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UK raising cap on nuclear warheads

UK raising cap on nuclear warheads
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The British government announced on Tuesday that it is raising the number of nuclear warheads in its stockpile, citing moves by other nations to increase their own arsenals.

A report released by the British government said that its stockpile would now be capped at 260 Trident warheads, up from a maximum of 180. In 2010, the United Kingdom decided to cut the stockpile from 225 to 180.

"In recognition of the evolving security environment, including the developing range of technological and doctrinal threats ... the UK will move to an overall nuclear weapon stockpile of no more than 260 warheads," officials said in the report.

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The government will maintain the "minimum destructive power needed to guarantee that the UK's nuclear deterrent remains credible," they added.

Other parts of the report detailed ongoing security threats. Officials named Russia as the U.K.'s No. 1 adversary while also warning about ongoing danger from terrorism related to Islamic extremism as well as Northern Ireland.

"The review describes how we will bolster our alliances, strengthen our capabilities, find new ways of reaching solutions and relearn the art of competing against states with opposing values," Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday, according to the BBC.

The development comes just a few months after a Pentagon report indicated that China was increasing its nuclear stockpile with the goal of storing as many as 400 warheads.

The Biden administration earlier this year moved to extend the New START Treaty with Russia, which limits the two nations to 1,550 nuclear warheads on deployed missiles or bombers.