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The world’s most powerful militaries revealed

The world’s most powerful militaries revealed

The US, Russia and China have the world’s most powerful militaries while the UK comes in seventh, according to annual rankings produced by a defence sector analyst.

Global Firepower’s 2024 Military Strength Rankings evaluated 145 countries, assessing them based on their military capabilities.

The US ranked first out of the 145 countries analysed, followed by Russia in second position and China in third. The US scored 0.0699 (the lower the better), with Russia following a close lead with 0.0702 and China at 0.0706, it said.

India has the fourth most powerful military followed by South Korea, while the UK took seventh spot.

The US boasts the highest military expenditure in the world at $876bn, and secured its position at the top of the index due to its dominance in a range of categories from finance to available resources.

The country stood out as a major player in technological advancements, excelling in the medical, aerospace, and computer/telecom sectors.

According to the report, the US possesses an impressive fleet of 13,300 aircraft, including 983 attack helicopters.

In second spot, Russia was recognised for its advanced technology and global influence despite the losses its armed forces have suffered in its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

With military spending of an estimated $292bn, China has made significant strides in its naval, airpower and land warfare capabilities, benefitting from its impressive domestic resources.

The least powerful country on the list was Bhutan with a power index of 6.3704, while Moldova also features in the bottom five.

The US has 2,127,500 military personnel, significantly fewer than Russia and China. Russia has 3,570,000 personnel and China has 3,170,000, while India has the largest armed forces out of the top players with 5,137,550 personnel, according to the rankings.

The index rankings are determined by assessing countries across various parameters, including military resources, natural resources, industry, geographical features, and available manpower.

Global Firepower said it has released the ranking based on its “unique, in-house formula” that allows “smaller, more technologically advanced nations to compete with larger, lesser-developed powers, and special modifiers, in the form of bonuses and penalties, are applied to further refine the list, which is compiled annually”.