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These are the 25 most powerful militaries in the world in 2018

With its National Defence Strategy released earlier this year, the US detailed its shift from small -
scale operations like counterinsurgency and toward a potential fight with a rival like Russia or
China.

Countries around the world have made similar moves, refocusing on large -scale conflict.

Amid those changes, head-to-head comparisons of military strength are hard to come by. Global
Firepower's 2018 Military Strength Ranking tries to fill that void by drawing on more than 55 factors
to assign a Power Index score to 136 countries - adding Ireland, Montenegro, and Liberia to last
year's list.

The ranking assesses the diversity of each country's weapons and pays particular attention to their
available manpower. Geography, logistical capacity, available natural resources, and the status of
local industry are also taken into account.

While recognised nuclear powers receive a bonus, their nuclear stockpiles are not factored into the
score. Landlocked countries are not docked for lacking a navy, but countries with navies are
penalised if there is a lack of diversity in their fleets.

NATO countries get a slight bonus because the alliance theoretically shares resources, but in
general, a country's current political and military leadership was not considered (though financial
health and stability is).

The top power index score is 0.0000, which is "realistically unattainabile" for any military according
to Global Firepower. The closer they are to this number, the more powerful their miltary is.

Per these criteria, these are the 25 most powerful militaries in the world:

25. Canada

Power Index rating: 0.4356 (NATO member)

Total population: 35,623,680


Total military personnel: 88,000

Total aircraft strength: 413

Fighter aircraft: 60

Combat tanks: 80

Total naval assets: 63

Defence budget: $US16.4 billion

24. Taiwan
Power Index rating: 0.4331

Total population: 23,508,428

Total military personnel: 1,932,500

Total aircraft strength: 843

Fighter aircraft: 286

Combat tanks: 2,005

Total naval assets: 87

Defence budget: $US10.725 billion

23. Algeria
Power Index rating: 0.4296

Total population: 40,969,443

Total military personnel: 792,350

Total aircraft strength: 528

Fighter aircraft: 97

Combat tanks: 2,405

Total naval assets: 85

Defence budget: $US10.57 billion


22. Poland
Power Index rating: 0.4276 (NATO member)

Total population: 38,476,269

Total military personnel: 184,650

Total aircraft strength: 466

Fighter aircraft: 99

Combat tanks: 1,065

Total naval assets: 83

Defence budget: $US9.36 billion

21. Australia
Power Index rating: 0.4203

Total population: 23,232,413

Total military personnel: 79,700

Total aircraft strength: 469

Fighter aircraft: 78

Combat tanks: 59

Total naval assets: 47 (two aircraft carriers)

Defence budget: $US26.3 billion

20. Vietnam
Power Index rating: 0.4098

Total population: 96,160,163

Total military personnel: 5,488,500

Total aircraft strength: 283

Fighter aircraft: 76

Combat 1,545
Total naval assets: 65

Defence budget: $US3.365 billion

19. Spain

Power Index rating: 0.4079 (NATO member)

Total population: 48,958,159

Total military personnel: 174,700

Total aircraft strength: 524

Fighter aircraft: 122

Combat tanks: 327

Total naval assets: 46 (one aircraft carrier

Defence budget: $US11.6 billion

18. North Korea


Power Index rating: 0.3876

Total population: 25,248,140

Total military personnel: 6,445,000

Total aircraft strength: 944

Fighter aircraft: 458

Combat tanks: 5,243

Total naval assets: 967


Defence budget: $US7.5 billion

17. Pakistan
Power Index rating: 0.3689

Total population: 204,924,861

Total military personnel: 919,000

Total aircraft strength: 1,281

Fighter aircraft: 321

Combat tanks: 2,182

Total naval assets: 197

Defence budget: $US7 billion

16. Israel
Power Index rating: 0.3444

Total population: 8,299,706

Total military personnel: 615,000

Total aircraft strength: 596

Fighter aircraft: 252

Combat tanks: 2,760

Total naval assets: 65

Defence budget: $US20 billion

15. Indonesia
Power Index rating: 0.3266

Total population: 260,580,739

Total military personnel: 975,750

Total aircraft strength: 478


Fighter aircraft: 41

Combat tanks: 418

Total naval assets: 221

Defence budget: $US6.9 billion

14. Brazil
Power Index rating: 0.3198

Total population: 207,353,391

Total military personnel: 1,987,000

Total aircraft strength: 723

Fighter aircraft: 43

Combat tanks: 469

Total naval assets: 110

Defence budget: $US29.3 billion

13. Iran
Power Index rating: 0.3131

Total population: 82,021,564

Total military personnel: 934,000

Total aircraft strength: 505

Fighter aircraft: 150

Combat tanks: 1,650

Total naval assets: 398

Defence budget: $US6.3 billion

12. Egypt
Power Index rating: 0.2751
Total population: 97,041,072

Total military personnel: 1,329,250

Total aircraft strength: 1,132

Fighter aircraft: 309

Combat tanks: 4,946

Total naval assets: 319 (two aircraft carriers)

Defence budget: $US4.4 billion

11. Italy
Power Index rating: 0.2565 (NATO member)

Total population: 62,137,802

Total military personnel: 267,500

Total aircraft strength: 828

Fighter aircraft: 90

Combat tanks: 200

Total naval assets: 143 (two aircraft carriers)

Defence budget: $US37.7 billion

10. Germany
Power Index rating: 0.2461 (NATO member)

Total population: 80,594,017

Total military personnel: 208,641

Total aircraft strength: 714

Fighter aircraft: 94

Combat tanks: 432

Total naval assets: 81

Defence budget: $US45.2 billion


9. Turkey
Power Index rating: 0.2216 (NATO member)

Total population: 80,845,215

Total military personnel: 710,565

Total aircraft strength: 1,056

Fighter aircraft: 207

Combat tanks: 2,446

Total naval assets: 194

Defence budget: $US10.2 billion

8. Japan
Power Index rating: 0.2107

Total population: 126,451,398

Total military personnel: 310,457

Total aircraft strength: 1,508

Fighter aircraft: 290

Combat tanks: 679

Total naval assets: 131 (four aircraft carriers)

Defence budget: $US44 billion

7. South Korea
Power Index rating: 0.2001

Total population: 51,181,299

Total military personnel: 5,827,250

Total aircraft strength: 1,560

Fighter aircraft: 406


Combat tanks: 2,654

Total naval assets: 166 (one aircraft carrier)

Defence budget: $US40 billion

6. United Kingdom

Power Index rating: 0.1917 (NATO member)

Total population: 64,769,452

Total military personnel: 279,230

Total aircraft strength: 832

Fighter aircraft: 103

Combat tanks 227

Total naval assets: 76 (two aircraft carriers)

Defence budget: $US50 billion

5. France
Power Index rating: 0.1869 (NATO member)

Total population: 67,106,161

Total military personnel: 388,635

Total aircraft strength: 1,262


Fighter aircraft 299

Combat tanks: 406

Total naval assets: 118 (four aircraft carriers)

Defence budget: $US40 billion

4. India
Power Index rating: 0.1417

Total population: 1,281,935,911

Total military personnel: 4,207,250

Total aircraft strength: 2,185

Fighter aircraft: 590

Combat tanks: 4,426

Total naval assets: 295 (one aircraft carrier)

Defence budget: $US47 billion

3. China
Power Index rating: 0.0852

Total population: 1,379,302,771

Total military personnel: 2,693,000

Total aircraft strength: 3,035

Fighter aircraft: 1,125

Combat tanks: 7,716

Total naval assets: 714 (one aircraft carrier)

Defence budget: $US151 billion

2. Russia
Power Index rating: 0.0841
Total population: 142,257,519

Total military personnel: 3,586,128

Total aircraft strength: 3,914

Fighter aircraft: 818

Combat tanks: 20,300

Total naval assets: 352 (one aircraft carrier out of service indefinitely)

Defence budget: $US47 billion

1. United States

Power Index rating: 0.0818 (NATO member)

Total population: 326,625,791

Total military personnel: 2,083,100

Total aircraft: 13,362

Fighter aircraft: 1,962

Combat tanks: 5,884

Total naval assets: 415 (20 aircraft carriers)

Defence budget: $US647 billion