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MILITARY MONEY: Based on 2021 figures, the US is leading the way with the biggest military expenditures in the world

INTERNATIONAL: Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine some European countries have been bolstering their budgets. Here are some countries with their budget and what they are spending their money on.

15: Israel - US$24.3 billion.

Israel is a key US ally in the Middle East and has a battle hardened armed forces, well-equipped with latest weaponry and technology.

The Israel Defence Forces are believed to have had an operational nuclear weapons capability since 1967.

The IDF have served in many conflicts.

14: Iran - US$24.6 billion.

Iran is a major player in Middle East geopolitics and a heavy spender on defense.

It is closely aligned with Russia and Syria, and is a long-time adversary of Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Iran's military forces are made up of approximately 610,000 active-duty personnel plus 350,000 reserve and trained personnel.

13: Canada - US$26.4 billion.

Canada's armed forces are made up of 71,500 Regular Force members and 30,000 Reserve Force members.

Canada is a key member of NATO, participating in many operational exercises and serving in many small and major conflicts.

Canada announced this year it would buy advanced F-35 fighter jets from the US as part of a major defense upgrade.

12: Australia - US$31.8 billion

Australia is a key ally of the United States in the Indo-Pacific region and has maintained its position at number 12 for defense spending.

Last year the Federal government signed the AUKUS security deal with the US and Britain that will see Australia acquires nuclear-powered submarines in the coming decade.

The Australian Defense Force is also set to acquire home-built long range missiles as part of a major technological upgrade.

11: Italy - US$32 billion

The Italian Armed Forces are made up by the Italian Army, the Italian Navy and the Italian Air Force.

A fourth branch of the armed forces, known as the Carabinieri, take on the role as the nation's military police and are also involved in missions and operations abroad as a combat force.

Italy is a regular contributor to NATO missions but did not take part in the 2003 Iraq War.

10: South Korea - US$50.2 billion

South Korea continuously invests in modernizing its defense programs.

Tensions between the two Koreas bolsters military spending.

A peace treaty between North and South Korea set up a four-kilometer wide demilitarized zone across the peninsula.

Its reported North and South Korea have about one million troops stationed around their ends of the buffer zone.

9: Japan - US$54.1 billion

Funding for the Japan Self-Defense Force has been steadily increasing since 2012.

The US pushed for Japan's defense forces to expand its international role by enhancing cooperation and weapons compatibility with the US.

Among the biggest planned purchases are six F-35B stealth fighter jets, costing $183 million each, for deployment in 2024.

They are the first of 42 F-35Bs that Japan is to acquire in coming years - the largest number of any country outside the US.

8: Saudi Arabia - US$55.6 billion

Saudia Arabia's defence spending has swelled to one of the largest in the world as a result of growing threats from terrorist organisations and struggles for regional dominance against Iran.

The Middle East kingdom recently acquired the American-built F-15SA fighter jet and Spanish corvettes for its navy.

7: Germany - US$56 billion

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the German government announced a massive increase in defense spending.

Just hours after the invasion, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said a special fund will be set up to better equip the Bundeswehr - the nation's armed forces.

And after being lukewarm on supplying weapons, Germany also pledged more weapons for Ukraine, including anti-aircraft tanks.

6: France - US$56.6 billion

Military spending has ramped up under the rule of President Emmanuel Macron who was re-elected this year.

Spending has been targeted towards arming drones and hiring "cyberfighters", as well as increasing domestic military deployment after a string of deadly extremist attacks.

France also has thousands of troops overseas in Africa and the Middle East.

5: Russia - US$65.9 billion

Despite spending billions of rubles on defence in recent years, major failures in Russia's military have been revealed during its two month invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has the world's largest tank force but they have proved easy targets for Ukrainian defenders armed with anti-armour missiles.

A recent intelligence estimate by the UK Defence MInistry said Russian casualties amounted to 15,000 service personnel.

4: United Kingdom - US$68.4 billion

Spending on the Ministry of Defence in the UK contributes significantly to the aid it offers around the globe.

The military provides 100,000 jobs across the four nations of the United Kingdom and is expert in shipbuilding, armored vehicles, and missiles and aerospace.

New equipment includes the giant aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth that entered service with the Royal Navy.

The UK is one of the main suppliers of arms to the Ukrainian military battling the Russian invasion.

3: India - US$76 billion

India spends big on defense and has consistently ranked among the leading defense importers worldwide for a number of years.

India shares a 3323km land border with Pakistan and a 3488km border with China, and the growth in its defence spending is mainly fuelled by hostile relationship with both these countries.

The country continues to invest in conventional submarines, multi-role aircrafts, tanks, artillery guns, rocket launchers, helicopters, nuclear submarines, surface-to-air missiles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and frigates.

2: China - US$293 billion

China's military funding is driven by its determination to maintain a robust and modern fighting force.

China says its military is strictly for defensive purposes but takes a broad view of what constitutes threats to its core interests — including protecting maritime territory that is in dispute with neighbouring countries such as the South China Sea.

Beijing recently signed a security deal with the Solomon Islands that could see the establishment of a Chinese naval base there, 1700km off the Queensland coast.

1: USA - US$801 billion

The US military machine is a fearsome and colossal beast.

For years the US has ranked as the top nation for military spending by a significant margin.

The US defence budget accounts for 38 per cent of global military spending, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

The US has some of the most advanced weaponry at its disposal and about 800 military bases outside the United States.

The US Air Force is the world's largest air force, the US Navy is the world's largest navy by tonnage, and the US Navy and the US Marine Corps combined are the world's second largest air arm.

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