This list has been updated for 2016, and the top 5 may come as a bit of a surprise! The world’s strongest military forces are based on the number of active personnel, tanks, attack helicopters, air crafts, aircraft carriers, and submarines they have.
Budget: $15.7 billion
Active Frontline Personnel: 92,000
Total aircraft: 420
Canada kicks off the list due to the country's small number of active personnel, its limited supply of aircraft carriers and attack helicopters, and its lack of tanks and submarines. However, Canada has still taken part in US operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and it is also a member of the NATO military alliance.
Budget: $6.9 billion
Active Frontline Personnel: 476,000
Total aircraft: 405
Even though Indonesia boasts a high number of active personnel and tanks, it suffers from a lack of carriers and aircraft, as well as a minute number of submarines.
Budget: $40.2 billion
Active Frontline Personnel: 179,046
Total aircraft: 663
It may come as a surprise that Germany ended up low on the list. Germany lacks an aircraft carrier and has relatively few submarines (4 to be exact), but to be fair, it does have a high number of attack helicopters.
Budget: $9.4 billion
Active frontline personnel: 120,000
Total aircraft: 467
Poland edges out Germany thanks to its large number of tanks and better submarine fleet. Poland has 5 submarines and 1,009 tanks.
Budget: $5.39 billion
Active Frontline Personnel: 306,000
Total aircraft: 573
Although Thailand has 0 submarines, it boasts a large number of active personnel, 722 tanks, and has an aircraft carrier (but no aircraft fleet).
Budget: $26.1 billion
Active Frontline Personnel: 58,000
Total aircraft: 408
The Australian military is pretty small in comparison with other countries, but what it lacks in active personnel and tanks, it makes up for in attack helicopters and submarines.
Budget: $17 billion
Active frontline personnel: 160,000
Total aircraft: 684
Although Israel has a small military, with mandatory military service a large percentage of the Israeli population is militarily ready. It’s worth mentioning that Israel has advanced military advantages such as high-tech armed drones, and advanced fighter jets.
Budget: $10.7 billion
Active Frontline Personnel: 290,000
Total aircraft: 804
After constantly being under threat by China’s plans to invade, Taiwan was always on top of its game. This might explain why Taiwan has the highest number of attack helicopters.
Budget: $4.4 billion
Active Frontline Personnel: 468,500
Total aircraft: 1,107
The Egyptian military is the oldest and largest in the Middle East, and has the fifth largest fleet of tanks in the world. It has over 1,000 M1A1 Abrams tanks, many of which sit in storage and have never been used.
udget: $7 billion
Active frontline personnel: 617,000
Total aircraft: 914
Regarding active personnel, The Pakistani military is one of the largest forces in the world. Some even argue that Pakistan is building nuclear weapons at such a pace that within the next 10 years it might have the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal.
Budget: $18.2 billion
Active frontline personnel: 410,500
Total aircraft: 1,020
As one of the largest armed forces in the eastern Mediterranean, and with such a large tank fleet, Turkey ranked 10 on the list.
Budget: $60.5 billion
Active Frontline Personnel: 146,980
Total aircraft: 936
Although the UK is planning to reduce the size of its armed forces by 20% between 2010 and 2018, it won’t take away from its power, or influence. The Royal Navy is planning to put the HMS Queen Elizabeth (an aircraft carrier) into service by 2020.
Budget: $34 billion
Active frontline personnel: 320,000
Total aircraft: 760
Italy's possession of two aircraft carriers, making it eighth on the list. Also, submarine and attack helicopter fleets, drastically boosted Italy's ranking.
Budget: $62.3 billion
Active frontline personnel: 624,465
Total aircraft: 1,412
South Korea doesn’t have much choice but to have a large and capable military in the face of potential North Korean aggression.
Budget: $62.3 billion
Active frontline personnel: 202,761
Total aircraft: 1,264
The French army is quite small in size, but highly trained and professional. France engages in military deployments in Africa to fight extremism and stabilize governments.
Budget: $50 billion
Active frontline personnel: 1,325,000
Total aircraft: 1,905
India is one of the largest active powers on the planet. It’s worth mentioning that India has access to nuclear weapons.
Budget: $41.6 billion
Active frontline personnel: 247,173
Total aircraft: 1,613
Japan has the fourth largest submarine on the list here and has the fourth largest attack helicopter.
Budget: $216 billion
Active frontline personnel: 2,333,000
Total aircraft: 2,860
China has the worlds' largest army, the second largest tank fleet behind Russia, and the second largest submarine fleet behind the US. Also, it has made a rapid investment in its military modernization program, now potentially developing some game-changing military technologies such as ballistic missiles, and fifth generation aircraft.
Budget: $84.5 billion
Active frontline personnel: 766,055
Total aircraft: 3,429
There is no doubt Russia has the strongest military in the world. Since 2008, the Kremlin’s military spending has increased by practically a third, and is expected to grow another 44% in the next 3 years.
Budget: $601 billion
Active frontline personnel: 1,400,000
Total aircraft: 13,892
Top on the list is the United States! The United States spends $601 billion, which is more than what the next six highest-spending countries spend combined.