“Either I will come back after hoisting the Tricolour, or I will come back wrapped in it, but I will be back for sure.” — Vikram Batra
Thus, spoke one of the bravest and most revered soldier of the Indian Army. This quote epitomises the zeal and dedication of a soldier for his country.
A soldier is the fulcrum of a nation’s army. The military might of a nation determines its place in the hierarchy of nations; the more powerful the army the more is the country’s dominance in all spheres.
The race to dominate others is as old as human civilization; history is replete with examples for the thirst for more wealth and power. Even before the birth of Christ, powerful kings like Alexander the Great, and closer home Ashoka the Great, created huge empires.
THE MATRIX FOR DETERMINING MILITARY POWER
The function of the military is the ability to plan, deploy, sustain and fight on land, sea and in the air and now even in space. Airpower, Naval supremacy and highly trained and motivated ground forces, latest technology, a favourable geographical location, abundant natural resources and lastly a huge military budget are the variables that ensure a nation’s military superiority. Assessing and comparing each variable is necessary to rank the might of each nation. It is a truism that the largest army in numbers may not be the strongest in battle!
THE TOP 10 COUNTRIES BY ARMY MIGHT
USA -The Only Global Army Power since World War II
Armed Forces Personnel: -1.4 million
- Tanks – 6,100
- Armoured Vehicles – 40,000
- Self-Propelled Artillery – 1,500
- Towed Artillery – 1,340
- Rocket Projectors – 1,365.
- Defence Budget – $740,500,000,000 USD.
- 7500 -Nuclear warheads
- At number 1 is the USA, the only country that can sustain and fight on the home front and deploy its military in any corner of the world for years.
- The US army is numerically smaller than the Indian and Chinese armies but better training and weaponry make it a formidable fighting force. Being the world’s leading economy, the USA has enough resources to fund the largest defence budget in the world.
- The nuclear arsenal and missile technology makes it the Super Power.
- The combination of all these factors make the US a force to reckon with.
Armed Forces Personnel: -1,014,000
- Tanks – 13,000
- Armoured Vehicles – 27,100
- Self-Propelled Artillery – 6,540
- Towed Artillery – 4,465
- Rocket Projectors – 3,860.
- Defence Budget – $42,129,000,000 USD
- 8500 -Nuclear warheads
- The only country to rival USA, Russia is the second largest and strongest military power in the world.
- Russia has the world’s most advanced and the largest number of tanks in the world.
- Russia is the second largest manufacturer of military hardware after the USA.
- It has the fourth largest army. All Russians males are battle-ready because it is mandatory for all Russian males to enlist for a short stint with the army.
- It is among the few nuclear powers of the world.
Armed Forces Personnel: -2.285.000
- Tanks – 3,205,
- Armoured Vehicles – 35,000
- Self-Propelled Artillery – 1,970
- Towed Artillery – 1,234
- Rocket Projectors – 2,250.
- 300 -Nuclear warheads
- Defence Budget – $178,200,000,000 USD
- The dragon is emerging as a global player, aggressively pursuing economic growth, military modernization and expansion and developing deadly military technologies secretly.
- It has the largest army in the world, the second largest tank fleet, and the second largest submarine fleet. It also lays emphasis on development of chemical and biological warfare.
Armed Forces Personnel: -1,445,000
- Tanks – 4,730
- Armoured Vehicles – 10,000
- Self-Propelled Artillery – 100
- Towed Artillery – 4,040
- Rocket Projectors – 374.
- Defence Budget – $73,650,000,000 USD
- Nuclear Ballistic missiles-200
- A country with hostile neighbours like Pakistan and China, India has no choice to but to build the largest and most professional army in the world.
- India ranks fourth in the number of tanks and aircrafts.
- Having a stockpile of nuclear weapons in the teeth of opposition of the entire world community is a feather in India’s cap.
- India has successfully developed ballistic missiles and has made significant inroads in the manufacture of military equipment and hardware.
Armed Forces Personnel: -247,160
- Tanks – 1,004
- Armoured Vehicles – 5,500
- Self-Propelled Artillery – 214
- Towed Artillery – 480
- Rocket Projectors – 99.
- Defence Budget – $51,700,000,000 USD
- Japan’s constitution limits its military might so that it maintains an army only for Self Defence.
- However, Japan has the most technologically advanced military, with the fifth largest air force and the fourth largest navy.
- It does not pursue any nuclear programme
- Tanks – 2,600
- Armoured Vehicles – 14,100
- Self-Propelled Artillery – 3,040
- Towed Artillery – 3,854
- Rocket Projectors – 574.
- Defence Budget – $48,000,000,000 USD
- With the persistent threat of aggression from its volatile neighbour, North Korea, South Korea has quickly built a large and capable military.
- It is mandatory for every male to serve in the military for 18 to 22 months; many T.V idols are a part of the military.
- South Korea is ready to take on any adversary, it manufactures most of its military equipment and firepower.
Armed Forces Personnel: -220,000
- Tanks – 406
- Armoured Vehicles – 6,420
- Self-Propelled Artillery – 109
- Towed Artillery – 12
- Rocket Projectors – 13.
- Defence Budget – $47,700,000,000 USD
- Nuclear warheads-290
- The French military gives the false impression of being small in number, but this small package packs a powerful punch.
- It is the most powerful military in Europe with a large contingent of tanks and armoured vehicles.
- It has a strong defence industry.
Armed Forces Personnel: -205,000
- Tanks – 109
- Armoured Vehicles – 5,500
- Self-Propelled Artillery – 89
- Towed Artillery – 126
- Rocket Projectors – 35.
- Nuclear warheads – 160
- Defence Budget – $56,042,000,000 USD
Glory days are over for the oldest and mightiest army of its times but Great Britain still maintains a small but elite force. In its heydays the sun never set on the British Empire but economic decline has forced Britain to cut down its defence budget.
Today, Britain’s power lies in the powerful nuclear heads and technologically advanced firepower.
Armed Forces Personnel: -: 2,075,000
- Tanks – 439
- Armoured Vehicles – 2,000
- Self-Propelled Artillery – 136
- Towed Artillery – 546
- Rocket Projectors – 60.
- Defence Budget – $29,300,000,000 USD.
- South America’s most powerful nation, Brazil maintains a large military. Brazil’s army is equipped with the most advanced weaponry.
- By law every male between the ages of 18 to 45 has to serve in the military for 10 to 12 months.
- With a large defence budget, Brazil plans to have a more powerful and modern military
Armed Forces Personnel: – 411,000
- Tanks – 3,545
- Armoured Vehicles – 8,777
- Self-Propelled Artillery – 1,260
- Towed Artillery – 1,260
- Rocket Projectors – 438.
- Defence Budget – $17,300,000,000USD.
- Surrounded by various warring nations like Syria, the middle-east and the Kurds, the army is designed to perform combat in conflict zones.
- The Army is the backbone of the Turkish military and is showing its global presence by participating in peacekeeping missions.
Image Source: wikipedia.org