What are the most powerful militaries in the world in 2020? Imagine a scenario where the fabric of peace in the world broke down, and different countries declared war on each other, meaning the most powerful militaries in the world would get to go toe to toe against each other. Which country do you reckon would win?
Hopefully, we will not have to find out the hard way because a new world war would certainly not be of any help, and life is vital. As humans, we should thus be focused on avoiding such conflicts and instead foster global collaborations that push humanity to new achievements that mane the world a better place. Fortunately, we can still find out which counties have the most powerful army in the world without a war breaking out.
Global superpowers invest a lot of money in their military might. It is not usually about going to war but instead being ready for it or, better yet, to prevent it. That is why they focus heavily on the defense sector because it is the first frontier towards protecting the country and its people from both internal and external attacks.
Global militaries invest heavily in weapons and military vehicles and equipment manufactured by the likes of Lockheed Martin, Textron, and General Dynamics.
Military might is one of the metrics of power used to rank countries. We sought to establish the most powerful militaries in the world through a number of factors. First we looked at other rankings and we came across lists by globalfirepower.com to get a good idea of what to look for. The latter uses the PowerIndex score which is apparently based on more than 55 factors. This index puts Turkey, a country that has to import advanced weapons from the likes of USA, Russia, and Germany, ahead of Germany in its rankings. Germany may have a small army right now, but it is one of the most advanced and industrialized countries in the world. It isn’t likely but, if there is a military conflict between Turkey and Germany, do you really seriously believe that Turkey can beat Germany, a country that almost won the WWII against military behemoths such as England, France, and Russia.
So, we decided to look at additional factors the annual budget used by each of the countries that we shortlisted for our list. We also researched the number of soldiers in the militaries and also the number of military assets that each military owns. This helped us to get a better picture of who outranked who based on that overall criteria. We also sought to create a unique list by also evaluating the economic strength of each of the countries in terms of GDP. The wealthier a country is, the more likely the amount it invests in things like defense.
8. The United Kingdom
The UK’s GDP in 2019 was around $3.02 trillion while its latest population figures suggest that it has 65,105,246 citizens, of which 233,000 are military personnel. The country has 129 fighter aircraft, while its aircraft strength is 811. As for things on the ground, the UK military has 331 combat tanks while the total number of naval assets in the waters is 76, including one aircraft carrier. The country’s defense budget is $47.5 billion, while its power index rating is 0.1797.
France has a GDP of $3.06 trillion and a total of 67,364,357 citizens as per the 2019 figures, with 388,635 of them serving military personnel. The country’s military has a total of 273 fighter aircraft and a total of 1,248 aircraft, including the non-combat ones. It also boasts of 406 combat tanks in its ownership and 118 naval assets, including four aircraft carriers. France spends about $40.5 billion on its military every year, and its power index rating is 0.1584.
6. South Korea
South Korea’s estimated GDP figure is around $531 trillion. It has roughly 51,418,097 as of 2019 and an estimated 5,827,150 military personnel. If the military might be ranked based on the number of military personnel, then South Korea would have the strongest army in the world. It has 406 fighter aircraft, and its total aircraft strength is 1,614. South Korea has 2,654 combat tanks and 166 naval assets, including one aircraft carrier. Its defense budget is around $38.3 billion, while its power index rating is 0.1761.
Japan’s GDP is $5.36 trillion while its total population as of 2019 is 126,128,156, but it only has 303,157 military personnel. It has 297 fighter aircraft, but its overall military aircraft strength is 1,572. The country has 1,004 combat tanks and 131 naval assets, including four aircraft carriers. Japan’s defense budget is $47 billion, while its power index rating is 0.1707.
India has a massive population of 1,296,834,042 while its GDP as of 2019 is around $3.16 trillion. The country has a sizable military personnel at 3,462,500 individuals. It also boasts of 520 fighter aircrafts and a total of 2,082 military aircrafts. India’s military has 4,184 tanks, making it one of the armies with the highest number of combat tanks. It has 295 naval assets, including one aircraft carrier. The country’s defense budget is around $55.2 billion, while its power index rating is 0.1065.
It has around 1,384,688,986 citizens and its GDP figure in 2019 is around $15.54 trillion. China has 2,693,000 estimated military personnel, 1,222 fighter aircraft and a total of 3,187 military aircraft, including non-combat ones. It has 13,050 combat tanks and 714 naval assets, including one aircraft carrier. China’s annual defense budget is $224 billion, while its power index rating is 0.0673.
Mother Russia has 142,122,776 citizens, and an estimated 3,586,128 of them are military personnel. It has 869 combat aircraft and a total of 4,078 military aircraft. It has the highest number of combat tanks of any army in the world at 21,932 tanks and 352 naval assets. Russia is known for its prowess when it comes to manufacturing combat aircrafts and weapons. It did have an aircraft carrier, but it has been out of service. Russia’s annual military budget is $44 billion, while its power index rating is 0.0639 and its GDP in 2019 is roughly $1.57 trillion.
1. The United States
The US has a total population of 329,256,465 citizens, and its GDP in 2019 is around $21.41 trillion. Its army has an estimated 2,141,900 military personnel and the highest number of combat aircraft of any military in the world at 2,362 fighter aircraft and a total of 13,398 military planes. It has 6,287 combat tanks and 415 naval assets, including 24 aircraft carriers, which means that it has the highest number of aircraft carriers of any military. The US military budget is a whopping $716 billion, while its power index rating is 0.0615. The US ranks highest in the world military ranking in 2019, meaning it has the most powerful army in the world.