Head to Head: India’s Firepower against China, Pakistan

The calculations used in the Global Firepower (GFP) analysis result from a complex algorithm considering fifty factors concurrently.

Head to Head: India's Firepower against China, Pakistan
The Global Firepower Index India holds the fourth position has an assessment of 0.0979, which indicates it is about 19 times weaker than China. (Photo | PTI)

By Girish Linganna

The Global Firepower Index is a ranking of all nations’ military strength. Unlike counting the number of weapons a country has like SIPRI, the website gives a comprehensive ranking based on equipment, infrastructure and economic strength. The calculations used in the Global Firepower (GFP) analysis result from a complex algorithm considering fifty factors concurrently. They recommend considering the total number of military forces, the length of the coastline and other aspects of the situation.

Important considerations include the number of airports and their location within the country’s heartland, where it will be difficult for the enemy to launch a surprise attack. This makes the number of airports a critical element. Consideration must also be given to the total distance covered by the railways. Everything is simple since transferring tanks and other large equipment by rail is much simpler. This makes everything quite uncomplicated. Not to discount either the state of the economy or the ability of the public to spend money. The number of individuals qualified to serve in the military and the possibility of a reserve is determined independently. In a word, the professionals at GFP considerably solve the problem, doing computations for each of the 142 countries worldwide.

Compared to possible adversaries, the United States is positioned in the first place by a significant margin. According to official data, the United States has 1957 combat aircraft, 783 attack aircraft, 5463 utility helicopters (military transport), and 910 battle-ready assault helicopters. However, regarding the number of ground forces, the United States came in second, although this did not affect the overall ranking. In America, there are a total of 6,612 tanks and 45,193 armoured vehicles of various types. Deliveries to Ukraine marginally decreased this number as Washington moved this honourable debt to Eastern European countries and allies. Analysts believe catastrophic damage to the United States military is only likely in the event of a one-time, unanswered nuclear storm that passes through vital military installations.

In second place is Russia, whose ammunition is largely based on the achievements of the Soviet military industrial complex. GFP analysts place the Russian Federation in second place in these and many other categories because of the lack of helicopter carriers in the Russian military, even though this did not influence the fleet’s strength. However, if Russia ranks second in submarines, the number of minesweepers and corvettes is astounding, although the presence of a single aircraft carrier slightly skews the numbers. The Americans think the Russian Federation has more ground equipment than the United States, with up to 12,000 tanks alone. In terms of the number of aircraft, however, the failure rate is up to three times that of the United States. Russia possesses a total of 4,173 aircraft and helicopters. According to experts, Russia is actively devouring munitions; hence, the quantity may differ from that provided. Well, it is also important to note that the limited operation in Ukraine harms the Russian military’s equipment. It is essential to commence manufacturing as soon as feasible because the quantity of available equipment is dwindling. The world is continually attempting to forecast how many missiles remain with Russia, but no one has good data yet.

China is in third place, but the Middle Kingdom is narrowing the gap with Russia, which may allow it to reach the second line of the list in the coming years. Examining the overall evaluation without delving into quantitative indications for tanks and other equipment will be fascinating. The Lesser the score, the stronger a country’s military machine. So US: 0.0453; Russia: 0.0501; China: 0.0511. Inexplicably, India, which holds the fourth position, has an assessment of 0.0979, which indicates it is about 19 times weaker than China. Pakistan ranks ninth in the ranking, with an appraisal of 0.1572 and is logically about 16 times weaker than India.

China possesses 3285 military aircraft in total spread over its armed forces, while India has 2182 and Pakistan fields 1387. The figure includes both fixed wing and rotor aircraft. China fields 1200 fighter aircraft, and India has 564. Pakistan flies 357 fighter aircraft.

In the Naval power category, China’s flotilla includes 777 ships compared to 295 in the Indian fleet, and Pakistan has only 114 and is ranked 144th worldwide. China has the most military vessels worldwide, and India is ranked 8th. Ironically, Colombia, North Korea and Indonesia have more military vessels than India. Even Sri Lanka has 275 military ships.

In the Tanks category, China and India rank 4th and 5th with 5250 and 4614 tanks. Pakistan ranks 11th with 2824 tanks.

Regarding total security personnel, China has 2 million, and India has 1.45 million. For Pakistan, the figure is .64 million.

Author is an Aerospace & Defence Analyst.

Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position of the author’s institution or policy of Financial Express Online. Reproducing this content without permission is prohibited.

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First published on: 12-12-2022 at 19:05 IST
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