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Armed and dangerous: India fifth in world's strongest armed forces

October 06, 2015 08:40 IST
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While the world talks of India getting closer to a permanent spot in the United Nations Security Council, a report released by Credit Suisse places India on the fifth spot in a list of the top 20 strongest armed forces in the world. 

The report ranks the strength of 20 countries according to weaponry, including tanks, aircraft, helicopters and submarines, each country represents.

Indian soldiers sit atop T-90 tanks. India has 4.7 million military personnel. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/Reuters

The United States remains unopposed as the leader of the world's armed forces ranking at number 1 followed by Russia, China, Japan and India. The top ten are rounded off by France on the sixth spot, South Korea on number 7 and Italy, the United Kingdom and Turkey filling in spots eight through ten. India's neighbour and adversary Pakistan ranks at number 11.

US service personnel salute during a memorial service. Photograph: Darren Staples/ Reuters

According to the report the US is supremely powerful due to its fleet of 13,900 aircraft, 920 attack helicopters, 10 aircraft carriers and 72 submarines. 

Sukhoi Su-27 jet fighters of the Russkiye Vityazi (Russian Knights) aerobatic team perform during the MAKS International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky outside Moscow, Russia. Photograph: Maxim Zmeyev/ Reuters

The report mentions that the 'US far outweighs the military might of any of its close rivals and so does its defense spending worth USD 610 bn in 2014, which is far more than the combined military expenditures of the next nine countries in our index.'

Soldiers of the People's Liberation Army of China arrive on their armoured vehicles at Tiananmen Square during the military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing. Photograph: Damir Sagolj/ Reuters 

However, not losing sight of the vast nuclear arena in which the world finds itself, the report adds that, 'In reality, in today’s nuclear era, conventional forces are not the only indicator of military strength. Russia and the United States account for more than 90 percent of global inventories of nuclear weapons according to SIPRI.'

Sailors stand on the deck of HMS Ark Royal during a visit by Britain's Queen Elizabeth to celebrate the ship's 25th anniversary of service in the Royal Navy fleet, in Portsmouth, southern England. Photograph: Richard Pohle/ Reuters

Although the report makes it clear that none of the countries in the list comes anywhere close to the US' figures, it does mentions that China boasts almost 50 per cent more active duty military personnel than the US.

Alphajets from the French Air Force Patrouille de France, in the formation of a Croix de Lorraine cross and releasing trails of red, white and blue smoke, colors of French national flag, fly over the Champs Elysees avenue during the traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris, France. Photograph: Thibault Camus/ Reuters 

Counted with Reserve Military and Paramilitary both India and China far exceed that of US.

New South Korean military officers cheer during a joint commissioning ceremony for 6,478 new officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines at the military headquarters in Gyeryong. Photograph: Kim Hong-Ji/ Reuters 

India, which ranked fifth on the list, has a total of approximately 4.7 million military personnel, little more than half in comparison to China’s 7 million.

German Navy armed personnel stand in front of the Frigate Hamburg, docked at Port Rashid, in Dubai. Photograph: Ahmed Jadallah/ Reuters

Interestingly, the US, which leads the list, has only around 2.3 million military personnel.

Sailors stand on the deck of the Izumo warship as it departs from the harbour of the Japan United Marine shipyard in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. Photograph: Thomas Peter/ Reuters 

The pacifistic Japan, the only country to ever face an atomic attack, is ahead of India on the list because of the former’s air force.

The US-produced fighter aircraft of the Japanese Air Force are clearly ahead than those India is armed with.

In terms of naval strength, the US has 10 aircraft carriers, most of which are classified under the category of ‘supecarriers’, India and Italy are armed iwth two aircraft carriers each. China has only one in Liaoning. 

Tukish soldiers stand at attention. Photograph: Osman Orsal/ Reuters 

Ranked seven spots after India’s military, the report gives Pakistan a final military strength score of 0.41.

Furthermore, the report reveals that Pakistan’s active personnel number stands at 7.1 lakh and is better armed than Germany, Australia, and Canada.


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