India’s military has secured the fourth position on a global index of 136 countries ranked on the basis of their military capabilities, trailing behind United States, Russia and China.
While India has maintained its position among the top five nations in the Global Firepower (GFP) List 2018, Pakistan has slipped four spots to 17 from 13 in 2017.
The top three military powers too have held on to their ranks. France rounded up the top five. The United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan, Turkey and Germany complete the top 10, in that order.
Ireland, Montenegro and Liberia are three new additions to the list this year.
The GFP index ranked the countries based on 55 parameters, including military resources, geographical factors, logistical flexibility, natural resources, local industry and available manpower.
China leads India in terms of active military personnel with its 21.83 lakh personnel as against India’s 13.62 lakh. Pakistan has 6.37 active personnel.
China’s defence budget continues to be over three times more than India’s.
India remains ahead of Pakistan on most parameters, but the number of attack helicopters available with the western neighbour is significantly higher at 49, compared to India’s 15.
An increase or decline in ranking can be related to equipment/manpower attrition, financial instability, population and resource fluxes, etc, said the report.
It also said that India is looking beyond its position as a top military importer to that of a top military exporter and has several high-profile programmes to market.
Pakistan’s military, however, continues to be challenged by internal unrest, disaster relief operations and standing global requirements in the fight against terrorism, added the report.
The GFP index didn’t consider nuclear stockpiles, but gave weightage to recognised and suspected nuclear powers in terms of additional bonus.
Available manpower was a key consideration in the ranking, a factor understood to have helped India and China significantly because of the strength of their armed forces.