In 2020, China
had the largest armed forces in the world by active duty military personnel, with about 2.18 active soldiers. India, the United States, North Korea, and Russia rounded out the top five largest armies respectively, each with over one million active military personnel.
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.
Pakistan Army -
The Pakistan Army was formed in 1947 after independence from the British Empire. The army currently employs approximately 560,000 active forces, making it one of the world’s biggest armed forces.
The Pakistan Army engaged in three major wars against India. Most of the weapons used by the armed forces are of Chinese, European or American origin. The inventory mainly comprises small arms, armoured vehicles, artillery, helicopters and air defence systems.