The 10 Most Powerful Militaries in the World 2024

Which country has the strongest army in the world? US is No 1; find out where India, China and Pakistan rank. The folks at Global Firepower ranks the most powerful militaries in the world. Ranking based on multiple factors, including each country’s military budget, number of aircraft carriers, available manpower and labour force.

In a world marked by geopolitical tensions, military strength remains a critical factor in shaping global dynamics. Global Firepower’s comprehensive rankings offer valuable insights into the military capabilities of nations. Let’s delve into the top 10 most powerful militaries in the world, exploring their strengths, assets, and PowerIndex scores.

10: Italy

  • PowerIndex Score: 0.1973
  • Fighter Aircraft: 250
  • Attack Helicopters: 58
  • Naval Assets: 2 aircraft carrier warships

Italy secures its position in the top 10 with notable strengths in aerial tanker aircraft, attack helicopters, and aircraft carrier warships. With 404 helicopters and a PowerIndex score of 0.1973, Italy maintains a formidable military presence.

9: France

the Bastille Day parade in Paris
  • PowerIndex Score: 0.1848
  • Fighter Aircraft: 269
  • Attack Helicopters: 69
  • Naval Assets: 10 destroyer warships

France, a key European power, boasts a diverse military arsenal, including an aircraft carrier—Charles de Gaulle. With 438 helicopters and a PowerIndex score of 0.1848, France remains a prominent force, particularly in its historical ties in the Sahel region.

8: Japan

Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers
  • PowerIndex Score: 0.1711
  • Fighter Aircraft: 1,400
  • Attack Helicopters: 119
  • Naval Assets: 4 helicopter carriers

Despite constitutional limitations, Japan maintains a robust military. Ranking high in major ports and helicopter carriers, Japan has over 1,400 military aircraft, 111,000 vehicles, and a PowerIndex score of 0.1711, reflecting its strategic importance.

7: Pakistan

  • PowerIndex Score: 0.1694
  • Fighter Aircraft: 357
  • Attack Helicopters: 53
  • Naval Assets: 9 submarines

Rising from ninth place, Pakistan’s geopolitical significance is emphasized by its border-sharing position with Afghanistan, China, India, and Iran. With strengths in tanks, aircraft, submarines, and a PowerIndex score of 0.1694, Pakistan secures the seventh spot.

6: South Korea

South Korean army K1A1 battle tank fires
  • PowerIndex Score: 0.1505
  • Fighter Aircraft: 402
  • Attack Helicopters: 112
  • Naval Assets: 234; 1 aircraft carriers

South Korea, facing historical tensions with North Korea, maintains a formidable military. Ranking high in aircraft fleet strength, armored vehicles, and helicopters, South Korea’s PowerIndex score of 0.1505 reflects its robust defense capabilities.

5: The UK

British troops in Germany
  • PowerIndex Score: 0.1435
  • Fighter Aircraft: 119
  • Attack Helicopters: 38
  • Naval Assets: 88; 2 aircraft carriers

The UK, despite its smaller armed forces, secures the fifth spot with strengths in manpower, airpower, and financial stability. Operating multiple aircraft carriers, including the advanced HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, the UK demonstrates a formidable military presence.

4: India

Republic Day Parade of India at New Delhi
  • PowerIndex Score: 0.1025
  • Fighter Aircraft: 542
  • Attack Helicopters: 37
  • Naval Assets: 285; 1 aircraft carriers

India’s military strength lies in its massive population and available manpower. Ranking second in manpower-related categories, India maintains a significant presence with over 653 million available manpower and a PowerIndex score of 0.1025.

3: China

Chinese military
  • PowerIndex Score: 0.0722
  • Fighter Aircraft: 1,200
  • Attack Helicopters: 327
  • Naval Assets: 50 destroyer warships, 78 submarines

China’s rapid military growth positions it as a global adversary. Leading in manpower and naval strength, China’s focus on enhancing naval, air, and land capabilities is evident. With a PowerIndex score of 0.0722, China emerges as a formidable military force.

2: Russia

Russia's Military Modernization
  • PowerIndex Score: 0.0714
  • Fighter Aircraft: 4,100
  • Attack Helicopters: 538
  • Naval Assets: 603; 1 aircraft carriers

Despite recent challenges in Ukraine, Russia retains its second place. With strengths in aircraft and transport fleets, Russia maintains a considerable advantage. Although facing setbacks, Russia’s military prowess remains formidable, reflected in a PowerIndex score of 0.0714.

1: The US

Most Powerful Militaries in the World
  • PowerIndex Score: 0.0712
  • Fighter Aircraft: 13,300
  • Attack Helicopters: 983
  • Naval Assets: 92 destroyers, 11 aircraft carriers

The United States continues to lead the global military rankings with unmatched numbers in key categories. Boasting technological superiority, a vast air fleet, and the largest defense budget, the U.S. secures the top spot with a PowerIndex score of 0.0712.


The Global Firepower ranked the world’s most powerful countries in term of army strength. They examined the defense forces of 140 countries in order to compile the rankings, taking into account manpower, land systems, air power, naval power, resources, logistics, finances and geography covered. (See military assets data for each country).

World’s one of the biggest military, Israel army is not in the top 10. It stands on 18th place amongst the most powerful armies. Anyway, check out the world’s top 10 most powerful militaries, with some accompanying stats. You may also like to see the list of top 10 countries with strongest armies.

Armies are powerful tools that can be used for good or bad. The top 10 most powerful armies in the world are listed above, and it’s important to remember that not all armies are created equal. Some have more money and resources than others, which can help them achieve tremendous goals. However, no army is invincible, so always be prepared for the possibility of war.