Four of the Type 39B (NATO designation Yuan class) submarines will be built in China and delivered by 2023 while the remaining four will be built by Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW) and inducted into service by 2028.
It is speculated that the submarines will be called the Hangor class in Pakistan Navy. It has been named after the Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) Hangor, a French-made Daphne class submarine, which torpedoed and sank Indian Naval Ship (INS) Khurkri during the 1971 India-Pakistan war.
With the induction of these vessels, the number of submarines in Pakistan Navy service will nearly double, which at present stands at 10. India has 16 submarines − including one nuclear-powered attack submarine and one ballistic missile submarine − and is building five Scorpène-class submarines, known as Kalvari class in India.
The induction of the eight submarines will dramatically enhance Pakistan Navy’s underwater warfare capability and will form the basis of the country’s sea-based nuclear strike capability and complete the nuclear triad. The submarines will be used to deny Indian Navy and merchant ships access to the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean as a whole in event of war. The prime target of these submarines will be the crown jewels of the Indian navy, the aircraft carriers.
The submarines will be fitted with air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems, which make it possible for a submarine to stay underwater for extended periods of times without needing to surface and risk detection.
Nostradamus predicts a major eruption of Mount Vesuvius
French prophet Nostradamus is believed by some to have accurately predicted the rise of Napoleon and Hitler and the 9/11 Twin Towers attacks.Many researchers of the infamous prophet, who died in 1566, are also convinced he has correctly foretold the current barbaric acts being committed by ISIS in the Middle East including its bid to capture areas of Europe to fulfil its Caliphate.
Now people are looking at what his writings could foretell about 2018.
Alessandro Bruno wrote on Lombardiletter.com: “The Nostradamus predictions for 2018 are dire, as they include what might become World War 3.
“The Nostradamus WW3 predictions have gained traction because so many people feel helpless. They sense that the world is beyond their control and they feel that difficult times are ahead.
“Beyond the individual Nostradamus future predictions 2018, there is a common theme.
“Negative energy will intensify and accelerate with unprecedented intensity and speed.
“World War 3 news has become current again. That’s because most people are ignoring the fact that Russia and the United States have resumed a level of tension not seen since almost 30 years ago.
“Instead of diffusing it, Senators and congressional representatives in Washington are fuelling the risks.”
Nostradamus has predicted terrible woes for 2018, but people may live until 200.
The most chilling prediction for 2018 is from Nostradamus’ book Les Propheties.
It includes a quatrain that some have interpreted as describing the start of the third world war.
Nostradamus said: “The big war will start in France and all Europe will be attacked, it will be long and terrifying for everyone and then finally there will be peace but only a few will enjoy it.
“A war will start between the two great world powers and it will last for a period of 27 years.”
Some commentators have predicted China, Russia and North Korea will unite to take on the US.
2. Major eruption of Mount Vesuvius
The Italian volcano will “shake the earth every five minutes,” and at least 6,000 people will be killed, according to the prophecy.
In early 2016 more than 1.5million people were warned they are were living in the danger zone of the super volcano, which it was said could go off anytime -causing a global catastrophe.
Half of the three million people living in Naples were told they live within a new yellow danger zone of the Vesuvius supervolcano, the infamous peak which was responsible for the historic destruction of Pompeii in 79AD.
Rocky Mountains recluse claims to be prophet of God
He wrote: “An earthquake shall concern particularly the western area of the United States. Its power shall be felt in lands throughout the globe.”
Worryingly, the US Geological Survey (USGS) carefully monitors seismic activity in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, where there were a series of medium tremors in 2016, and two fault lines in California, including San Andreas.
Scientists say both the California fault lines and the Cascadia Subduction Zone are long overdue a major earthquake of magnitude eight or above.
They have revealed the Cascadia Subduction Zone is of most concern.
It runs about 60 miles offshore along the Pacific coast from northern California to Vancouver Island, so major cities including Portland, Seattle and Vancouver are within its tsunami range, threatening millions of people and major infrastructure.
In June, in a bid to mount pressure on the Europeans, Iran announced a plan to increase its uranium enrichment capacity with new centrifuges
Updated : July 17, 2018 22:43 IST
Under a 2015 agreement, Iran can only enrich uranium to 3.67 per cent (Reuters)
Tehran: Iran has filed a suit against the United States alleging that Washington’s decision in May to impose sanctions after pulling out of a nuclear deal violates a 1955 treaty between the two countries, the International Court of Justice said on Tuesday.
President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear pact with Iran reached by his predecessor Barack Obama and other world powers, and ordered tough U.S. sanctions on Tehran. Under the 2015 deal, which Trump sees as flawed, Iran reined in its disputed nuclear programme under U.N. monitoring and won a removal of international sanctions in return.
The ICJ, also known as the World Court, is the United Nations tribunal for resolving international disputes. Iran’s filing asks the ICJ to order the United States to provisionally lift its sanctions ahead of more detailed arguments.
“Iran is committed to the rule of law in the face of U.S. contempt for diplomacy and legal obligations,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a statement on Monday with respect to Tehran’s lawsuit at the ICJ.
Iran said in its filing that Trump’s move “has violated and continued to violate multiple provisions” of the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights, signed long before the 1979 Islamic Revolution that ousted the U.S.-allied shah and triggered decades of hostile relations with Washington.
The U.S. State Department could not immediately be reached for comment. In a suit filed by Iran in 2016 based on the same 1955 treaty, Washington argued that the ICJ had no jurisdiction. The court has scheduled hearings in that case in October.
The next step in Iran’s new suit will be a hearing in which the United States is likely to contest whether it merits a provisional ruling. The court has not yet set any date, but hearings on requests for provisional rulings usually are heard within several weeks, with a decision coming within months.
Iran has said both are non-negotiable and the other signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal including major European allies Britain, France and Germany, as well as Russia and China, remain committed to it.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei delivers a speech during his meeting with families of martyrs on Jan. 2, 2018 in Tehran, Iran. Khamenei said that the country’s enemies have meddled in recent protest rallies.
By JOBY WARRICK | The Washington Post | Published: July 15, 2018
Iran’s ambitious, highly secretive effort to build nuclear weapons included extensive research in making uranium metal as well as advanced testing of equipment used to generate neutrons to start a nuclear chain reaction, the documents show.
While Iranian officials halted much of the work in 2003, internal memos show senior scientists making extensive plans to continue several projects in secret, hidden within existing military research programs.
“The work would be divided in two: covert (secret structure and goals) and overt,” an Iranian scientist writes in one memo, part of a 100,000-document archive seized in a daring raid on a storage facility in Tehran by Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency in January.
The stolen documents contain no revelations about recent nuclear activity and no proof that Iran has violated the 2015 nuclear accord it reached with the U.S. and five other global powers. U.S. officials had long known of Iran’s pre-2004 nuclear weapons research, which the Obama administration cited explicitly in prodding Iran to accept the historic deal limiting its ability to make enriched uranium and placing its nuclear facilities under intensive international oversight.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has seized on the documents in recent weeks to launch new attacks against the nuclear deal, which Israeli officials say is inadequate for containing Iran’s long-term nuclear ambitions. The accord has been on life support since the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew from the pact in May. Iran says it is honoring the terms of the agreement and has no intention of building nuclear weapons.
A large team of Israeli experts has continued to mine the document trove for new revelations while simultaneously sharing the material with U.S. and European intelligence agencies as well as with the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, the U.N. watchdog in charge of monitoring Iran’s nuclear activity. Officials shared recent discoveries with a small group of Western news outlets last week, arguing that the newly uncovered evidence of Tehran’s advanced nuclear weapons research — along with its elaborate efforts to conceal the activity while preserving the technical know-how for possible future use — shows that Iran cannot be trusted. Iran has disputed the authenticity of the documents obtained by Israel, calling them forgeries. Officials at Iran’s U.N. mission in New York did not reply to a request for comment.
“This archive explains why we have doubts,” a senior Israeli official told U.S. journalists at the briefing in Tel Aviv. The official, like others involved, insisted on anonymity in discussing highly sensitive documents and intelligence operations.
Many U.S.-based weapons experts and former U.S. officials say Israeli critics of the agreement are missing the point. They say the new revelations show precisely why the nuclear deal was necessary.
“We were at the (negotiating) table precisely because we knew that Iran harbored ambitions to build a nuclear bomb, and we wanted a verifiable agreement to block those ambitions,” said Jake Sullivan, a former State Department official involved in early discussions with Iran over what would later become the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, as the nuclear deal is commonly known. “In my view, the recent revelations do the opposite of undermine the deal — they reinforce the need for it.”
The stolen documents shown to journalists are part of the same batch that Netanyahu heralded on April 30 in a dramatic televised presentation to make the case that “Iran lied,” as the prime minister repeatedly proclaimed that night. How they were obtained from a hidden storage facility in the middle of Tehran is only beginning to come to light.
There are nine countries that possess nuclear weapons. Five of these (the US, Russia, the UK, France and China) are members of the official owners club, who made their weapons early and had them legitimised in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signed in 1968, the key piece of international law governing nuclear weapons possession.
NPT has arguably been quite successful. In the 1960s it was widely anticipated that dozens of countries would get the bomb, as it appeared to be the fast track to clout and status on the world stage. But so far there have only been four rogue nuclear weapons states who ignored the NPT and made their own bombs. In order of acquisition, they are Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea.
Has any country ever given up its nuclear weapons?
More countries have given up nuclear weapons programmes than have kept them, coming to believe they were more of a liability than an asset for national security.
The apartheid regime in South Africa secretly built six warheads, but dismantled the bombs and abandoned the whole programme in 1989 just before the system gave way to democracy.
Even Sweden had an advanced and ambitious plan based on heavy water reactors to build up to a hundred warheads, but gave up the project in the 1960s, preferring to spend defence funds on fighter planes.
The military juntas in both Argentina and Brazil pursued covert weapons programmes, although they stopped short of making a bomb, and the two countries gave up their programmes in the early nineties and joined the NPT.
Taiwan and South Korea began developing plutonium production programmes in the late sixties and early seventies before the US persuaded them to halt in the mid-seventies and rely on Washington for security. Japan is generally considered to have a “bomb in the basement”, in that it has all the materials and know-how to build a warhead quickly if it decided to follow that path and leave the NPT. At present that course seems unlikely.
Three successor countries to the Soviet Union – Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus – inherited nuclear weapons in 1991, and all three agreed to surrender them, in Ukraine’s case in return for sovereignty guarantees from Russia that ultimately proved worthless.
In Iraq, Saddam Hussein dismantled his rudimentary nuclear weapons programme after the first Gulf war in 1991, and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi handed over his nuclear weapons beginner’s set to the US in 2003. Their ultimate fate offers little incentive for future despots to give up their atomic dreams.
How do you make a bomb?
It is pretty difficult to make a nuclear weapon. If it was not we most likely would no longer be here. And it is difficult on two levels: making the fissile material and then constructing a device that will detonate it.
Material is fissile when the nucleus of an atom can be split by a neutron that has broken free of another atom, producing large amounts of energy and more neutrons. When those free neutrons go on to split the nuclei of other atoms, there is a chain reaction, causing a nuclear explosion.
Uranium and plutonium are used for nuclear weapons, but only specific atomic configurations, or isotopes, of those elements are fissile. The fissile isotopes used in nuclear warheads are U-235 and Pu-239. The numbers refer to their atomic weights. The biggest single challenge in making a nuclear warhead is producing enough of these isotopes from the elements found in nature.
Following the uranium path to the bomb requires converting refined uranium into a gas and then spinning it at very high speed in centrifuges to separate out the U-235, which makes up less than 1% of naturally occurring uranium. This has to be done repeatedly through “cascades” of centrifuges. Low-enriched uranium, used in civilian nuclear power, is usually 3%-4% U-235. Weapons-grade uranium is 90% enriched or more. Building enough centrifuges, and getting them to spin fast enough in unison, is the greatest technical challenge along the uranium route.
Plutonium Pu-239 is produced in significant quantities by extracting it from irradiated uranium fuel that has been through a reactor. Because it is more fissile, less plutonium is required for a weapon. A sophisticated modern warhead requires as little as 2kg of plutonium, or at least three times that much uranium.
Once you have enough fissile material, you have to make it go bang. And to achieve that you have to force the atoms close enough together to trigger a chain reaction. There are two ways of doing this, and therefore two basic bomb designs.
The most rudimentary is the gun-type warhead, which involves firing one chunk of fissile material into another at high speed with conventional explosives. The Little Boy bomb dropped on Hiroshima was a gun-type device using 64kg of highly enriched uranium (HEU).
A more sophisticated bomb type, which requires less fissile material and allows the use of plutonium (which does not work in a gun-type warhead) is the implosion device, in which a sphere of HEU or plutonium is surrounded by explosives rigged to go off at exactly the same time to violently compress the core. The Fat Man bomb dropped on Nagasaki was an implosion device with about 6kg of plutonium.
It is a two-stage device – a primary fission bomb which detonates and compresses a secondary bomb filled with two heavy isotopes of hydrogen: deuterium and tritium (hence the name hydrogen bomb). They undergo a process of nuclear fusion, forcing the nuclei of atoms together and multiplying exponentially the amount of energy released by the device. All strategic weapons in modern arsenals are now thermonuclear, or hydrogen, bombs.
Whatever happened to nuclear disarmament?
The bargain at the heart of the NPT was that member states without nuclear weapons agreed not to acquire them, as long as the states with weapons reduced their obscenely large arsenals, capable of destroying the planet many times over. That has indeed happened, to an extent – at first as the result of arms control agreements, and then the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the end of the cold war.
From a peak of 70,000 nuclear weapons in the world at the height of the cold war, in 1985, there are now about 14,000, according to the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), still enough to end life on the planet. Then and now, the overwhelming majority (93% in 2018) of these warheads belong to the US and Russia, with between 6,000 and 7,000 apiece, although only about a quarter of those arsenals are deployed and ready for use. The rest are in reserve stockpiles or in the process of being retired and dismantled.
Of the second-tier nuclear weapons powers, again according to FAS estimates, France has 300 warheads, China 270, the UK 215, Pakistan 130-40, India 120-30, Israel 80, and North Korea between 10 and 20.
The last successful arms control agreement, the New Start treaty, was signed by Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev in 2010, limiting the US and Russia to 1,550 deployed strategic warheads each. The hope at the time was that the two nuclear superpowers would pursue a follow-on treaty and at one point Obama suggested he might reduce the US arsenal unilaterally by another third. But that did not happen.
What are the chances of a nuclear weapon falling into the hands of a terrorist group?
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US spent substantial resources on dismantling many of its weapons and production facilities as well as ensuring that its many nuclear scientists had alternative employment so as not to be tempted to sell their wares and expertise to the highest bidder. But serious concerns about nuclear weapons security remain. Pakistan in particular is a source of anxiety as its military and intelligence services have radicalised elements within them, with links to terror groups.
There are also fears that a cash-strapped or vengeful North Korea could sell one of its warheads for the right price. A more recent emerging threat is that a rogue group could hack into a nuclear power’s command and control computers, triggering a launch, or into an early warning system, giving the impression an enemy attack is imminent.
How likely is accidental nuclear war?
As the years have passed since the cold war, it has become increasingly clear that we had several lucky escapes from nuclear weapons use during that era as the result of miscalculation or technical glitches. For example, in 1979, when a US watch officer left training tapes in the early warning system when he finished his shift, those in the incoming shift saw their screens light up with the tracks of multiple incoming Soviet missiles. It was only good judgment of the duty officers that avoided a nuclear alert.
In such situations, if the glitch is not identified lower down the chain of command and passed upwards as a seemingly genuine alert, a national leader has only a few minutes to decide whether to launch his or her country’s missiles before the apparent incoming salvo destroys them. Nearly three decades after the cold war, the US and Russia still keep hundreds of missiles on hair-trigger alert, ready to launch within minutes, in anticipation of just an occasion.
In the US system, there is no institutional check or barrier to the president launching those missiles once he has identified himself to the Pentagon war room using his nuclear codes.
Arms control will be on the agenda when Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump meet in Helsinki on Monday. One option is that the two presidents could extend the New Start treaty by another five years, as allowed for in the agreement. The biggest barrier is Trump’s distaste for any arrangement inherited from Obama. It is more likely he would argue for a more ambitious arms control agreement he could put his own name to. But Putin will be hard to convince, without the US scaling back its missile defence system, and that is unlikely at the moment.
The threat of a conflict with North Korea has receded somewhat since the Singapore summit, but it is increasingly clear that Pyongyang has no intention of disarming any time soon. The big question is what will Trump do once that becomes apparent to him.
The chances of a nuclear standoff with Iran, meanwhile, are rising. In May, Trump walked out of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran, which curbed Iranian nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief. The US is now piling on sanctions and telling the world to stop buying Iranian oil. Sooner or later it is possible, likely even, that the Iranian government will stop abiding by the agreement and start stepping up its uranium enrichment and other activities. That is likely to raise tensions in the Gulf dramatically and make other regional players rethink whether to acquire nuclear weapons themselves.
The darkest day of the cold war produced some timeless comedy, from the classic movie of accidental apocalypse, Dr Strangelove, to the songs of the mathematician, musician and comedian, Tom Lehrer, with titles like So Long Mom (A song for WWIII), and in the UK, the civil defence sketch by Beyond the Fringe.
There are much darker works in the canon. On the Beach, in 1959, was the first major post-apocalyptic movie, in which survivors gather in Australia, the last continent left habitable. The Day After, in 1983, is even blacker. It starts with a nuclear blast obliterating a column of cars stuck on a highway as panicked people rush to try to evade the attack spreads.
More recent films, since the cold war, have dwelt on the threat of a single nuclear weapon detonated by terrorists or deranged geniuses or both. They include Broken Arrow (1996), The Peacemaker (1997) and The Sum of All Fears (2002), in which – because there is just one bomb involved – the detonation is no longer treated as an exctinction-level event. In that, art is following reality. The use of a nuclear weapon is now more likely than any time since the worst days of the cold war, but the probability of humanity being wiped out entirely by nuclear war is, for the time being, diminished.