LONDON (Nov. 18)
Israel, along with Japan and India may soon join the nuclear club, it was speculated here in a report in Jane’s Weapon Systems an authoritative but unofficial British publication. The latest edition of this publication quotes reports that Israel has produced a new 300-mile missile, the Jericho, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
According to reports from Washington, the magazine reported, the Jericho was being produced on a small scale basis in Israel. It has a warhead capability of between 990 and 1,540 pounds. “From this it is argued that a nuclear payload is probable,” the report stated. It added, however, that the existence of the Jericho has not been authenticated and that Israel has frequently asserted that it would not introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East. “But there is little doubt that if it were considered by Israel that such weapons were needed, they would be forthcoming,” the magazine article stated.
Jane’s also reported that the Soviet Union “now has the initiative in weapons technology,” which is considered “a potential source of disturbance of the relative balance that exists between the major nuclear powers.” Among the reported advances is a new supersonic bomber with low altitude supersonic capability. The US has an equivalent bomber project on the drawing boards.