The fact that Israel has nuclear weapons is controversial enough. The authorities of this state do not confirm or deny that they have nuclear weapons. Therefore, with a high degree of probability, it is assumed that Israel has such a weapon, and it is the 6th nuclear power in the world in terms of the number of warheads.
Israel's nuclear program
The history of the implementation of Israel's nuclear program began in 1952 with the creation of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission. In the early 60s, two nuclear research centers began functioning in the country as the executing mechanisms of the program. In 1963, with the help of France, a historic heavy-hydrogen reactor was built, making it possible to obtain weapon-grade plutonium for the manufacture of 5-10 warheads annually.
Israel's intelligence services are suspected of secret purchases and theft of nuclear fuel and nuclear materials from all nuclear powers in the world.
Israel has the means to deliver it in all three natural environments. The Air Force has aircraft with nuclear bombs and nuclear missiles, missiles with a monobloc atomic charge. The Israeli Navy has three diesel-electric submarines with nuclear missiles.
According to some reports, Israel had up to 200 nuclear warheads in 2006 and their production continues. Others say that by 2004 there were only 80 of them and after 2004 they were no longer produced. Even if the second sources of information are right, Israel is able to double the number of its own warheads in a short time.
Israel did not conduct its own nuclear weapons tests. However, in 1979, a nuclear explosion occurred in the South Pacific Ocean, accidentally detected from a satellite. And, although there is no direct evidence, science and the world community suspects Israel of it.
Components of Israel's nuclear triad
The ground component of the triad is represented by 16 Jericho-3 missiles with medium-range monobloc nuclear warheads (flight range up to 6500 km). Rockets move on transport vehicle platforms.
The air component of the triad is represented by two squadrons of F-15 Thunder fighters, each carrying two Gabriel nuclear cruise missiles. The number of aircraft in the squadron is 18, the total number of nuclear missile carriers is 36.
The triad's naval component is three Dolphin-class diesel-electric submarines, manufactured in Germany in the 1990s and equipped with containers for launching nuclear missiles. In 2004, Israel ordered the delivery of 2 more such boats. Sea-based nuclear missiles are Israel's own development, possibly based on the American Harpoon anti-ship missile. The range of the submarines is up to 8000 miles. The missile flight range is up to 950 miles.
In 2015, Israel tested a three-stage Shavit rocket designed to put satellites into low-Earth orbit. But, like all space rockets, it can be easily converted into a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of up to 7,200 km.