Although Israel has possessed nuclear weapons since the 1960s, it maintains a policy of nuclear opacity, never officially confirming the existence of its nuclear program. Accordingly, Israel has never signed the NPT. Israel manufactures and deploys a diverse range of technologically sophisticated ballistic missile, cruise missile, and missile defense systems.
See Israel's performance in:
Region Middle East and North Africa
90 Estimated nuclear warheads
980 kg Approximate plutonium stockpile, potentially enough for 170-278 nuclear weapons
5 Dolphin-I and Dolphin II-class submarines operated, believed capable of launching nuclear cruise missiles
5,500+ km Potential range of the new Jericho III intermediate-range ballistic missile
- Believed to possess enough nuclear material to produce approximately 200 nuclear weapons
- No declared nuclear weapons tests, but believed to have conducted atmospheric test in cooperation with South Africa in 1979
- Opposes diplomatic efforts to establish a WMD Free Zone in the Middle East
- Non-membership in BTWC and lack of public commentary has led to speculation of offensive weapons capabilities
- Operates sophisticated biodefense program
- Adopted export controls on biological materials in line with Australia Group standards
- Domestically produces variety of missiles including sea-launched cruise missiles as well as short and long range ballistic missiles
- Employs a sophisticated multi-layered missile defense system, which includes the Arrow-2, Arrow-3, David’s Sling, and Iron Dome systems
- Considered unilateral adherent to the MTCR restrictions on missile exports
The Global Missile Defense Race: Strong Test Records and Poor Operational Performance
- Evidence suggests development of an extensive chemical weapons program in the 1950s
- Likely possesses capability to produce nerve agents, including binary agents
- Maintains active chemical weapons defense program
Overview of The CNS Missile and SLV Launch Databases
View interactive visuals, analysis, and data on ballistic missile and SLV launches by North Korea, Iran, India, and Pakistan.
Overview: Applying New Tools to Nonproliferation: A Nuclear Detective Story
Build Your Own “New Tools” Toolbox: A Guide to Open Source Nuclear Detective Work
Extensive resources on nuclear policy, biological threats, radiological security, cyber threats and more.
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI Yearbook 2020: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security, 44th ed, Oxford University Press, 2020. p 375.
International Panel on Fissile Materials, “Global Fissile Material Report 2022,” July 29, 2022, https://fissilematerials.org.
National Security Council, Memorandum, “Subject: South Atlantic Nuclear Event,” October 22, 1979 (Washington, DC, 1979), p. 1.
Avner Cohen, “Israel and Chemical/Biological Weapons: History, Deterrence, and Arms Control,” The Nonproliferation Review, Fall/Winter 2001, p. 40.
Magnus Normark, Anders Lindblad, Anders Norqvist, Björn Sandström, and Louise Waldenström, “Israel and WMD: Incentives and Capabilities,” (Umeå: FOI — Swedish Defence Research Agency, 2005), pp. 36-40.