The 25 most powerful militaries in the world 2018

President Donald Trump has emphasized military might during his first year in office, but the US is not the only country seeking to expand its battlefield capacities. Between 2012 and 2016, more weapons were delivered than during any five-year period since 1990.

Arms sales indicate who is beefing up their armed forces, but head-to-head military comparisons are harder to come by. Global Firepower’s 2017 Military Strength Ranking tries to fill that void by drawing on more than 50 factors to assign a Power Index score to 133 countries.

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

Also read: Search militaries The top 10 militaries of the world in 2017

While recognized nuclear powers receive a bonus, the nuclear stockpiles are not factored into the score.

Moreover, countries that are landlocked are not docked points for lacking a navy, though they are penalized for not having a merchant marine force.

Countries with navies are penalized if there is a lack of diversity in their naval assets.

NATO countries get a slight bonus because the alliance would theoretically share resources, but in general, a country’s current political and military leadership was not considered.

“Balance is the key — a large, strong fighting force across land, sea and air backed by a resilient economy and defensible territory along with an efficient infrastructure — such qualities are those used to round out a particular nation’s total fighting strength on paper,” the ranking states.

Below, you can see the 25 most powerful militaries in the world:

25. Algeria

Algerian Army. (Photo by Lamraoui.lamin)

Power Index rating: 0.4366

Total population: 40,263,711

Total military personnel: 792,350

Total aircraft strength: 502

Fighter aircraft: 89

Combat tanks: 2,405

Total naval assets: 85

Defense budget: $10.6 billion

24. Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabian Naval Special Forces prepare for an assault during a subject matter expert exchange with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command, in Saudi Arabia, May 15, 2017. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Kyle McNan)

Power Index rating: 0.4302

Total population: 28,160,273

Total military personnel: 256,000

Total aircraft strength: 790

Fighter aircraft: 177

Combat tanks: 1,142

Total naval assets: 55

Defense budget: $56.7 billion

23. North Korea


Power Index rating: 0.4218

Total population: 25,115,311

Total military personnel: 6,445,000

Total aircraft strength: 944

Fighter aircraft: 458

Combat tanks: 5,025

Total naval assets: 967

Defense budget: $7.5 billion

22. Australia

Australian army soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. USAF photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Lock.

Australian army soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. (USAF photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Lock.)

Power Index rating: 0.4072

Total population: 22,992,654

Total military personnel: 81,000

Total aircraft strength: 465

Fighter aircraft: 78

Combat tanks: 59

Total naval assets: 47 (two aircraft carriers)

Defense budget: $24.1 billion

21. Iran

Iranian soldiers.

Power Index rating: 0.3933

Total population: 82,801,633

Total military personnel: 934,000

Total aircraft strength: 477

Fighter aircraft: 137

Combat tanks: 1,616

Total naval assets: 398

Defense budget: $6.3 billion

20. Thailand

Royal Thai Navy. (US Navy photo)

Power Index rating: 0.3892

Total population: 68,200,824

Total military personnel: 627,425

Total aircraft strength: 555

Fighter aircraft: 76

Combat tanks: 737

Total naval assets: 81 (one aircraft carrier)

Defense budget: $5.4 billion

Related: The 9 coolest things militaries have done with the M113

19. Poland

Polish soldiers pull security near a breach in the perimeter wall following a complex attack on Forward Operating Base Ghazni, Aug. 28, 2013. (Operational photo courtesy of Polish Land Forces)

Power Index rating: 0.3831

Total population: 38,523,261

Total military personnel: 184,650

Total aircraft strength: 465

Fighter aircraft: 99

Combat tanks: 1,065

Total naval assets: 83

Defense budget: $9.4 billion

18. Taiwan

Power Index rating: 0.3765

Total population: 23,464,787

Total military personnel: 1,932,500

Total aircraft strength: 850

Fighter aircraft: 286

Combat tanks: 2,005

Total naval assets: 87

Defense budget: $10.7 billion

17. Brazil

The Brazilian aircraft carrier NAe Sao Paolo.

Power Index rating: 0.3654

Total population: 205,823,665

Total military personnel: 1,987,000

Total aircraft strength: 697

Fighter aircraft: 43

Combat tanks: 469

Total naval assets: 110

Defense budget: $24.5 billion

16. Vietnam

(U.S. Army photo)

Power Index rating: 0.3587

Total population: 95,261,021

Total military personnel: 5,488,500

Total aircraft strength: 278

Fighter aircraft: 76

Combat 1,545

Total naval assets: 65

Defense budget: $3.4 billion

15. Israel

(Photo from Israeli Defense Forces Flickr)

Power Index rating: 0.3476

Total population: 8,174,527

Total military personnel: 718,250

Total aircraft strength: 652

Fighter aircraft: 243

Combat tanks: 2,620

Total naval assets: 65

Defense budget: $15.5 billion

14. Indonesia

(Photo by Spc. Elizabeth Cole, 9th Mission Support Command)

Power Index rating: 0.3347

Total population: 258,316,051

Total military personnel: 975,750

Total aircraft strength: 441

Fighter aircraft: 39

Combat tanks: 418

Total naval assets: 221

Defense budget: $6.9 billion

13. Pakistan

Power Index rating: 0.3287

Total population: 201,995,540

Total military personnel: 919,000

Total aircraft strength: 951

Fighter aircraft: 301

Combat tanks: 2,924

Total naval assets: 197

Defense budget: $7 billion

More: These countries still force people into their militaries

12. South Korea

Coordinated thunder-Korean0K9-self-propelled-gun-artillery

South Korean Soldiers in the 631st Field Artillery Battalion, 26th Mechanized Infantry Division Artillery.  (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Dasol Choi, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 1st Cav. Div.)

Power Index rating: 0.2741

Total population: 50,924,172

Total military personnel: 5,829,750

Total aircraft strength: 1,477

Fighter aircraft: 406

Combat tanks: 2,654

Total naval assets: 166 (one aircraft carrier)

Defense budget: $43.8 billion

11. Italy

Two troops ride on an A129 attack helicopter. (Photo by Aldo Bidini)

Power Index rating: 0.2694

Total population: 62,007,540

Total military personnel: 267,500

Total aircraft strength: 822

Fighter aircraft: 79

Combat tanks: 200

Total naval assets: 143 (two aircraft carriers)

Defense budget: $34 billion

10. Egypt

Two Egyptian Mi-8 Hip helicopters. (US Air Force photo)

Power Index rating: 0.2676

Total population: 94,666,993

Total military personnel: 1,329,250

Total aircraft strength: 1,132

Fighter aircraft: 337

Combat tanks: 4,110

Total naval assets: 319 (two aircraft carriers)

Defense budget: $4.4 billion

9. Germany

A German soldier aims his gun during a Belgium and German military forces weapons qualification at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, April 29, 2009.

Power Index rating: 0.2609

Total population: 80,722,792

Total military personnel: 210,000

Total aircraft strength: 698

Fighter aircraft: 92

Combat tanks: 543

Total naval assets: 81

Defense budget: $39.2 billion

8. Turkey

Turkish Armed Forces shells a group of YPG terrorists in the west of Jarablus. (Turkish military photo via Twitter)

Power Index rating: 0.2491

Total population: 80,274,604

Total military personnel: 743,415

Total aircraft strength: 1,018

Fighter aircraft: 207

Combat tanks: 2,445

Total naval assets: 194

Defense budget: $8.2 billion

7. Japan

Soldiers from the Japanese 22nd Inf. Regt. prepare to attack Leschi Town, a MOUT site on Fort Lewis, during bilateral training with the U.S. 1-17 Inf. (Photo by Phil Sussman)

Power Index rating: 0.2137

Total population: 126,702,133

Total military personnel: 311,875

Total aircraft strength: 1,594

Fighter aircraft: 288

Combat tanks: 700

Total naval assets: 131 (four aircraft carriers)

Defense budget: $43.8 billion

6. United Kingdom

A British Parachute Regiment soldier prepares to load a helicopter during a simulated medical evacuation in an exercise at the Hohenfels Training Area, in Hohenfels, Germany, June 17, 2016. (Photo by Sgt. Seth Plagenza, US Army)

Power Index rating: 0.2131

Total population: 64,430,428

Total military personnel: 232,675

Total aircraft strength: 856

Fighter aircraft: 88

Combat tanks 249

Total naval assets: 76 (two aircraft carriers)

Defense budget: $45.7 billion

5. France

A French paratrooper aims his antitank weapon at an enemy. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Juan F. Jimenez)

Power Index rating: 0.1914

Total population: 66,836,154

Total military personnel: 387,635

Total aicraft strength: 1,305

Fighter aircraft 296

Combat tanks: 406

Total naval assets: 118 (four aircraft carriers)

Defense budget: $35 billion

4. India

Soldiers of the Madras Regiment, Indian Army. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Soldiers of the Madras Regiment, Indian Army.

Power Index rating: 0.1593

Total population: 1,266,883,598

Total military personnel: 4,207,250

Total aircraft strength: 2,102

Fighter aircraft: 676

Combat tanks: 4,426

Total naval assets: 295 (three aircraft carriers)

Defense budget: $51 billion

3. China

The crew of a Chinese navy patrol plane. (Photo from People’s Liberation Army)

Power Index rating: 0.0945

Total population: 1,373,541,278

Total military personnel: 3,712,500

Total aircraft strength: 2,955

Fighter aircraft: 1,271

Combat tanks: 6,457

Total naval assets: 714 (one aircraft carrier)

Defense budget: $161.7 billion

2. Russia

Russian Army Soldiers.

Power Index rating: 0.0929

Total population: 142,355,415

Total military personnel: 3,371,027

Total aircraft strength: 3,794

Fighter aircraft: 806

Combat tanks: 20,216

Total naval assets: 352 (one aircraft carrier)

Defense budget: $44.6 billion

1. United States

US Marines with Combat Logistics Detachment 1, Combat Logistics Battalion 13, 1st Marine Logistics Group, practice “combat gliding” during Integrated Training Exercise 2-15 at Camp Wilson on Twentynine Palms, California, January 31, 2015. US Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Kathryn Howard)

Power Index rating: 0.0857

Total population: 323,995,528

Total military personnel: 2,363,675

Total aircraft: 13,762

Fighter aircraft: 2,296

Combat tanks: 5,884

Total naval assets: 415 (19 aircraft carriers)

Defense budget: $587.8 billion