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As a country, Australia is quite a unique one. It is the only country that covers a whole land area of a continent. The total land area, including the small islands, is more than seven and a half million square kilometers. However, for such a huge country, the population is just above 25 million people.
Because of that uniqueness, the country is mostly covered with wilderness instead of busy areas. It makes some people ask about Australia’s strength as a nation in case something unpleasant happens. How strong is Australian army? Can Australians, who are not many, protect the enormous land area?
Is Australia a Strong Country?
To define the overall strength of a country, many factors can decide whether the country is strong or not. Those factors are the leader, political and economic influences, international alliances, and military.
So, based on those contributing factors, is Australia a strong country? The short answer is yes, but unfortunately not the strongest. One prominent attribute that makes Australia strong is its economy, which is among the world’s best.
Other than that, the strength of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), which is Australia’s military organization that defends the country, makes the country included in the world’s top 20 strongest overall countries.
Does Australia Have a Strong Military?
Due to several factors, the ADF can be seen as one of the world’s strongest militaries. The number of personnel might not be that high considering the low population, but the military has some world-class military weapons and equipment.
All servicemen and women of the ADF are well-trained by military academies which are different based on the services. For the Navy, the academy is HMAS Creswell, while Royal Military College and Duntron are for the Army. Then, the Officers’ Training School is for the Air Force.
To get a better idea of how strong is Australian army, let’s see more about the strength in numbers.
How Strong is the Australian Military?
To know the strength of the Australian military, the ADF, let’s see the number of manpower first. The total number of available military manpower is about 42% of the whole population of the country, which is more than ten million of them.
However, the total military personnel is about 79 thousand people, which is divided into about 59 thousand active personnel and about 20 thousand reserve ones. The number is from almost nine million Australians who are fit to do military service.
After knowing the manpower, let’s see how military weapons contribute to the strength of the Australian military. The weapons can be classified into three groups, which are airpower, land forces, and naval forces.
With a total of 430 aircraft, the strength of the country’s airpower is decent. That number is from various weapons namely 72 fighter aircraft, 37 dedicated attack aircraft, 38 fixed-wing transport aircraft, 113 trainer aircraft, 31 special-mission aircraft, six aerial tanker fleets, 133 helicopters, and 22 attack helicopters.
Then, for the land forces, the Australian military has a whopping 1,765 armored fighting vehicles. For combat tanks and towed field artillery, the military has fairly numbered 59 and 54 of them respectively.
Lastly, let’s dive into the ocean to know the naval forces’ strength of the Australian military. 43 is the number of the total navy fleet force. It includes two helicopter carriers, three destroyers, eight frigates, six submarines, 12 offshore patrol vessels, and four mine warfare crafts.
To add more power to the military strength, manpower and weapons are not enough. That is why Australia also has strong military allies. The ADF has many formal military agreements such as the ANZUS Alliance, the Closer Defence Program, the Five Power Defence Arrangements, and the ABCA Armies Standardisation Program.
Those formal military agreements involve militaries from several countries namely the United States, New Zealand, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Canada. In addition, the ADF also has a kind of alliance with NATO.
It does not feel complete to know the numbers of the Australian military’s strength without comparing it to other countries’ military strengths. Therefore, let’s learn how the Australian military is ranked in the world.
Australian Military Ranking in the World
According to the 2022 version of Global Firepower (GFP), Australia’s military, the ADF, is ranked 17 overall out of the total of 142 countries that are reviewed. That number can be achieved due to the various ranks in different military sectors.
We have already learned about the strength of the Australian military in numbers, so we can just compare them with the numbers from the rest of the world.
First, the number of total military personnel makes the military ranked 44 for active personnel, and 34 for reserve personnel. On paper, those ranks are not that impressive, but it is alright as Australia is ranked 55 in both total population and available military manpower.
The low rank of manpower and the higher rank of Australia’s overall military strength means that the country’s military weapons are ranked around the top of the world. However, some weapons are still ranked rather low, but not all of them.
The total military aircraft of Australia is ranked 28, which is not bad at all. What makes it impressive is most of the weapons in this category namely attack aircraft, transport aircraft, and trainer aircraft are in the top 20. Both special-mission aircraft and aerial tanker aircraft are even ranked eighth and ninth respectively.
The same impression can not be used for the land forces. The armored fighting vehicle is the only one in the top 50 but is only ranked 44. Still, the rank of the Australian military’s naval forces can boost the overall ranking.
Similar to airpower, most weapons of the naval forces are in the top twenty. Submarine and mine warfare fleets are ranked 15 and 18 respectively. Then, in the top ten, both destroyer warship and frigate warship fleets are ranked ninth, while the helicopter carrier fleet is in the top five at fourth.
Despite the enormous area with a low population, Australia is ready for anything thanks to how strong is Australian army. With that strength, it is better to not have problems with Australia.