The Indian defence forces continue to be ranked as the world’s fourth most powerful military while arch-rival Pakistan’s military has been ranked at the 15th spot according to Global Firepower’s 2019 Military Strength Ranking.
According to the rankings, the three most powerful militaries in the world are the United States, Russia and China followed by India, France, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom.
Global Firepower ranks the militaries of 137 countries by giving weightage to a complex number of factors and not just sheer numbers of soldiers or weapons. It looks at a large number of different criteria, including the diversity of each country’s weapons, manpower, population, geography and its state of development.
While it gives bonus points to countries with nuclear weapons, it does not factor in their nuclear stockpiles in the final score. While landlocked countries are not penalised for not having navies, countries that do have navies but their fleets lack diversity are penalised.
The Global Firepower ranking utilises over 55 factors to determine a country’s PowerIndex score. The formula allows smaller, more technologically advanced countries to compete with larger, less developed ones. A perfect PowerIndex score is 0.0000, which is realistically unattainable. The closer countries are to that number, the more powerful their military is. For example, the Power Index rating for the US is 0.0615. For Pakistan, the figure stands at 0.2798 and for India, it is 0.1065.
According to the ranking, Pakistan has an estimated total of 1,204,000 military personnel, total aircraft strength of 1342 (ranked 7th out of 137), 348 fighter aircraft, 197 total naval assets and a defence budget of $7billion.
India, meanwhile, has an estimated 3,462,500 military personnel, a total aircraft strength of 2082 (4th out of 137), 4,184 combat tanks, 295 total naval assets and one aircraft carrier. India’s defence budget is $55.2billion.
The three countries with the least powerful armies, according to the ranking, are Bhutan, Liberia and Suriname, which rank 137, 136 and 135 respectively.
Top 25 most powerful militaries in 2019:
1. The US
7. South Korea
8. United Kingdom
18. North Korea
25. Saudi Arabia