15 Countries With The Strongest Armies In The World
Since time immemorial, human communities have built up strong military land forces to defend their territories against external aggression, and to also maintain internal peace, order and stable government. Usually, nations with greater military capabilities always emerge victorious in battle.
Battles in the past were fought using rather crude weapons and techniques. Before the invention of sophisticated weapons, the strength of a country’s army was determined to a greater extent by the number of trained fighters they had. This has since changed with technological advancement, and the capabilities and might of an army are determined by a number of factors, such as the quality and quantity of weapons available for use in warfare, the number of trained soldiers, funding, weapon diversity, geographical factors, and military tactics and expertise. Based on these factors, it is now possible for smaller countries with advanced technology to compete with or even maintain a stronger army than larger countries with a teaming population. Wars in Afghanistan, Syria, and Vietnam have in fact proven this assertion to be true.
Relying on these factors, fifteen countries have made our list of countries with the strongest army.
15. United States of America
The United States of America has the strongest army in the world today. The Army of the United States, as it is officially called, is the largest unit of the US Armed Forces. With an incredible budget of $601 billion, the US army is better funded than any other army across the globe. With this large sum, the US has invested heavily on weapon production, building of sophisticated military equipment, military research, national security and protection of their allies. It is no wonder, therefore, that the US Army possesses more arms than any other army in the world. The army also possesses a total of 41,062 armored fighting vehicles, 5,884 tanks, 1,934 self-propelled guns, 1,299 towed artillery, 1,331 multiple-launch rocket systems, and huge number of different kinds of guns.
Formed in 1992 after the collapse of the Soviet Army, the Russian Army has shown its military prowess in a number of wars, such as the Chechen war. To cement its position as the world’s second strongest army, the current president of the country, Vladimir Putin, has not only made more funds available to the country’s ground forces, pushing their budget to $84.5 billion, but has also initiated some reforms aimed at making Russia more powerful than she has ever been. With such a large budget, Russian army has edged the competition in weapon diversity, having in their possession 20,216 tanks, making it the largest fleet in the world. Also found in the country’s armory are 3,793 multiple-launch rocket systems, 5,972 self-propelled guns and 4,625 towed artillery.
Thanks to their booming economy, China has sufficient money to build a standard military that can rival US and Russian armies in a number of ways. With 2,330,000 trained ground fighters, China maintains the largest army in the world. They get these legions of army battle-ready with a huge number of tanks, which is regarded as the second largest tank fleet across the globe. The People’s Liberation Army Ground Force, as it is officially called, also has impressive weapon diversity. The Chinese Army had already participated in a number of wars, including the Chinese Civil War, World War II, and Korean War, before it was established in 1948. These experiences, coupled with their constantly advancing technology, have helped China build a formidable force.
While India may appear to be a big surprise on the list, the size of the country’s army, weapon diversity, and operation budget will clear every doubt on why the Indian land force is ranked the fourth strongest army in the world. Just like other top rated armies, the Indian Army has large collections of different kinds of sophisticated weapons, which include towed-artillery, multiple-launched rocket systems, fleets of tanks, and armored fighting vehicles. With a staggering budget of $50 billion, India undoubtedly has enough money to maintain their overwhelming 1,325,500 active manpower, and acquire 6,464 tanks and 1,905 aircrafts. The country has also used its funds to acquire nuclear weapons.
With a large budget of $62.3 billion, France has built a strong army which has played a remarkable role in maintaining peace, order and stability in many African countries. France has utilized its budget wisely, providing its troops with the required training and military equipment to be able to withstand aggression, and cement its position as one of the World Powers. Though the country has only 202,761 active military personnel, she has spent heavily on acquisition and production of sophisticated weapons. France has also acquired 406 tanks, 233 towed artilleries, and 6,863 armored fighting vehicles. To bolster the army, the French ground soldiers receive strong support from the country’s Air Force, which operates 610 helicopters, 49 attack helicopters, and 1,305 aircrafts.
The British Army has destroyed great nations in the medieval era, and participated in a number of battles fought in the modern time, such as World War II. Although Britain has plans to downsize its army, the country still has one of the largest ground forces in the world. Additionally, because of its large annual budget of $60.5 billion, the British Army has armories filled with sophisticated weapons, including thousands of armored fighting vehicles, and hundreds of tanks and towed-artillery. Although Britain plans to downsize the 146,980 active military personnel by 20%, she plans to cushion the effect of this reduction by constructing an aircraft carrier that has a span of 4.5 acres.
Japan has proved that a country does not need a huge number of trained fighters to build up a strong army. The Japanese Army actually has a complex structure, which consists of troops from Japanese Home Islands and colonies, as well as Philippines and Micronesia. Since Japan is a technologically advanced country, she has equipped her troops with state-of-the-art weapons, and provided them with the best of training. Additionally, with the support of the Japanese Air Force, which operates the fourth largest attack helicopter, a running budget of $41.6 billion, and troops totaling to 247,173, Japan can definitely match any force in battle.
Also known as the Turkish Land Forces, the Turkish Army has been a force to contend with right from the medieval time till now. Some of the cities in the country, like Istanbul, which was formerly known as Constantinople, were once homes to great emperors. Today, Turkey has one of the strongest ground forces in Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, thanks to incidents such as crises in Iraq and Syria, which have helped Turkey strengthen her military. To show us just how equipped the country is, it is reported by GlobalFirePower that the country has an impressive weapon diversity, having in their possession 2,445 tanks, 7,550 armored fighting vehicles, 697 towed artillery, self-propelled guns and multiple-launch rocket systems..
The German Army, which was established in 1955, has about 179,046 trained ground fighters, a number which is huge enough for the country to take on any other army in battle. Supported by other units in the country’s military, the German Army has consequently seen action in many wars and military expeditions, such as the Kosovo War, Afghanistan wars and Battle of Tetovo. Since Germany has experienced a high level of technological advancement and economic progress, she can comfortably afford to spend $40.2 billion in order to maintain and provide her soldiers with top-notch weapons.
Italy has a very rich history of military escapade and a strong economy. Actually, even before the unification of Italy and the formation of the present Italian army in the 1950s, Italy had been known for her dreaded military forces. So strong was the army that it took part in a number of wars, such as World War II, the Kosovo War, and Abyssinian War. More recently, the Italian Army has embarked on a number of peacekeeping missions, including wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In order to maintain her 320,000-strong troops, Italy has an annual budget of $34 billion. The army also invests in necessary armory and 586 tanks, which include the Italian Ariete tank, Centauro tank destroyer, and Dardo infantry fighting vehicle.
5. South Korea
South Korea received significant amount of military equipment from the United States of America after their army was established in 1948. The country then assisted Russia in training fighters during the Soviet era, and in 2015, Russia provided them with some fleets of military tanks as payment. Even today, the US continues to provide South Korea with military support due to the bilateral security treaty between the countries. To ensure that they withstand the aggression of their neighbor, North Korea, the South Korean government earmarks $62.3 billion for the maintenance of her army, military logistics, acquisition of weapons, and other military related projects and operations. As a result, the country has armories consisting of 2,381 tanks, SPGs, APCs/IFVs, MRLs, ATGMs, SPAAGs/SPAAML, thirteen submarines and 1,412 aircrafts.
The Egyptian army is actually one of the oldest in the world. It is the largest ground force in the Middle East and Africa, and the only African army to make it to this list. Unknown to many, there are a number of factors that have contributed to the prowess of the Egyptian Army. First, the Egyptian Army is heavily funded by the United States of America. Secondly, since the 1970s, Egypt has been producing and maintaining weapons locally. As a result, the country boasts 4,624 tanks, making it the fifth largest in the world, and has an a armory consisting of 13,949 fighting vehicles, 2,360 towed-artillery, 1,481 multiple-launch rocket systems and 889 self-propelled guns.
Pakistan has been able to build up a formidable army after gaining independence in 1947. Currently, the country maintains a huge army of 620,000 active soldiers on duty on a budget of $7 billion. It is also one of the armies in the world that allow full participation of women in military operations. Furthermore, the Pakistani Army has a large collection of weapons, which include fleets of tanks, AFVs, SPGs, MLRSs, towed-artillery, helicopters, and aircrafts. To increase their weapon diversity, the country today has embarked on the production of nuclear weapons to add to their arsenal. To prove their strength, this army was a major force that rescued United States’ Soldiers in 1993 during the Operation Gothic Serpent. They have also participated in a number of UN peacekeeping missions.
Ranked above countries like Canada and Australia, Indonesia has a strong army because of her large number of active duty members. With armory replete with sophisticated weapons, such as armored fighting vehicles, infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled guns, multiple-launch rocket systems and towed-artillery, this army is always battle ready. Running a budget of $6.9 billion, Indonesia is able to maintain 476,000 active frontline personnel, and provide them with all they need to remain brave when defending their fatherland. In fact, the country has showed her military might through a number of operations she has participated in. Sadly though, the Indonesian Army has been criticized for a number of human rights abuses in these operations.
Israel is a highly developed country with a small army consisting of 133,000 active manpower, plus 380,000 reserved soldiers. However, unlike many other nations, a greater percentage of the adult population in the country has military experience, and is battle ready thanks to the mandatory military service in Israel. Annually, Israeli GOC Army Headquarters operate on a budget of $17 billion, and with a large arsenal that boasts thousands of sophisticated weapons like AFVs, MLRSs, SPGs and Towed-Artillery. Unofficially called Mazi, the Israeli army commands have fought a number of aggressions, and with its qualitative military advantages, they have been able to defend the country’s territory.
Sources: globalfirepower.com, businessinsider.com
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