruise missile with 200-300km range and unknown payload.

Shavit-1Missile Up to Shavit-3 Missile


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