Global Firepower
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United Kingdom Military Strength

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 4/1/2015

Despite its size, the United Kingdom maintains one of the strongest economies and fighting forces anywhere in the world.


The values showcased below are all considered for the final GFP ranking recognized as the "Power Index" (abbrv: "PwrIndx"). PwrIndx scores are judged on a perfect value of "0.0000" which is realistically unattainable due to the number of factors considered per country. Bonuses and penalties are added to each nation (as needed) while landlocked countries (ex: Austria) are not penalized for lack of a standing navy though they do suffer penalties for not maintaining a useful merchant marine force.

A total of 126 countries make up the GFP ranked list.

United Kingdom
PwrIndx: 0.2743

Going beyond military equipment totals and perceived fighting strength is the actual manpower that drives a given military. Wars of attrition favor those with more.

 Total Population: 63,742,977
 Available Manpower: 29,164,233
 Fit for Service: 24,035,131
 Reaching Military Age Annually: 749,480]
 Active Frontline Personnel: 146,980
 Active Reserve Personnel: 182,000

Tank value includes Main Battle Tanks, light tanks and tank destroyers, either wheeled or tracked. AFV value includes Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) and Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs).

 Tanks: 407
 Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFVs): 5,948
 Self-Propelled Guns (SPGs): 89
 Towed-Artillery: 138
 Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems (MLRSs): 42

Includes both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft from all branches of service.

 Total Aircraft: 936
 Fighters/Interceptors: 89
 Fixed-Wing Attack Aircraft: 160
 Transport Aircraft: 365
 Trainer Aircraft: 343
 Helicopters: 402
 Attack Helicopters: 65

Aircraft Carrier value includes dedicated "helicopter carrier" vessels. Total naval strength includes all known auxiliaries as well.

 Total Naval Strength: 66
 Aircraft Carriers: 1
 Frigates: 13
 Destroyers: 6
 Corvettes: 0
 Submarines: 10
 Coastal Defense Craft: 28
 Mine Warfare: 15

Despite the advances made in battlefield technology, oil remains the lifeblood of any fighting force as well as local economy.

 Oil Production: 1,100,000 bbl/day
 Oil Consumption: 1,217,000 bbl/day]
 Proven Oil Reserves: 3,122,000,000 bbl/day

War is as much a battle of logistics - moving man and machine from points all over - as it is direct combat. Labor Force reflects possible wartime industry strength.

 Labor Force: 30,150,000
 Merchant Marine Strength: 504]
 Major Ports and Terminals: 14
 Roadway Coverage: 394,428
 Railway Coverage: 16,454
 Serviceable Airports: 460

Regardless of military strength in numbers, war is still driven by financing as much as any one leader or weapon.

 Defense Budget: $51,500,000,000
 External Debt: $9,577,000,000,000
 Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold: $87,480,000,000
 Purchasing Power Parity: $2,387,000,000,000

 GEOGRAPHY (in km)
Geographical values primarily figure into a defensive-minded war (i.e. invasion).

 Square Land Area: 243,610 km
 Coastline: 12,429 km
 Shared Border: 443 km
 Waterways: 3,200 km

Partial Sources:, CIA World Factbook,, public domain print and media sources and user contributions. Some values may be estimated when official sources are lacking.

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