10 Most Powerful Militaries In The World


New Delhi: With its National Defense Strategy released earlier this year, the US detailed its shift from small-scale operations like counterinsurgency and toward a potential fight with a rival like Russia or China.

Countries around the world have made similar moves, refocusing on large-scale conflict. Amid those changes, head-to-head comparisons of military strength are hard to come by.

Global Firepower’s 2018 Military Strength Ranking tries to fill that void by drawing on more than 55 factors to assign a Power Index score to 136 countries – adding Ireland, Montenegro, and Liberia to last year’s list.

The ranking assesses the diversity of each country’s weapons and pays particular attention to their available manpower. Geography, logistical capacity, available natural resources, and the status of local industry are also taken into account.

While recognized nuclear powers receive a bonus, their nuclear stockpiles are not factored into the score. Landlocked countries are not docked for lacking a navy, but countries with navies are penalized if there is a lack of diversity in their fleets.

These are the 10 most powerful militaries in the world:

1. United States

Power Index rating: 0.0818 (NATO member)
Total population: 326,625,791
Total military personnel: 2,083,100
Total aircraft: 13,362
Fighter aircraft: 1,962
Combat tanks: 5,884
Total naval assets: 415 (20 aircraft carriers)
Defense budget: $647 billion

2. Russia

Power Index rating: 0.0841
Total population: 142,257,519
Total military personnel: 3,586,128
Total aircraft strength: 3,914
Fighter aircraft: 818
Combat tanks: 20,300
Total naval assets: 352 (one aircraft carrier out of service indefinitely)
Defense budget: $47 billion

3. China

Power Index rating: 0.0852
Total population: 1,379,302,771
Total military personnel: 2,693,000
Total aircraft strength: 3,035
Fighter aircraft: 1,125
Combat tanks: 7,716
Total naval assets: 714 (one aircraft carrier)
Defense budget: $151 billion

4. India

Power Index rating: 0.1417
Total population: 1,281,935,911
Total military personnel: 4,207,250
Total aircraft strength: 2,185
Fighter aircraft: 590
Combat tanks: 4,426
Total naval assets: 295 (one aircraft carrier)
Defense budget: $51 billion

5. Germany

Power Index rating: 0.2461 (NATO member)
Total population: 80,594,017
Total military personnel: 208,641
Total aircraft strength: 714
Fighter aircraft: 94
Combat tanks: 432
Total naval assets: 81
Defense budget: $45.2 billion

6. Iran

Power Index rating: 0.3131
Total population: 82,021,564
Total military personnel: 934,000
Total aircraft strength: 505
Fighter aircraft: 150
Combat tanks: 1,650
Total naval assets: 398
Defense budget: $6.3 billion

7. Indonesia

Power Index rating: 0.3266
Total population: 260,580,739
Total military personnel: 975,750
Total aircraft strength: 478
Fighter aircraft: 41
Combat tanks: 418
Total naval assets: 221
Defense budget: $6.9 billion

8. Israel

Power Index rating: 0.3444
Total population: 8,299,706
Total military personnel: 615,000
Total aircraft strength: 596
Fighter aircraft: 252
Combat tanks: 2,760
Total naval assets: 65
Defense budget: $20 billion

9. Pakistan

Power Index rating: 0.3689
Total population: 204,924,861
Total military personnel: 919,000
Total aircraft strength: 1,281
Fighter aircraft: 321
Combat tanks: 2,182
Total naval assets: 197
Defense budget: $7 billion

10. North Korea

Power Index rating: 0.3876
Total population: 25,248,140
Total military personnel: 6,445,000
Total aircraft strength: 944
Fighter aircraft: 458
Combat tanks: 5,243
Total naval assets: 967
Defense budget: $7.5 billion

NATO countries get a slight bonus because the alliance theoretically shares resources, but in general, a country’s current political and military leadership was not considered (though financial health and stability is).