15 Most Advanced Countries in Military Technology
In this piece, we will take a look at the 15 most advanced countries in military technology. For more countries, head on over to 5 Most Advanced Countries in Military Technology.
Military technology, or the use of technology for the brutal art of warfare, is one of the oldest domains in human history. From the caveman using a simple spear to today's high end stealth fighter jets and drones, this field has continuously evolved and is a primary contributor to the ability of armed forces to see the tide of war turn in their favor.
In terms of monetary value, defense items are among the most expensive in the world. The U.S.' crown jewel fighter jet, the F-22 Raptor, costs the USAF a cool $120 million to purchase exclusive of development costs and more than $68,000 (higher than the average U.S. income) to operate per hour. The industry itself stood at $474 billion last year and will grow to $513 billion this year with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2%. Top American firms, which are also the leading players globally, which manufacturer hypersonics, fighter aircraft, and atom bombs are Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), and The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA).
Out of these, Lockheed is the most versatile, as it is involved in making hypersonic vehicles, nuclear weapons, and the leading fighter aircraft in the world. Its F-22 Raptor is the world's oldest fighter jet. However, Northrop is known for its bombers and drones, and its latest B-21 Raider bomber revealed in December 2022 is a sight to behold.
Photo by Joel Rivera-Camacho on Unsplash
We studied a wide variety of factors to determine the world's most technologically advanced countries. However, to rank the countries, we have first listed down today's great power nations that are able to project military power globally. The data for military aircraft strength from Global Firepower is used for added context, and middle power nations are used to complete the list.
15 Most Advanced Countries in Military Technology
15. State of Israel
Total Military Aircraft Fleet Strength as of 2022: 597
The State of Israel has a gross domestic product of $496 billion and a high GDP per capita of $52,173. The Israeli Air Force has fought some of the highest number of wars in its history, and the country is a defense partner of the United States. While its air force relies on American aircraft, Israel uses its own variants of modern aircraft such as the F-16, which is called the F-16I Soufa.
14. Hellenic Republic
Total Military Aircraft Fleet Strength as of 2022: 633
The Hellenic Republic, also known as Greece, is a European country that is commonly referred to as the cradle of Western civilization due to having produced philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Its air force relies primarily on the U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, and Greece has produced some of the best fighter pilots in the world which dominate exercises such as the Red Flag and are often voted as the best in NATO. Additionally, Greek F-16s are among the latest in the world, as they belong to the Block 72 category. These jets are often dubbed as 4.5 generation due to modern capabilities such as AESA radars.
13. Federative Republic of Brazil
Total Military Aircraft Fleet Strength as of 2022: 679
The Federative Republic of Brazil is the largest country in North and South America, and an emerging power with a $3.6 trillion gross domestic product (GDP). The Brazilian Air Force is the second largest air force in the Americas after the U.S. Brazil's aerospace sector is one of the strongest in the world, and the air force relies mostly on aircraft that are produced either entirely or partially in Brazil. These are among the most advanced aircraft in the world, such as the JAS 39 Gripen.
Total Military Aircraft Fleet Strength as of 2022: 741
Taiwan is an Asian island region that plays a central role in the global supply of semiconductors, which are chips that are used in both military systems and consumer products. Taiwan has a total of 741 military aircraft in operation, with roughly half belonging to its air force. Its backbone fighter is the U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcon, but Taiwan's own AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-Kuo stands beside the F-16 as being the air force's primary line of defense. The AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-Kuo can travel as fast as Mach 1.8 with a 1,100 kilometer range, and it was initially designed to carry nuclear weapons. A possible action by China against Taiwan can cause a massive escalation in the region, which would bring profits for companies like Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), and The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA).
11. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)
Total Military Aircraft Fleet Strength as of 2022: 897
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), or simply Saudi Arabia, is the world's leading oil exporter. It also has one of the largest air forces in the world, which relies on the American F-15 Eagle aircraft for force projection. The F-15 is one of the most powerful aircraft right now, since it is a dual engine design that gives it a longer range and faster speed. Saudi Arabia has the third largest F-15 fleet in the world, after the U.S. and Japan, and the primary variant used by the Saudis is the F-15 strike fighter - which allows for both air superiority and strike attacks. As security anxieties of Saudi Arabia build up, it is increasing its military spending, which benefits major players like Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), and The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA).
10. Republic of India
Total Military Aircraft Fleet Strength as of 2022: 2,182
The Republic of India is one of the largest countries in the world in terms of both population and economy. It is the most populous after China and has an economy that is worth $11.6 trillion - the third largest in the world. India operates fighter aircraft, ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and even an aircraft carrier. However, most of its equipment is imported, and the country is yet to indigenously develop a modern fighter jet.
9. Italian Republic
Total Military Aircraft Fleet Strength as of 2022: 862
The Italian Republic is a European country that is also one of the richest in the world with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $3 trillion. Italy operates a total of 862 military aircraft, of which roughly half belong to its air force. The Italian Air Force, or the Aeronautica Militare, relies primarily on Britain's Eurofighter Typhoon as its backbone fighter. The Typhoon is one of the few variable swept wing aircraft in the world, which lets its change its wing shape while in the air to suit the mission profile. Italy is also a partner of the U.S. F-35 program, with the F-35 being one of the few 5th generation aircraft in the world. Italy also develops and manufactures the Panavia Tornado aircraft, in partnership with the U.K. and Germany.
8. Republic of Türkiye
Total Military Aircraft Fleet Strength as of 2022: 1,057
The Republic of Türkiye, or Turkey, has one of the strongest military defense complexes in the world. It is one of the few countries in the world that is licensed in the world to manufacture the F-16, showcasing its technological strength. Turkey manufactures air platforms, naval platforms, artillery, signals equipment, software, sensors, and other defense products. Additionally, it also has the capability to manufacture F-35 components.
Total Military Aircraft Fleet Strength as of 2022: 1,449
Japan is an Asian country that is a leading player in global affairs and a global power. It has a historic defense industry, which enabled it to operate aircraft carriers during World War 2. Japan has rapidly focused on military technology for exports since it lifted its arms exports ban in 2018. The country manufactures the Mitsubishi F-2 fighter jet, which is derived from the F-16, and Japan has also successfully manufactured and operated the F15-J fighter aircraft - an F-15 variant.
6. French Republic
Total Military Aircraft Fleet Strength as of 2022: 1,055
The French Republic is a European nation with a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. France is one of the leading defense exporters globally, with both its submarines and its fighter jets renowned for their performance advantages. France's Dassault Rafale aircraft is among the most advanced in the industry, and France is one of the few countries in the world that can manufacture jet aircraft engines. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced European countries like France to increase their military spending and they are expected to increase their orders for companies like Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), and The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA).
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Disclosure: None. 15 Most Advanced Countries in Military Technology is originally published on Insider Monkey.