Millions of soldiers, thousands of tanks and fighter planes, and dozens of submarines make up the ten most powerful armies in the world. They have tremendous firepower. In the event of a crisis, these states use their military power only in a measured manner because an overall mobilization would have devastating consequences. Let’s take a look at the 10 largest armies in the World.

10 Largest Armies In World

There are currently more than enough violent political crises in the world for inciting the third world war. With recent tensions between the two nuclear powers India and China, Asia has the highest probability of starting the third world war. In the Middle East, Israel is fighting in the Gaza Strip and is bombing targets in Lebanon and Syria.

The Palestinians are also firing missiles towards Israel. The civil war continues in Syria, Iraq, and other middle eastern nations. Upon that, the Islamist terrorist group Isis plunges these countries into chaos with attacks. America is starting new wars without finishing off the old ones.

Innocent people are killed in all of these conflicts, and great damage is done to the countries and their populations. But the suffering and the extent of the devastation would be even greater if a militarily armed state went into full combat. The list of 10 largest armies in the world is based on troop size and available military equipment.

The Global Firepower Index compares 106 nations based on 50 criteria, which include annual military spending, number of troops, and the number of military equipment on land, at sea and in the air. Let’s take a look at the 10 largest armies in the world.

The military superpower USA is considered the strongest military in the world but Russia has almost twice as many tanks as the Americans. The number of nuclear warheads is also higher in the Russian army. However, the Americans are undefeated in terms of annual military spending: the budget of the US Army is five times higher than that of the Chinese, who ranks second in this category.

One of the categories clearly shows that the ranking is primarily based on quantity. With 78 submarines, North Korea has the largest submarine fleet. But North Korea’s submarines are not exactly considered highly dangerous precision weapons by military experts. The sheer number says nothing about the actual usability or technical performance.

Foot Soldiers – Largest Armies in the World

The largest number of foot soldiers are currently employed in the Chinese army. It has more than 2.2 million soldiers. It is followed by India with more than 1.4 million soldiers currently serving the Army. The United States also has almost the same number of soldiers as India.

Army Foot Soldiers | Largest Armies in the World
©John Pennell/Army | ArmyTimes

The USA is surprisingly followed by North Korea with 1.28 million foot soldiers. Then, it’s Russia with 1 million soldiers followed by Pakistan and South Korea with 650,000 and 580,000 soldiers respectively. Iran has 523,000 soldiers, Vietnam has 482,000 soldiers and at the 10th spot, its Saudi Arabia with 478,000 army men.

3United States of America1,400,000
4North Korea1,280,000
7South Korea580,000
10Saudi Arabia478,000

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Military Spending

There is no other nation that spends as much as the United States on its Army. The USA spent a whopping 732 Billion dollars on its Military in 2019. It is almost three times the overall budget of China which is 261 billion and 10 times the Army spending of India. The United States military spending is so massive that it is more than the combined military budget of the next 10 countries.

Country With Highest Military Spendings

India spent 71.1 Billion on the army in 2019 which was more than Russia with 65.1 billion dollars. Next in line is surprisingly Saudi Arabia with 61.9 Billion Dollars because we never hear about the Saudi Arabian Military. The French spent 50.1 Billion dollars followed by Germany with 49.3 Billion. The United Kingdom, once the most powerful island in the world, only spent 48.7 Billion in 2019. It was followed by Japan with 47.6 Billion and then South Korea with 43.9 Billion. 

RankCountrySpending(US$ bn)
1United States of America732
2People’s Republic of China261
4Russian Federation65.1
5Saudi Arabia61.9
8United Kingdom48.7
10South Korea43.9

Tanks – Largest Armies in the World

Tanks represent another classic example of the military strategy of various powerful nations. Russia, for example, seems to be extremely dependent on tanks with a whopping 15,398 tanks in its fleet. It is way more than the second spot holder, China, that has 9,151 tanks. At the third place is the United States with 8,850 tanks followed by India with 6,464 tanks.

Country With the Most Number of Tanks

North Korea occupies the fifth spot with 3,500 tanks followed by Pakistan with 3,010 tanks. Egypt has 2,540 tanks South Korea has 2,514 tanks and Turkey has 2,504 tanks. The list of the top 10 countries with the highest number of tanks is completed with Vietnam with 1800 tanks.

RankCountryBattle Tanks
2People’s Republic of China9151
3United States8850
5Democratic People’s Republic of Korea3500
8Republic of Korea2514

Fighter Planes

When it comes to airplanes, the US beats all other countries by far. The list includes fighter jets, transport aircraft, and helicopters. The USA has a total of 13,444 aircrafts making its air force 4 times the size of Russia which has 3,547 aircraft. China has 2942 aircraft followed by India with 2,086 aircraft. A recent addition to the Indian air force is the Rafale fighter jet which is the next generation of the fighter jet and significantly increases the Indian firepower but we are only considering the quantity and not quality.

largest air forces in the world

Japan has 1,590 fighter planes followed by South Korea and France with 1,451 & 1,282 fighter aircraft respectively. Egypt has a total of 1,133 fighter planes, Turkey has 1,007 aircraft and North Korea completes the top 10 list of nations with the highest number of aircraft with 944 aircraft in its fleet.

1United States of America13444
6South Korea1451
10North Korea944

India is the 4th largest army in the world with dedicated soldiers and quality equipment and China (3rd place) ends up high in the ranking with the number of soldiers available. The number two worldwide is Russia. Vladimir Putin’s state is the world’s largest land power with 15,398 tanks, along with 6,450 nuclear warheads, which is the highest any country has.

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However, only one army is even more powerful. With 8848 tanks, 13,444 planes, a budget of $ 732 billion, the United States is by far the largest and most powerful army in the world and is number 1 in the ranking.

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