• Overview
  • Pakistan
  • Brazil
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • India
  • China
  • Russia
  • United States


Military power is a complex concept, and there is no single way to measure it. However, there are a number of factors that are commonly considered, including the size of a country’s armed forces, the sophistication of its weapons, and its spending on defense.

Based on these factors, here is a list of the world’s top 10 strongest militaries in the world:

10. Pakistan

Total Military Personnel: 1.7 million
Active frontline personnel: 654,000
Average Budget: $12.3 billion
Global Firepower Index: 0.2073

With more than a million military personnel, Pakistan’s military is one of the largest in the world.

It is also believed that Pakistan is developing nuclear weapons on a rapid enough scale that it would have the world’s third largest arsenal within a decade.

With a score of 0.2073, it is the 10th strongest military in the world.

9. Brazil

Total Military Personnel: 2 million
Active frontline personnel: 334,500
Average Budget: $29.3 billion
Global Firepower Index: 0.2026

According to the level of military equipment, active troops, and budget, the Brazilian armed forces are the largest in Latin America and 2nd largest in America as a whole, coming in right after the United States.

With total military personnel ranging the 2 million, comes in right before the United Kingdom, due to the lower budget and military equipment.

8. United Kingdom

Total Military Personnel: 275,000
Active frontline personnel:195,000
Average Budget: $56 billion
Global Firepower Index: 0.1997

Approximately 195,000 of the 275,000 military personnel in the United Kingdom are in active service. The country has 109 tanks in its forces and a defense budget of $56 billion which largely helped in gaining the position of the 8th most powerful military in the world.

7. France

French Army

Total Military Personnel: 450,000
Active frontline personnel: 270,000
Average Budget: $47.7 billion
Global Firepower Index: 0.1681

France comes in 7th with their military powers garnering a 0.1681 in the Global Firepower Index.

France has one of the best militaries in Western Europe at the moment. Among its capabilities, it can carry out high-intensity conventional warfare against a peer adversary, as well as a wide range of other operations.

6. South Korea

Total Military Personnel: 6.7 million
Active frontline personnel: 600,000
Average Budget: $48 billion
Global Firepower Index: 0.1612

With a reported strength of 6.7 million, the Korean Armed Forces are one of the world’s largest and most powerful military forces. Having 2381 tanks and 1412 aircraft, South Korea easily has one of the strongest militaries in the world.

When faced with potential North Korean aggression, South Korea cannot afford to not have a strong military.

5. Japan

Total Military Personnel: 319,000
Active frontline personnel: 250,000
Average Budget: $51.7 billion
Global Firepower Index: 0.1599

As a whole, the Japanese military is relatively small. Despite this, the country is extremely well equipped and has a higher average budget

The country has the fourth largest submarine fleet and also the fourth largest attack helicopter fleet in the world, according to Credit Suisse. A total of four aircraft carriers are also available to Japan, although these vessels are only equipped with helicopters.

4. India

Total Military Personnel: 5.1 million
Active frontline personnel: 1.4 million
Average Budget: $73.6 billion
Global Firepower Index: 0.1207

Compared with any other country except the US, China, and Russia, it has the largest active manpower, tanks, and aircraft.

With over 1.4 million in just active frontline personnel, the Indian military is a force to be reckoned with. With a total of 5.1 million military personnel, it has the highest number of military personnel and associates in the world.

3. China

Total Military Personnel: 3.4 million
Active frontline personnel: 2.1 million
Average Budget: $178 billion
Global Firepower Index: 0.0854

Third on this list is China, having the largest active frontline personnel in the world. China has the second highest average budget and an estimated 9,000 tanks. It also has the second largest submarine fleet in the world behind the United States.
There is no surprise China has one of the most powerful militaries in the world with such a high number of personnel and budget.

2. Russia

Total Military Personnel: 3.5 million
Active frontline personnel: 1 million
Average Budget: $84.5 billion
Global Firepower Index: 0.0791

Russia is unquestionably the world’s second strongest military power. Its tank fleet is the largest in the world, having over 15000 tanks at its disposal. Its aircraft fleet is second only to the US, and its submarine fleet is third only to China and the US.

Additionally, the Russians possess an undisclosed amount of nuclear weapons, making them a frightening adversary.

1. United States

US Military

Total Military Personnel: 2.2 million
Active frontline personnel: 1.4 million
Average Budget: $740 billion.
Global Firepower Index: 0.0718

Coming in at number one is The U.S. Armed Forces. The American fleet of 10 aircraft carriers is the country’s strongest conventional military advantage.

Aside from having by far the largest number of aircraft, state-of-the-art technology and the world’s largest arsenal of nuclear weapons, the US is the most technologically advanced of all countries.

The United States spends an impressive $780 million on defense than the next nine countries on Credit Suisse’s index combined

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