Military might is one of the main factor for any nation’s defense and dominance of their respective regions. Countries continue to spend endless amounts of resources to increase their arsenals and upgrade their weapons. A great deal of everyday technologies were developed as a result of military research.
Countries with the best economic conditions tend to have a the strongest armies as in this day and age maintaining a huge army is an expensive task. But there are countries which are much smaller in stature but still have formidable armies, technology has given the chance to level the playing field a bit.
Here are the top ten strongest armies in the world.
10. South Korea
South Korea had to increase their defence budget and upgrade their military due to the constant threat from their dangerous and aggressive neighbour North Korea. South Korean army has 624,465 active military personnel and their annual budget is almost $62.3 billion.
South Korea has an additional 2,900,000 soldiers in reserve and is a routine partner in military trainings with the US. South Korea has the sixth largest airforce in the world with 1,393 aircrafts with 166 smaller ships. South Korea also have 2,346 tanks in its artillery unit.
Japan had one of the most powerful armies in the world before World War II but after losing the war Japan signed a peace treaty and agreed to not have any offensive army. Relatively small in size Japanese army is none the less very well equipped.
Its annual budget is $41.6 billion and it has 247,173 active frontline personnel with 678 tanks. Japan has just over 1,600 aircrafts and its navy has 16 submarines which is the fourth largest in the world. Its four aircraft careers are equipped with the fourth largest helicopter fleet in the world.
Italy has the world’s eighth largest army in the world with its huge submarine fleet, attack helicopters and two active aircraft carriers. The total annual budget of of Italian military is $34 billion with 320,000 active military personnels.
Italy also has a strong air force with a total of 760 aircrafts and Italian Navy has six active submarines. Due to its possession of 2 aircraft carriers the Italian army is place quite high on the Credit Suisse’s report.
Pakistan has the largest army of any muslim country in the world and it is also the only muslim country in the world which has nuclear power. Pakistan also has a state of the art missile program with long range ground to ground and ground to air missile capability. These missiles can also carry nuclear warheads.
Pakistan is a key ally of China and Pakistan air force is making JF thunder fighter jets in cooperation with China which has given its air force much needed support. Pakistan has almost 700,000 active military personnels.
France is taking the technological route to strengthen its military and in 2013 France freezed its military budget and cut down military jobs by 10 %. France wants to save money acquire more technologically advanced equipment.
Currently the military budget of France is $43 billion which accounts for 1.9% of its GDP which is below the spending target that Nato has set. There are 220,000 active military personnel with 500,000 in the reserves. The military of France has over a 1,000 air crafts and 9,000 ground vehicles. France is also an atomic power.
India is the second most populated country in the world and this huge population has helped it to built a huge army consisting of 3.5 million military personnel 1.3 million of whom are active and the rest are in reserve. India spends about $50 billion annually on its military and it will become the 4th highest spender by 2020.
India is also an atomic power with a good missile system which can carry nuclear warheads for long distance. Indian army has 6,464 tanks, 1905 aircrafts and 15 submarines. It has the most number of tanks and aircrafts in the world besides China, Russia and US.
04. United Kingdom
The United Kingdom has announced that it is planning to reduce the size of its military by 20% by 2018 but it will still remain one of the strongest armies in the world. The Royal Navy has developed a huge aircraft called HMS Queen Elizabeth which can carry 40 F-35B joint strike fighters. The aircraft will be put in service in 2020.
The annual budget of the UK army is $60.5 billion and have 146,980 active personals. The UK army’s artillery department has 936 tanks and the Royal Navy has ten active submarines.
China has the largest population in the world so it is not surprising that when it comes to raw manpower China has the largest army in the world with 2,333,000 active frontline personnel. Its annual military budget is $216 billion which is expected to increase by 12%.
China has a fleet of 9,150 tanks which is second largest in the world behind Russia and its Navy has 67 submarines again second largest in the world behind USA. Chinese air force has 2,860 aircraft and currently China is working on fifth generation aircraft.
Ever since Vladimir Putin became the president in 2000 he increased the military spending of the country in order to regain its old military might and Russian military budget is expected to have a 44% increase in the next three years. Currently Russia is spending $84.5 billion annually.
Russian army has 766,055 active military personnel and it has the world’s largest tank fleet with 15,398 tanks. Russian Navy deploys 55 submarines and its air force has a total of 3,429 air crafts.
Russia has also demonstrated quick troops deployment world wide by deploying troops in Syria.
1. United States of America
The United States military budget exceeds the combined military budget of the nine countries listed above and not only that US army is the most engaged army in the world right now with multiple troops deployments and overseas military bases. The annual military budget of the United States of America is $601 billion.
The US army has 1,400,000 active frontline personnel and its biggest advantage is the 10 aircraft careers that roam around international oceans. The US army has the largest air force with 13,892 air crafts, it has 8,848 tanks and US navy has 72 submarines.