View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter – data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Analysis
June 13, 2019updated 09 Jan 2020 7:00am

The world’s biggest armies

The army serves as a critical component of the military forces of many nations worldwide, comprising almost solely of land forces. lists the biggest armies in the world by troop numbers. ranks the world’s top ten biggest armies, based on the troop size.

People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF), China

The People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) of China is the world’s biggest army, with an estimated 1.6 million troops. Established in August 1927, the PLAGF is one of the major military divisions of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

The PLA operates under the command of the Central Military Commission. The active ground forces of the army are deployed across seven military regions in the country.

China is also the second largest military spender in the world after the US. The official defence spending of the country reached $250bn in 2018.

Indian Army

Constituting 1.2 million troops, the Indian Army is commanded by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS). It employs a regimental system divided into mountain, infantry, and armoured and mechanised divisions.

The Indian Army is equipped with T-72 and Arjun tanks, BMP series infantry fighting vehicles, anti-tank guided missiles, Apache helicopters, fast reconnaissance vehicles, modern individual weapons, self-propelled artillery and air defence missiles.

US Army

The US Army is one of the three military departments (army, navy and air force) working under the Department of Defence. It is mainly composed of active and reserve components.

The US Army employs more than one million active-duty, reserve and National Guard members. The nation spent $649bn on defence in 2018.

The US Army utilises modern weaponry including tanks, armoured fighting vehicles, self-propelled and towed artillery, as well as missiles and rocket-launching systems.

Korean People’s Army Ground Force (KPAGF)

The Korean People’s Army Ground Force (KPAGF) is the major arm of North Korea’s Korean People’s Army. Established in August 1947, the KPAGF is estimated to have a current strength of 950,000 troops.

The North Korean ground force holds the arsenal of 4,300 tanks, 2,500 armoured vehicles, 8,600 field artillery systems and 5,500 multiple rocket launchers, according to latest estimates.

Most of the artillery and missile systems are positioned close to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) dividing North and South Korea.

Related Companies

NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. The top stories of the day delivered to you every weekday. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Friday. The defence industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every month.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy


Thank you for subscribing to Army Technology