Top 10 Largest Armies In The World 2021

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Who is the largest military force in the world? The country’s military plays an important role in the development of the nation. It facilitates the implementation of government policies and protects the citizens from any external or internal threat. The Army has divisions like – Army, Navy, Air Force and in some countries there are branches like Marine and Coast Guard. Want to know who has the largest army in the world? Here we have listed the top 10 largest armies in the world 2021.


10. Armed Forces of Saudi Arabia

Armed Forces of Saudi Arabia - top 10 largest armies in the world in 2021

The Saudi Arabian Armed Forces (Royal Saudi Armed Forces) are the military forces of Saudi Arabia. This includes the Saudi Arabian Land Force, Royal Saudi Navy, Royal Saudi Air Force, Royal Saudi Air Defense and Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Force. 

The King of Saudi Arabia is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and formulates military policy with the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of the Interior. 

The five armed forces are among the eight military forces of Saudi Arabia, including the Saudi Arabian National Guard, the Saudi Royal Guard Regiment, and the Saudi Arabian Border Guard. Apart from this, there is also the General Intelligence Presidency which is the main intelligence service. The Armed Forces of Saudi Arabia is the tenth largest military force in the world 2021.

  • Budget: $48.5 billion
  • Active personnel: 480,000


09. People’s Army of Vietnam

top 10 largest armies in the world in 2021 Vietnam
Image Credit: DrRandomFactor/Wikimedia

The People’s Army of Vietnam (Vietnamese People’s Army VPA) is the military force of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. PAVN is a part of Vietnam People’s Armed Forces and includes – Ground Force, Navy, Air Force, Border Guard, Coast Guard, Cyberspace Operations and Mausoleum Defense Force.  

However, Vietnam does not have a separate ground force or army branch. All the ground forces, army corps, military districts and special weapons belong to the Ministry of Defense. Directly under the Central Military Commission, the Minister of Defense and the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army.  

The military flag of the PAVN is the flag of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, with the word Quyết thắng added to yellow on the top left. The People’s Army of Vietnam is the ninth largest military force in the world 2021.

  • Budget: $5.5 billion
  • Active personnel: 482,500

08. Islamic Republic of Iran Armed Forces

Islamic Republic of Iran Armed Forces - top 10 largest armies in the world in 2021

The Islamic Republic of Iran Armed Forces is a joint military force of Iran. This includes the Army (Artesh), the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Law Enforcement Force.

The Iranian Armed Forces are the largest in the Middle East in terms of active troops. The Islamic Republic of Iran Armed Forces is one of the 10 largest armies in the world 2021.

Iran’s military force is made up of approximately 610,000 active-duty personnel and 350,000 reserve and trained personnel. Those can be mobilized when needed, bringing the country’s military strength to about 960,000 total personnel. These numbers do not include the Law Enforcement Force or the Basij.

  • Budget: $17.4 billion
  • Active personnel: 610,000


07. Republic of Korea Armed Forces

top 10 largest armies in the world in 2021 south korea

The Republic of Korea Armed Forces, also known as the ROK Armed Forces, are the armed forces of South Korea. The ROK Armed Forces is the world’s largest permanent armed force in 2020 with a reported personnel number of 3,305,000 (555,000 active and 2,750,000 reserves).

South Korea has the tenth largest budget in the world. The ROK Armed Forces is ranked as the sixth most powerful army in 2020, and 2021. The Republic of Korea Armed Forces is one of the 10 largest armies in the world in 2021.

  • Budget: $45.5 billion
  • Active personnel: 555,000

06. Pakistan Armed Forces

who has the largest army in the world pakistan

The Pakistan Armed Forces are joint military forces of Pakistan. It is one of the 10 largest armies in the world in terms of active military personnel and consist of three formally uniformed services in the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Which are supported by various constitutionally sanctioned paramilitary forces. 

An important component of the armed forces structure is the Strategic Planning Division Force. It is responsible for the maintenance and security of Pakistan’s strategic and tactical nuclear weapons reserves and assets. 

The chain of command of the Pakistan Armed Forces is organized under the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Committee with the Chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force. All branches are coordinated systematically during joint operations and missions under the Joint Branch Headquarters.

  • Budget: $10.3 billion
  • Active personnel: 654,000

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05. Russian Armed Forces

Russia by area

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, commonly known as the Russian Armed Forces, are the military forces of the Russian Federation. They are divided into Ground Forces, Navy and Aerospace Forces. The service also has two independent weapons – Strategic Missile Troops and Airborne Troops.  

The Russian Armed Forces is one of the largest military forces in the world. As of 2021, the military consisted of approximately one million active duty personnel, ranks fifth is the 10 largest armies in the world 2021.

Additionally, there are more than 2.5 million reservoirs, with a total number of possibly up to 20 million. It is mandatory for all male citizens between the ages of 18-30 to be drafted for one year of service in the Armed Forces. The Russian Armed Forces are the second most powerful military in the world.

  • Budget: $65.1 billion
  • Active personnel: 1,014,000

04. North Korean People’s Army

North Korean largest military force in the world.

The Korean People’s Army is the military force of North Korea and the armed wing of the Workers’ Party of Korea. Under the Songun policy, it is the central institution of North Korean society. Kim Jong-un serves as Supreme Commander and Chairman of the Central Military Commission. The KPA consists of five branches – Ground Force, Naval Force, Air and Anti-Air Force, Strategic Rocket Forces, and Special Operation Force.

The KPA considers its primary rivals the Armed Forces of Korea and the Republic of Korea of ​​the United States as a Korean demilitarized zone. With 5,889,000 paramilitary personnel as of 2016, it is the largest military organisation in the world. This numbers 25% of the North Korean population. The Korean People’s Army is the fourth largest military force in the world 2021.

  • Budget: $1.6 billion
  • Active personnel: 1,300,000


03. United States Armed Forces

largest country in the world by area USA

The United States Armed Forces are the United States military forces. This includes the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force and Coast Guard.

The President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. It forms military policy with the federal executive departments of both the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the main components of which. 

Military policy is carried out. All six armed services are among the eight uniformed services of the United States. The US Armed Forces are the third largest military force in the world, And most powerful army in the world 2021.

  • Budget: $738 billion
  • Active personnel: 1,400,000

02. Indian Armed Forces

India military force in the world

The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of India. It consists of three professional uniformed services – Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. 

Additionally, the Indian Armed Forces are supported by the Indian Coast Guard and paramilitary organizations and various inter-service orders and institutions such as the Strategic Forces Command, Andaman and Nicobar Command and the Integrated Defense Staff. The President of India is the supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces. 

The Indian Armed Forces are under the management of the Ministry of Defense (MoD), Government of India. With a strength of over 1.4 million active personnel, it is the second largest military force in the world and the largest volunteer army in the world. 

It also has the third largest defense budget in the world. According to the 2015 Credit Suisse report, the Indian Armed Forces is the fifth most powerful army in the world. The 2020 Global Firepower report lists it as the fourth most powerful armies in the world.

  • Budget: $67 billion
  • Active personnel: 1,455,550


01. People’s Liberation Army, China

Infos10.com China

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is the regular armed force of the People’s Republic of China and the armed branch of the Chinese Communist Party, the founding and ruling political party of the PRC. 

Apart from the Central Military Commission and several smaller units under it, the PLA has five major service branches – the Ground Force, Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force and Strategic Support Force. The majority of military units across the country are assigned by geographical location to one of the five theater commands. 

The PLA is the world’s largest military power and the second largest defense budget in the world. It is one of the fastest modernizing militants in the world, and has been touted as a potential military superpower with significant regional defense and growing global power launch capabilities. The PLA is the third most powerful army in the world.

  • Budget: $209.4 billion
  • Active personnel: 2,185,000

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