Special Report

Countries With The Most Tanks

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Since the advent of mechanized warfare in World War I, tanks have become an integral part of modern warfare. In 2020, British military consultant Nicholas Drummond estimated the world has about 73,000 tanks, including 20,000 in storage and 10,000 that have been modernized since 2010.

To determine the countries with the most tanks, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed defense statistics website GlobalFirepower’s Combat Tank Fleet Strength by Country (2023) dataset with information about 145 countries’ militaries. We ranked countries by the number of tanks in service and listed only countries with at least 1,000 tanks. 

The largest number of tanks are currently held by Russia, with a fleet of nearly 12,600, compared to Ukraine’s meager 1,890 tanks. The other leading tank arsenals are held by North Korea, with 6,645 tanks, the United States at 5,500 tanks, and China with 4,950 tanks. (While it may not have the most tanks, the U.S. has the largest air force in the world.)

Advanced battle tanks have better capabilities, but a large number of older tanks like the T-72 can still inflict immense damage through attrition, as we are witnessing in Ukraine.

Here are the countries with the most tanks.

Click here to see our detailed methodology.

23. Japan
> Number of tanks: 1,004
> Examples of tanks used: Type 90 Tank, Type 10 Tank
> Active-duty military personnel: 240,000 — #19 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: $54,124 billion — #9 highest of 145
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: 1.1% — #106 most of 145

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22. Taiwan
> Number of tanks: 1,012
> Examples of tanks used: CM-32, CM-11 Brave Tiger
> Active-duty military personnel: 170,000 — #31 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: $12,958 billion — #21 highest of 145
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: 1.7% — #62 most of 145

21. Cuba
> Number of tanks: 1,230
> Examples of tanks used: T-55M, T-62M
> Active-duty military personnel: 50,000 — #67 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: N/A
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: N/A

20. Saudi Arabia
> Number of tanks: 1,273
> Examples of tanks used: M1A2, AMX-30, M60A3
> Active-duty military personnel: 225,000 — #20 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: $55,564 billion — #8 highest of 145
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: 6.6% — #3 most of 145

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19. Greece
> Number of tanks: 1,365
> Examples of tanks used: Leopard 1, Leopard 2
> Active-duty military personnel: 130,000 — #37 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: $8,080 billion — #31 highest of 145
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: 3.9% — #12 most of 145

18. Jordan
> Number of tanks: 1,588
> Examples of tanks used: Leclerc, M60A3 Patton
> Active-duty military personnel: 90,000 — #50 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: $2,177 billion — #59 highest of 145
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: 5.0% — #7 most of 145

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17. Algeria
> Number of tanks: 1,700
> Examples of tanks used: T-90, T-72
> Active-duty military personnel: 130,000 — #38 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: $9,112 billion — #26 highest of 145
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: 5.6% — #4 most of 145

16. Eritrea
> Number of tanks: 1,756
> Examples of tanks used: T-55A/AM2, T-62
> Active-duty military personnel: 175,000 — #27 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: N/A
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: N/A

15. Morocco
> Number of tanks: 1,761
> Examples of tanks used: T-72B, M1A2, M60 Patton
> Active-duty military personnel: 200,000 — #24 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: $5,378 billion — #42 highest of 145
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: 4.2% — #10 most of 145

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14. Vietnam
> Number of tanks: 1,829
> Examples of tanks used: T-72, T-62
> Active-duty military personnel: 470,000 — #9 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: N/A
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: N/A

13. Ukraine
> Number of tanks: 1,890
> Examples of tanks used: T-72, Leopard 2, M1 Abrams
> Active-duty military personnel: 200,000 — #23 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: $5,943 billion — #36 highest of 145
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: 3.2% — #19 most of 145

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12. Israel
> Number of tanks: 2,200
> Examples of tanks used: Magach, M4 Sherman, AMX-13
> Active-duty military personnel: 173,000 — #29 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: $24,341 billion — #15 highest of 145
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: 5.2% — #6 most of 145

11. Turkey
> Number of tanks: 2,229
> Examples of tanks used: Altay, Leopard 1, Leopard 2, M60 Patton
> Active-duty military personnel: 425,000 — #11 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: $15,479 billion — #18 highest of 145
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: 2.1% — #45 most of 145

10. South Korea
> Number of tanks: 2,331
> Examples of tanks used: M48 Patton, K1, K1A1
> Active-duty military personnel: 555,000 — #8 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: $50,227 billion — #10 highest of 145
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: 2.8% — #28 most of 145

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9. Syria
> Number of tanks: 2,616
> Examples of tanks used: T-62, T-72, T-55, T-90
> Active-duty military personnel: 100,000 — #43 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: N/A
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: N/A

8. Pakistan
> Number of tanks: 3,742
> Examples of tanks used: Al-Khalid, Al Zarrar, T-80, Type 85
> Active-duty military personnel: 654,000 — #6 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: $11,305 billion — #23 highest of 145
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: 3.8% — #13 most of 145

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7. Iran
> Number of tanks: 4,071
> Examples of tanks used: The Karrar, Zulfiqar MBT 3, Mobarez
> Active-duty military personnel: 575,000 — #7 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: $24,589 billion — #14 highest of 145
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: 2.3% — #36 most of 145

6. India
> Number of tanks: 4,614
> Examples of tanks used: T-72, T-90, Arjun
> Active-duty military personnel: 1,450,000 — #2 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: $76,598 billion — #3 highest of 145
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: 2.7% — #30 most of 145

5. Egypt
> Number of tanks: 4,664
> Examples of tanks used: Ramses II, M1A1, T-90MS
> Active-duty military personnel: 440,000 — #10 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: $5,165 billion — #43 highest of 145
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: 1.3% — #93 most of 145

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4. China
> Number of tanks: 4,950
> Examples of tanks used: Type 99, Type 96, Type 90
> Active-duty military personnel: 2,000,000 — #1 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: $293,352 billion — #2 highest of 145
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: 1.7% — #63 most of 145

3. United States
> Number of tanks: 5,500
> Examples of tanks used: M1 Abrams
> Active-duty military personnel: 1,390,000 — #3 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: $800,672 billion — #1 highest of 145
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: 3.5% — #15 most of 145

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2. North Korea
> Number of tanks: 6,645
> Examples of tanks used: M2020, Songun-915
> Active-duty military personnel: 1,200,000 — #4 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: N/A
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: N/A

1. Russia
> Number of tanks: 12,566
> Examples of tanks used: T-72, T-80, T-90
> Active-duty military personnel: 830,900 — #5 most of 145
> Military spending, 2021: $65,908 billion — #5 highest of 145
> Military spending as pct. of GDP: 4.1% — #11 most of 145

Methodology

To determine the countries with the most tanks, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed GlobalFirepower’s Combat Tank Fleet Strength by Country (2023) dataset with information about 145 countries’ militaries. We ranked countries by the number of tanks in service and listed only countries with at least 1,000 tanks. GlobalFire is an annually-updated website tracking defense-related information.

Data on active-duty military personnel also came from GlobalFirepower, while examples of tanks in each country’s arsenal came from another defense statistics-tracking website, Military Factory. Military spending by country and military spending as a percentage of gross domestic product came from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s Military Expenditure Database.

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