India Launches Nuclear Missile Test As South Korea Preps Cruise Missiles For Retaliation

Tyler Durden's picture

Within the last few minutes, Bloomberg has popped up a few rather disturbing headlines - that for all intent and purpose have been totally ignored by the trading public at large (obviously WWIII is priced in).

  • India Test Fires Long-Range Missile Agni-V, CNN-IBN Says
  • S.Korea Deploys Missiles in Case of N.Korea Provocation: Yonhap 

So Asia in general is in major sabre-rattling mode tonight with the following comment: South Korea’s military will firmly and thoroughly punish North Korea for any reckless provocation, Yonhap cited Shin as saying. We choose 'not to play'.

Via Bloomberg,

April 19 (Bloomberg) -- South Korea’s military has deployed cruise missiles capable of hitting key nuclear and missile facilities in North Korea, Yonhap News said, citing South Korea Major General Shin Won Sik.

South Korea’s military will firmly and thoroughly punish North Korea for any reckless provocation, Yonhap cited Shin as saying


Via Deccan Herald,

India fires nuke-tipped ICBM Agni-5
Bhubaneswar, April 19, 2012, DHNS

The country's first long range inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) Agni-5 was successfuly test-fired from Wheeler Island, off the Odisha coast on Thursday.

The maiden test launch of India’s most advanced missile—Agni-V, was put off late on Wednesday evening by a day because of inclement weather conditions.

Official sources said the DRDO scientists who had been working hard for the test launch for more than two weeks  decided to call off the test during the last minutes because of heavy lightning in the sky on the north Odisha coastline.

The test firing of the indigenously developed ballistic missile has assumed significance because its success would push India into the elite club of the five militarily powerful nations -- US, Russia, UK, France and China who have the capability to develop and launch a nuclear capable inter-continental missile.

The 17.5 metre long missile weighing 50 tonnes can travel up to 5,000 km to hit a target carrying both conventional as well as nuclear warheads of 110 kg.

If defence sources are to be believed, the prominent  missile is scheduled for induction into the armed forces within the next two years. However, it had to be successfully test fired several times during the next one year before its scheduled entry into the forces.

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dark pools of soros's picture

Hillary said she'd piss on a spark plug if it would do any good..

Monedas's picture

Wasn't that a fire plug ?  Monedas  2012  Comedy Jihad Leg Raiser

rocker's picture

Who was it that gave India and Pakistan permission to have nuclear war heads in 2007, 2008.

Think about it. And who had Pakistan's leader in the white house who dressed in War Uniform.

And who hid Bin Laden in Pakistan. And who said Bin Laden really did not matter after the Iraq war.

Are not our War Mongering leaders a pitiful shame and dishonor to those who died, for nothing.

After Viet Nam, the saying we said, "It' don't mean nothing". 

Sort of like the Foot ball hero who our dear old U.S. government covered up how he died.

And his brother said. "He's Fucking Dead." Period. 

Footnote: Bambi is no better. Only Ron Paul gets this point and part.

Just like Afghanistan. We're teaching them to fight. Oh Yeah.

The people who have killed and ran out every other nation who entered thier country. Get it. Their Country. Not ours.

AldousHuxley's picture

US helped Pakis Russians helped India's socialists.

Now Pakis harbor Al Queda and India is firing shit on their own.


Go figure.


oh, and those evil Vietnamese? It is the latest trendy travel destination and some of the walmart clothes are made there.


yeah....pitting labor against labor is what elites do.

macholatte's picture


...will firmly and thoroughly punish [you] for any reckless provocation...


Sounds like something that high dollar S&M hooker said just before the lights went out.

Ah yes, the good old days.


Hobbleknee's picture

Al Queda is run by the CIA.

AldousHuxley's picture

US UK organized coup d'etat to overthrow democratically elected Iran's prime minister and installed a monarchy.

That's why iranians hate America.

to counter, Iraq's Sadaam Hussein was trained and armed by US to fight Iran

but Sadaam got tired of being a puppet and started to sell oil in blackmarket, so US got rid of him too.


CIA trained and armed bin laden to fight against USSR in Afghanistan.

But bin laden didn't like US boots in his homeland Saudi Arabia, so he started to hate America. US got rid of him too.


US UK backed king in oil rich Libya. Gaddafi did a coup d'etat and wanted African Union to adopt gold based currency supported by Libya's oil. US got rid of him too.


New World Order runs on petro dollar. US will get rid of world leaders not on board. Ayatollah Khomeini is next.





MrRadiologist's picture

Sup bro, you probably mean Ayatollah Khamenei right? Khomeini was the predecessor...and is dead.

CPL's picture

Those missile tests are for those in MENA that fail to understand that India needs that oil and will resurrect the spirit of Kshatriyas and the Khans to illustrate that point.


People forget that India wasn't taken by force by the British, they were hoodwinked and co-opted.  England would have never been able to put a foot into India otherwise, India has a huge army, not the most advanced then or now, but I would put money on a swarm of ants against an elephant any day of the week.  Fast forward 200 years.  India REALLY needs that oil and they are nuclear ready.


1.6 billion people in their population living in half the area of the US demand that the lights stay on.  Not request.  Demand.  India is older than Abraham older than the oldest recorded western history.  Between China and India, they find some of the weirdest shit, out of place technology, metropolises buried under dozens of forgotten cities.  The history is absolutely fascinating.  Anycase..


It's not a show of force to Pakistan anymore, both India and Pakistan are on the same side of the table for the same thing right now.  Iran's oil, water rights not withstanding with China and Pakistan.  To have water to provide national industries with water, you need energy.  And in their case, Oil and Diesel, both of which are in short supply.



TheDriver's picture

> The history is absolutely fascinating.

Indeed. I picked up a copy of The History of Pakistan by Iftikhar Malik not too long ago. It briefly touches on India as well since those two countries have been historically intertwined. As an American, it's almost difficult to understand the time scales on which the Indus Valley civilizations operate.

The History of Pakistan by Iftikhar Malik

CPL's picture

It's good read for those that like history books.  I enjoyed it, the author isn't preachy, clearly spoken and the source references are worth the cost of the book btw if anyone is thinking of grabbing it.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Nobody needed anyone's permission to go nuclear. Even Iran has been nuclear for a long long time.

The nuclear club is strategically placed, just enough to provide the needed "tension" as needed. It's said that India and Pakistan's Nuclear "tests' were damp squibs. A few rogue states, some that refuse to sign the NPT, the great mystery of Israel's stash.

The truth about nuclear technology is far more complex than shoving two pieces of highly radioactive material together and think the reaction runs away. Not at all.

It (the release of strong nuclear forces) is a resonant release, not an explosive one.

And India did not de-velop this Agni crap. All fed to the right hands by NASA's "public" mission. Any wonder India's missile man Abdul Kalam got to be President? 

Any wonder too that he is also Muslim? 

Just pure drama. The real weapons are mind-weapons this time around and even though it may be ketchup and rose water, it will seem much, much worse.



SgtSchultz's picture

About the only plug that she gets exposed to these days.

AldousHuxley's picture

only thing exploding in india is overpopulation.

Dr. Engali's picture

The whole worlds gone madd and the markets continue to rally.

HD's picture

Indeed mate.

I think the markets rally because the world has gone mad. If the markets were rational we'd be lucky to be sitting at DOW 10,000...

chump666's picture

They can't paper over a war.  Market is rallying on the 10yr Spanish auction, pricing in a yield drop.  But it might go the other way i.e take up with yields going up also.

FTW at the moment.  It's a pathetic, pitiful mess run by madmen.


DormRoom's picture

India & China will eventually go to war over water.

CClarity's picture

Not Pakistan.  Water wars of drinkable potable water and the waterways of where materials will channel.


Cathartes Aura's picture

the "water war" story grows,

Lahore’s The Nation newspaper on Sunday published an editorial entitled, “War with India inevitable: Nizami,” the newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief and Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust Chairman, Majid Nizami, asked his fellow citizens to prepare for a war with India over water issues.

and just read of a drought in England, they're having a "dry winter" it seems, how interesting.

Out9922's picture

Is WW3 going to start with the Koreans??  

xela2200's picture

That is where I always thought it would.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I'm going to Korea (S) next month!  Wait until after I get back!

AldousHuxley's picture

The 2 Koreas are technically still at war so it would be rehashing the Korean War.

Element's picture

Why DoChen?  Just think of it as an opportunity!  You could be a fully accredited and embedded reporter for zerohedge, with a front-row armoured personnel carrier based view on the opening phases of WWIII ... ... for a few minutes ... it really is the "opportunity of a lifetime!" * ...


* = on a short enough baseline    ;-)

Paul Atreides's picture

"The test firing of the indigenously developed ballistic missile has assumed significance because its success would push India into the elite club of the five militarily powerful nations -- US, Russia, UK, France and China who have the capability to develop and launch a nuclear capable inter-continental missile"

Bhubaneswar neglected to mention Israel...

Israel ICBM Missiles

Israel Nuclear Weapons Manufacturing

Monedas's picture

Israel to invoke the "Zimmerman" defense !  Monedas  2012   Comedy Jihad Ballistically Parabolic

Paul Atreides's picture

Sorry, chuckles here posted before I could fix the second link.

Here it is again: Israel Nuclear Weapons Manufacturing.

Element's picture

This report claims that 40 kg of Pu is enough for 10 nukes.

This is obvious glib theoretical nonsense at the practical and economic level.

Try five or six warheads--at best  (there are always Pu processing, metallurgical and core production losses as well).  Perhaps at best this amounts to 9 to 10 weapons per every two years.

Or 90 to 100 weapons in 20 years .. and that is only IF the reactor is actually capable of fully 5 times the original blueprint output specification ... which I seriously doubt ... where's the heat? ... how are they using it, and also releasing it. 

This reactor is in the middle of a the arid Negev DESERT ... see the problem (or rather, part of it)?

Given that this claim is clearly wrong, and greatly exaggerated (i.e. propaganda), what faith could we have in:

(a)   An Israeli MSM assertion that Dimona's actual performance is indeed 3 to 5 times more than the French design's specified potential?

(b)  That they could generate, separate, and also process 40kg of Pu per year into weapon cores since the mid-1960s?

How big would a Pu arsenal reasonably be, if these common-place assumptions are more or less false and wide of the mark?

I can't take this seriously at all.  Any one looking at the numbers will realise that the Israeli arsenal is certain to be dominated by uranium, not by Plutonium. 

Which should not be surprising at all, given the known case that the fissile materials within the arsenals of USA, Russia and UK are overwhelmingly dominated by uranium fissile contributions, and not by plutonium, as a fraction of the energy released from any bomb these have designed and produced since about 1960.

Also, Israel sought, and we know they received a supply of uranium feedstock from South Africa as quid-pro-quo for assisting with the development of the former Apartheid South Africa's simple but functional uranium A-bomb.

It is also known that Israel is one of just two countries that have hinted at, or in the case of Australia, actually physically demonstrated the success of a super-efficient laser enrichment process that is at minimum 20-times more efficient than any of the current operational second-generation centrifuge systems, now in use in all the formally declared or test-proven 'nuke-club' countries.

Have a look at the table in this link and the notes:


NOTE that with such solid-state (as opposed to mechanical) laser uranium enrichment, the size of the building used is NOT indicative of the significance of supply of uranium produced there-in, as this propaganda video asks one to believe (which is another sufficent reason to consider dis-believing such)

Functional laser enrichment plus sufficient feedstock equates to a potential for 'huge' numbers of uranium bombs to be present.

Potentially THOUSANDS of them, with enough feedstock, and who knows what other sordid weapons related deals the Israeli's have done, before and since, to secure a vast natural uranium yellow-cake supply?

(feel free to use your speculative imagination here kiddies)

One of the mineral species Israel is extracting from the Dead Sea's evaporites (i.e. salts deposits) is, you guessed it, a small but steady annual supply of natural uranium feedstock.

BTW, USA and IRAN both have extensive underground evaporite deposits, and resulting salt-dome structures and salf 'glaciers' or salt extrusions that 'erupt' vertically from strata due to density difference.

The point is, if you have to get uranium, you can -- it is literally everywhere.

Even if the uranium concentration in the salt is very low, if extracting it from the salt is cheap and also sufficiently fast, then yes, you can extract uranium in militarily useful amounts.

i.e. In sufficient amount to supply the Dimona reactor's fuel needs continuously (to make the Pu weapons from it), because then you don't have to use ANY of the uranium feedstock from the South African deal to fuel the Dimona reactor -- whatsoever!

You are thus free to instead use all of the foreign derived uranium supply solely for laser enrichment and warhead fissile and non-fissile needs.
I'm about 99.9% confident that this is exactly what Israel has done to maximise their weapon production.

i.e. the Dimona reactor and the Pu it produces is not the main-game -- everyone merely presumes it must be.

Think outside the box because you can be damn sure every secret State nuclear weapons program is not following the textbook case.

It is just blindsiding us to what is really going on, and to who is doing it.

If uranium is everywhere, what happens when efficent laser enrichment is also everywhere?

No one want's to face this, but it is happening anyway, just below the MSM's publically approved 'surface' of "nuclear issue" talking-head bollocks and assorted failed meetings and international agreements.

So get used to long-range missile tests as there are going to be MANY THOUSANDS more of these, from multiple countries, during this century.


PS: And yes, there will be a 'nuclear war' or rather, 'exchange', and contrary to popular myth, quite possibly more than one of them.


An addendum for consideration:


The Nuclear Weapon Archive - A Guide to Nuclear Weapons
"Nuclear Weapons Frequently Asked Questions"
by Carey Sublette
Section: Weapon Grade Plutonium
This term is used by the U.S. for plutonium with a Pu-240 content of less than 7%. Typical assays of weapon grade plutonium are given below. The first two are average assays of weapons grade plutonium produced at Hanford, and Savannah River in June 1968. The third is based on soil samples taken outside the Rocky Flats Plant in the 1970s, and is adjusted for the americium-241 also present (the decay product of Pu-241).


           Hanford           Savannah      Rocky Flats Soil
         (avg. 6/68)        (avg. 6/68)     (avg. 1970s)
Pu-238  less than 0.05%   less than 0.05%       trace
Pu-239           93.17%            92.99%       93.6%
Pu-240            6.28%             6.13%        5.8%
Pu-241            0.54%             0.86%        0.6%
Pu-242  less than 0.05%   less than 0.05%       trace

The U.S. has also produced supergrade plutonium with Pu-240 content of 3%, for use as an enricher for lower grade plutonium, and perhaps as an ingredient in special weapon designs. Some U.S. designs have required plutonium with a Pu-240 content as low as 1.5%.

An important question is what the designation as "weapons grade" actually means. The prevalent interpretation has been that this indicates that plutonium with a Pu-240 content less that 7% is actually required for successful weapon construction, or at least, there is a serious compromise of weapon performance above this level.

The Pu-240 content definitely does have weapon design consequences, since it determines the neutron background level and has secondary effects in increasing critical mass (slightly) and thermal output. The neutron background constrains the design by limiting the amount of plutonium included, and requiring implosion speeds above some specified threshold. As noted above, some U.S. weapons designs (presumably older ones) required low Pu-240 contents for these reasons.

However, it is now apparent that these issues are unimportant in advanced weapons designs used by the U.S. since at least the early 1960s [and let me just suggest here this is because they are now uranium based cores, or else an acceptable optimal mixture of Pu and U components to acheive the design's specific requirements]. Recently declassified government documents (WASH-1037 Revised, An Introduction to Nuclear Weapons, June 1972) make it clear that the designation "weapons grade" is purely an economic one. The cost of plutonium goes down the higher the Pu-240 content. On the other hand, the critical mass goes up with higher Pu-240 contents. Around the 6-7% Pu-240 level, the total cost of the plutonium in the weapon is at a minimum.

This does not mean that plutonium with higher levels of Pu-240 can be used in EXISTING weapon designs. These have been optimized for the use of a specific material and would probably suffer in performance if a different plutonium composition were used.

[i.e. you need to explosively test scores of bombs to delineate these parameters ... and let's not forget that Israel, Pakistan, India and DPRK haven't ... and the other nuke-powers really would like to keep it that way thanks ... (plus you must sew the public-domain data and knowledge with falsehoods to prevent people working things like this out too fast)]

Assuming an average composition of 93.4% Pu-239, 6.0% Pu-240, and 0.6% Pu-241 (with negligible amounts of other isotopes), the following properties of WG plutonium can be calculated. The initial heat output of freshly prepared WG-Pu would be 2.2 W/Kg, and the spontaneous fission rate would be 27,100 fissions/sec. This fission rate permits a weapon using 4-5 kg of plutonium to be assembled with a very small probability of predetonation by a good implosion system. Over the course of a couple of decades, most of the Pu-241 will decay into Am-241, eventually raising the heat output to 2.8 W/kg. Since Pu-241 is highly fissile, but Am-241 is not, this reduces the reactivity margin in the weapon slightly and must be taken into account in weapon design.

The neutron emission for a 5 kg of WG-Pu, 3x10^5/sec, represents an exposure of some 0.003 rad/hr at 1 m. This is reduced by the reflector [usually U238] and explosive surrounding it, a light-weight weapon might attenuate it by a factor of 5-10. The high RBE for neutrons on the other hand, enhances the risk. Constant close contact with a weapon during a normal work schedule would result in radiation exposures close to the annual occupational limit. Weapon plant employees who handle plutonium cores directly or in glove boxes have limited shielding and may need to be rotated to other tasks to keep exposures down.

Due to the small mass difference between Pu-239 and Pu-240, it has not been considered practical to strip Pu-240 by the common enrichment schemes used with uranium. This has been done for small quantities of plutonium using electromagnetic separation for research purposes. There is no major reason for a sophisticated nation to reduce the Pu-240 content below 6% since it still allows the construction of efficient, reliable fusion bomb triggers. [neutron triggering is a big deal and fine-tuned control of the isotopic mix present offers great control of this process] Very low Pu-240 content would allow some additional flexibility in weapon design, which may be desirable for specialized or exotic designs.

[i.e. very low radiation emission when in transit, very compact, light weight, but still packs enough punch, in a device the size of a can of peaches, to destroy virtually any military base on earth.]


Using uranium enrichment technology [like laser enrichment] to strip out undesirable isotopes is a real possibility. It is complicated by the presence of multiple isotopes, each separated by one atomic mass unit, compared to the 3 amu difference in uranium. In general this reduces the separation parameter (s - 1) by a factor of 3, and the separation capacity of a stage or plant by a factor of 9. Also a double enrichment process might be necessary. After separating Pu-240 and higher isotopes, a second enrichment might be needed to strip out Pu-238 (depending on the content of the starting material, and how objectionable the heating effect is). The toxicity, neutron emission, and self-heating of the feed, waste, and product would also complicate enrichment operations, compared to uranium. [but a comparitive piece-of-cake for a SILEX based system]

On the other hand the amount of feed that must be processed to produce a bomb is more than two orders of magnitude smaller than natural uranium. This is due both to the high Pu-239 content (60-70% compared to 0.72%), and the smaller critical mass required (6 kg vs 15 kg). Even with the complications mentioned above, an enrichment plant for upgrading reactor plutonium would be much smaller than a natural uranium plant regardless of the technology used. [and for a SILEX type system it would be tiny and escape detection fairly easily]  This material must thus be considered a serious proliferation risk on the national level.



In other words, zh'ers, the latest laser uranium enrichment tech, like SILEX, not only makes for very capable clean uranium munitions in large numbers, technically, economically and militarily viable, plus available much faster than anyone ever dared dream (nightmare!) might be possible ... SILEX-type technology also enables a potential to create extremely small, extremely light, but still high-performance nuclear munitions into a reality, that is CHEAP, ABUNDANT, AND MADE QUICKLY.

Small enough to be hidden inside a slightly modified engine-block of a car.

i.e. This will not need a heavy missile, AT ALL, to be delivered across a continent.  

But one heavy missile could potentially act as a type of nuclear "cluster-munition" (going way beyond the MIRVed warhead notion). 

A small wave-powered robotic autonomous mini-sub could also deliver a nuke, or several, inter-continental distances. 

Or just from a ship, in international waters, to a shore ~300km away.

Sorry to spoil your day folks, but you should understand that there are A-bombs, and there are SUPER A-bombs, so small as to be generally undetected, simple by design and operation, so that if you see it you won't ever suspect it's a 1 kiloton nuke let alone something especially unusual.

Perhaps a set of lawn bowls, or the oil filter fitted to your car.

We need to realise this is not future fiction, this capability is here NOW.


i.e. grow a brain Washington, stop talking shit and talking down to everyone, and for Christ's sake, leave North Korea the fuck alone-- you can not 'contain' them, nor any other potentially or actually nuclear-armed state.


Paul Atreides's picture

The Dimona heavy water reactor and an installation for processing irradiated fuel are used to produce weapons-grade nuclear material. Approximately 2,700 scientists, technicians, administrative staff, and other workers are employed at Dimona. Since the facility was constructed in the late 1950's the surrounding land has been altered to sustain groves of palms and gardens positioned to obscure the facility from the road and air.

Begining around 1958 with French assistance, Israel constructed a natural uranium, heavy-water, research reactor at Dimona in the Negev Desert, about 8.5 miles from the town of the same name and some 25 miles from the Jordanian border. The Dimona facility was constructed in secret and is not under international inspection safeguards. The facility was first noticed by American intelligence when U-2 spyplanes overflew Dimona in 1958. It was not conclusively identified as a nuclear site until two years later. This reactor, nominally rated at 26 megawatts thermal, was put on line in early 1964. However according to Pierre Pean, French officials were surprised to discover that the cooling circuits designed to support three times the nominal power level, which permitted a scale-up to 70MWt without the addition of extra cooling circuits. If true, the power level of the reactor was reportedly 70MWt from the outset. Perhaps the power level has been increased to 150MWt some time after 1976, according to Barnaby.

An installation for processing irradiated fuel was completed with French assistance in the mid-1960s. Between 15 and 40-60 kilograms of fissionable plutonium can be processed annually. This facility probably has the capacity to produce plutonium for five to ten nuclear warheads a year.

In 1986, descriptions and photographs provided by the Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu were published in the London Sunday Times of the Dimona facility. This information supported the conclusion that Israel had a stockpile of 100 to 200 nuclear devices, a significantly larger nuclear capability than previously estimated.

25 years ago Israel had 100 - 200 nuclear devices, add the production totals for the last 25 years and you are looking at an arsenal of somewhere close to 500 warheads (many of them being 2 staged plutonium cored and tritium boosted).


Element's picture

A few thoughts and observations:

First; I do not trust these people to ever tell the truth;

(1)  Any formal or informal Israeli source ... this of course includes Vanunu, Vanunu, and that other guy Mordechai Vanunu.

(2) Any formal or informal French source ...this includes French officials and plant construction insiders.  This was a bomb program, one that needed to be hidden or at least deniable for as long as possible, so the Dimona security was assuredly solid, and I doubt there are people around who, if they knew anything, would be silly enough to tell the truth. But they may accept a lot of money to tell a few pork-pies about it, ... for the edification of the masses.

Second; the combination of detailed admissions of the formed Apartheid regime regarding Israeli development assistence of their nuclear weapon plus the "VELA Incident", which was fully consistent with a two-stage nuclear weapon detonation, is sufficient corroboration and circumstancial support to presume that Israel had a functionally confirmed Two-Stage thermonuclear munition by 1979. Therefore any official confirmation (given or gleaned just two years ago) is a belated accessory to these already known facts, that previously revealed that Israel had nukes.


Israel has also admitted that it offered to sell and also further develop it's early Jericho ballistic missile technology with South Africa as part of this real-politic quid-pro-quo.


Thirdly, I don't dispute the very high numbers of warheads that MAY be present (but let's not just assume they are present), indeed I pointed out that if Israel has a high-performance laser uranium enrichment tech then there could potentially be several thousand of these, if sufficient uranium oxide feedstock was secured over the decades.  What the South African dealings revealed is that Israel was seeking such a uranium oxide stockpile, and it was even prepared to secretly proliferate actual nuclear weapon design capabilities to a second country in order to obtain the uranium (though they now publically deny the particulars of any such deal, of course ... it really doesn't look good...).

For example, after the Vietnam war and the Indonesian invasion of East Timor and West Papua if Israel had at that time offered Australia a complete, functional and deliverable two-stage warhead (with the initial tritium supplied) and all design details for it's manufacturing, the technologies, processes and hardware involved, then I have no doubt whatever that Canberra would have secretly jumped upon such a real-politic deal, with both hands.  Wherein Israel would receive more than enough uranium for 25 or 50 years of supplies.  Documents were in fact released under the 30-year rule during the mid-1990s that provided explicit details on how in the late 1960s the Australian Govt actually ordered a mandatory diversion of fully 50% of all uranium oxide production for export every year, in order to acquire a national stockpile of uranium feedstock, from which nuclear munitions would be produced in the event that anti-proliferation was deemed to have failed, or if Australia was considered to be under direct strategic military threat.

Thus supplying Israel with sufficient uranium for its needs via any such a deal, would indeed have been able to occur unseen and undetected by the usual international suspects.  There is no evidence that such a deal ever occurred but this is the sort of mutually beneficial arrangement that Israel would have been looking to develop with a country like Australia.  The South African dealings and VELA incident revealed that Israel was not just prepared to develop such an arrangement, but that Israel did in fact go down this path (and did knowingly proliferate nuclear weapons in the process).

Thus I feel it is reasonable to expect that Israel made more than one such deal of swapping bomb design tech for a natural uranium feedstock supply.

Thus laser-enrichment (where-in Israel is known to have developed such a system) plus a large supply of uranium thus equates to a very large A-bomb arsenal, but one dominated by pure HEU bombs, or rather, a combined Pu (core neutron triggers) and HEU as the major fissile and tamper components.

Fourthly:  It is more likely that the Dimona reactor's operation is necessary for the generation of;

(1)  Neutron emission triggers.

(2)  Dimona's uranium 'burn' is heavily optimised for continuous primary production of TRITIUM -- and thus NOT ideal for primary production of a useful plutonium isotopic percent mix needed for sophisticated compact weapons.

(3) That the production of plutonium at Dimona would necessarily be a very much secondary military and economic consideration, compared to that of (1) and (2).


Hence my general conclusion that Israel's arsenal may be much larger than almost anyone expects, and that it will be very much dominated by HEU, and that in fact, Israel could conceivably have approximately-zero operational Pu-based warheads right now, in 2012.  It simply doesn't need them because if they have a SILEX-type technology, and they have secured a large national stockpile of uranium oxide feedstock, then they could build up an obscene number of warheads in just one decade of it's operation.

Thus the true key to understanding Israel's arsenal and it's likely practical operational size, is not in speculations about how many they might have, but in identifying these two core things:
(a) determining how much uranium oxide they have secured.
(b) and how much TRITIUM Dimona could have produced, per year (given that tritium has a half-life of twelve and a half years).
i.e. after that timeframe, half of whatever tritium you had made at dimona had already decayed away, so tritium has to be constantly replaced by new production batches from a reactor, and the operational weapon arsenal on missiles has to have their tritium canisters regularly recharged, every few years, or else their designed yeild performance would fall away sharply, as the tritium continued to decay away, over say, 25 years.

Constraining the bounds to those questions would provide some upper-limits on how many thermonuclear weapons Israel could FUCTIONALLY OPERATIONALLY MAINTAIN on a sustainable year-to-year basis.

And I suspect that number is much lower than most people presume today (thus the number of genuine high-yield weapons would be proportionally smaller).

However, such low-yield single-stage HEU A-bombs could potentially exist in numbers around one thousand or more.

And that is why it's a dangerous mistake to presume that the Israelis were foolish and short-sighted enough to build a typical textbook "Pu arsenal" at Dimona, from its fuel rods, as that resulting arsenal would be smaller, very much more expensive, and much slower and more risky, not to mention toxic to create than a HEU based alternative.

Hence I think the Pu reactor fuel-rod based path to Israel's standing arsenal today is largely an un-insightful and befuddling myth, a NET glib product of MSM window-dressing that is placed over a complex technical, military and intrinsically economic and environmental issue, within such a small Jewish State.


And also, that if they had put so much effort into laser developments, this was because they fully grasped the fact that HEU was the ideal path to a larger cheaper and also high-yielding nuclear arsenal, as it implicitly freed-up Dimona to be used to make tritium in a most cost, volume and time efficent manner, instead of being solely optimised to breed weapon-grades of plutonium's isotopic abundance. 

They would likewise have understood these numerous technical, operational and economic pitfalls that would come from building and maintaining, plus periodically re-manufacturing and replacing in service a permanent standing Pu-based nuclear arsenal.


CPL's picture

Well sayd.  Long but worth the read.

LongBallsShortBrains's picture

.... My head hurts from reading that...

I think I'll buy another cow before WWIII AND WWWIV

caconhma's picture

For all practical purposes, Israel has no capabilities and/or manpower to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Almost everything Israel has in the missiles area (as well as in most other areas), Israel has gotten from the USA and England. Do you know that a Delta IV missile used for launching US spy satellites cost more than $1B a pop? Now, you can guess how many billions went on it development. So, Israel can develop and build an intercontinental missile? Get real!

As for satellite technologies, only Hugh Aircraft and Lockheed can build quality satellites in the Western world. Now, for God sake, don’t tell me that Israel can do it.

Note that "US, Russia, UK, France and China who have the capability to develop and launch a nuclear capable inter-continental missile". Israel can only launch! This is a humongous difference.

Paul Atreides's picture

Israel manufactures both its Jericho launch systems and it's thermonuclear warheads internally. Check the original sources I posted and argue those sources instead of babbling on about delta IV costs.

caconhma's picture

I spent more than 20 yrs in this business. I know what I am talking about.

You can count on your fingers Jews working in UTX, LMT, BA. And I am talking about places with tens of thousands employees.

I did meat some Israeli scientists/engineers. They talk "Big" but most of them are POS.


5-10% of all US scientists/engineers working on US classified programs are Chinese. Do you see what I mean?

Paul Atreides's picture

I totally with you on this, most of the designs and technology was stolen from eslewhere.

Randall Cabot's picture

India doesn't need ICBMs against Pakistan so this must be a big fuck-you to China or israel.

Monedas's picture

Do the Indians hate the Jews, too ?   Monedas  2012   Self Anointed Spokeshole For The Jewish Peeples

LowProfile's picture

Indians are Asians, so if this thing breaks down along ethnic lines it will be them vs. the Semitic races (Arabs & Jews against Persians and Asians).

But who really fucking knows.  "Civilian" maniacs are in control, best we can hope for is that a few generals grow a set of scruples and pull off a coup.


Junk me if you want, but those are the races in question, bitchez.

And IMO a general with scruples bringing a "full stop" is a good thing.

Ghordius's picture

you mean "races as seen with Western eyes"

chump666's picture

It's China.  Goggle Vietnam disputed waters re: China and India.  100% tensions will increase now.  China may allow Nth Korea to issue a f*ck you to the west.

Paul Atreides's picture

Actually it's G7 versus the BRICS, it's over the control of the worlds financial system (Bretton Woods/Swift/US reserve currency) and it is not allowed to be discussed in the media.

merizobeach's picture

If we're gonna get technical, it's 'Government vs. You'.

Colonial Intent's picture

WW3 will begin in the spratleys.

Calmyourself's picture

More specifically the Spratly Islands and the oil underneath them.  Vietnam and China are historical enemies as well as the Indians and Chinese. 

Iwanttoknow's picture


israel is a major arms exporter to india.

Hansel's picture

These brown people are fine.  And their brown neighbors are ok too.  It's those other brown people who can't have nukes.  /stupid