The militaries exist to protect the nation, protect vital interests, and fulfill national military responsibilities. The question about which country has the most powerful military has been there for a long time. GFP calculates the military strength of all the countries and then rank them based on various factors. Not just a few, they consider almost 50 individual factors to determine the PowerIndex (PwrIndx) of a military. They include military might, financial and logistical capabilities, geography, etc.
This article contains a list of the ten most powerful militaries in the world in 2021. Out of several factors, we will point out some essential elements that make a military strong. Keep a note that a military with a PowerIndex closest to 0 is the strongest.
Brazil’s military strength is ranked at number 10 in the world. The Brazilian military is highly involved in health care, education, civic-action program, and road construction. The PwrIndx rating of the Brazilian army is 0.1988. Have a look at the breakdown of the military capabilities of Brazil.
- Total population: 208,846,892
- Total military personnel: 1,674,500
- Total Aircraft strength: 715
- Fighter aircraft: 43
- Combat tanks: 437
- Total naval assets: 112
- Defense budget: $27.8 billion
Egyptian military gets a good percentage of its weapons from eastern and western sources, including the United States, France, Italy, China, Russia, Ukraine, and Britain. Many types of equipment are also manufactured at Egyptian factories, and 6th October is celebrated as the anniversary of the Egyptian military. Egypt holds 0.1872 as the PwrIndx rating, and this is the military capabilities breakdown.
- Total population: 99,413,317
- Total military personnel: 920,000
- Total Aircraft strength: 1,054
- Fighter aircraft: 215
- Combat tanks: 4,295
- Total naval assets: 316
- Defense budget: $11.2 billion
8. United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is the United Nations Security Council’s permanent member and is one of the five major nuclear powers. It is also hailed as a founder member of the NATO military alliance. The British military has repeatedly emerged victorious from several conflicts, making it one of the world’s leading military powers. The United Kingdom has a 0.1717 PwrIndx.
- Total population: 65,105,246
- Total military personnel: 275,660
- Total Aircraft strength: 733
- Fighter aircraft: 133
- Combat tanks: 277
- Total naval assets: 88
- Defense budget: $55.1 billion
France holds the seventh position among the world’s ten most powerful militaries. There is no doubt that France has one of the most advanced militaries; just within 48 hours of the 13th November terrorist attack, France mobilized its air force to attack back at ISIS. It is one of the nine countries that have nuclear power. France has a PwrIndx rating of 0.1702
- Total population: 67,364,357
- Total military personnel: 451,635
- Total Aircraft Strength: 1,229
- Fighter aircraft: 269
- Combat tanks: 528
- Total naval assets: 180
- Defense budget: $41.5 billion
6. South Korea
South Korean armed forces were established in 1948 after Korea’s liberation from Japan. South Korea also has one of the highest defense budgets. Landing at the sixth position with a PwrIndx rating of 0.1509.
- Total population: 51,418,097
- Total military personnel: 3,680,000
- Total Aircraft strength: 1,649
- Fighter aircraft: 414
- Combat tanks: 2,614
- Total naval assets: 234
- Defense budget: $44 billion
Japan Self-Defence Forces were established by Self-Defense forces Law. It is the fifth-largest powerful military as of 2021. JSDF is constitutionally prohibited from being used in war. Recently JSDF has focused on international peacekeeping operations. The Japanese army has acquired new advanced weapons with the help of India, Australia, South Korea, the United States, and Singapore. Japan has a PwrIndx rating of 0.1501.
- Total population: 126,168,156
- Total military personnel: 303,160
- Total Aircraft strength: 1,561
- Fighter aircraft: 279
- Combat tanks: 1,004
- Total naval assets: 155
- Defense budget: $49 billion
Indian Army’s primary focus is to ensure national unity and security, to defend the nation from external and internal threats. Indian Army stands at 4th place and is one of the nine Nuclear Powers of the world. Indian military conduct rescue operations during natural calamities and other incidents. India has a PwrIndx rating of 0.0953.
- Total population: 1,296,834,042
- Total military personnel: 3,544,000
- Total Aircraft strength: 2,123
- Fighter aircraft: 538
- Combat tanks: 4,292
- Total naval assets:285
- Defense budget: $61 billion
People’s Liberation Army is modernizing at a swift pace, and it has been many times termed as a potential military superpower. PLA follows the Communist Party’s absolute civilian control of military. China Military has a PwrIndx rating of 0.0691.
- Total population: 1,384,688,986
- Total military personnel: 2,693,000
- Total Aircraft strength: 3,210
- Fighter aircraft: 1,232
- Combat tanks: 3,500
- Total naval assets: 777
- Defense budget: $237 billion
The Russian Armed forces were established in 1992, and it has the largest number of nuclear weapons in the world. The Russian military is the 2nd most powerful in the world and the most powerful in Europe. Russia has a PwrIndx rating of 0.0681.
- Total population: 142,122,776
- Total military personnel: 3,013,628
- Total Aircraft strength: 4,163
- Fighter aircraft: 873
- Combat tanks: 12,950
- Total naval assets: 603
- Defense budget: $48 billion
1. United States of America
US military has played a decisive role in United State’s history. US Military is the most powerful with a high defense budget, advanced equipments, nuclear power, etc. It has almost 800 military bases outside the US. The United States has a power Index of 0.0606
- Total population: 329,256,465
- Total military personnel: 2,260,000
- Total Aircraft Strength: 13,264
- Fighter aircraft: 2,085
- Combat tanks: 6,289
- Total naval assets: 490
- Defense budget: $750 billion
There are few other factors that we didn’t include in the list, such as Logistics, Geography, and Natural resources. GFP calculated the PowerIndex of 138 countries, and these were the top 10. GFP uses the stats from the CIA World Factbook to determine the strength; also, if you want to have an in-depth look at the Airpower of any specific country, you can check it out on The World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft. We also mentioned the top 10 powerful military country on our site.