Report: Pak builds new underground facility to store nuclear weapons
Pakistan reportedly has a stockpile of around 140 nuclear weapons and is now building underground tunnels for their storage. A report in The Print by Col Vinayak Bhat (retd), a Military Intelligence veteran of the Indian Army, reveals that Pakistan's new underground nuclear facility near Mianwali, Punjab, is 750km from New Delhi. The facility, located deep in the mountains, can store 12-24 nuclear weapons.
Satellite imagery analyzed by Bhat reveals that the new facility comprises of three tunnels, possibly interconnected with each other under a mountain. The tunnel entrances are 10m high and 10m wide. They are connected via large roads around 10-20m wide The tunnels are particularly wide at corners to allow the movement of large tractor erector launchers (TELs) carrying nuclear-tipped missiles, hidden in the facility.
The entire facility has been secured with a wire fence and has two entrances. The main entrance features a 3m high solid gate. There are four barricades leading to the gate and two more inside to ensure no vehicle can slam through the gate. The facility doesn't have any proper air defense cover to protect against enemy warplanes.
The facility contains a centrally-located mosque. It also has buildings resembling high-bay garages meant for maintaining vehicles and missiles. There are possibly six special garages to hold TELs during high alert situations while another six garages may hold air defense systems in the future. There are six turning areas possibly meant for turning the TELs. The turning areas may be used as launch pads.