is one of world’s most popular fighters and used by the air forces of a number of countries in the world today. Large U.S defense manufacturers produce a wide variety of tanks, missiles, assault rifles, bombers, surveillance aircraft and electronic systems, which are exported to U.S allies around the world.
1) In 2015, U.S defense spending was higher than the combined military budgets of the next seven largest military budgets, which were those of India, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China. The U.S military budget accounts for 40% of total global military spending.
2) The U.S spends 3.3% of its GDP on defense, while other large countries like China, the U.K, India, and France spend around 2%-2.5% on defense. Only Saudi Arabia and Russia are amongst the top 10 military powers that spend a higher amount of their GDP on defense than the U.S (however, they have much smaller economies).
3) The U.S’ expenditure as a percentage of global expenditure on defense has fallen in the last 5 years, with reduced spending on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. In the post “Cold War” period, U.S defense spending has fallen into a narrow band as a percentage of GDP.
4) Next in line of military spending facts that will blow your mind is this one – Four of the five largest defense companies in the world originated in the U.S. Lockheed Martin is the world’s biggest defense company, following by aviation giant Boeing Co (NYSE:BA). Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) is the world’s fourth-largest defense manufacturer and the third-largest in the U.S.
5) The Department of Defense is the second-biggest employer in the U.S and has more employees on its payroll than other large private companies such as General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is the only company which has more employees on its payroll.
6) The U.S is the largest contributor of military aid to foreign countries in the world, providing some form of assistance to over 150 countries each year. Some government officials want to cut defense spending by lowering the amount of aid given to foreign militaries.
7) We’re halfway through our list of military spending facts that will blow your mind. So, did you know that 30 presidents have served in the U.S. Army, 24 during times of war? Of the 30 presidents, two were 5-star generals – George Washington and Dwight Eisenhower.
8) The U.S military is one of the largest owners of land, not only in the U.S, but globally, with control over more than 15,000 square miles of land, which is a land mass greater than the state of New Jersey. These 8 spending items brings us to the halfway point of our list of 16 min blowing military spending facts. Keep reading for the rest.
9) Did you know that U.S has by far the largest number of aircraft carrier groups in the world, which projects U.S power across the oceans of the world and allows it to rapidly deploy firepower to various regions of the globe quickly and forcefully? This definitely deserves to be on our list of military spending facts that will blow your mind. The U.S has 10 aircraft carries in service today, which are used both for power projection as well as defense.
10) The U.S was the first country to build a nuclear submarine, being followed by Russia. Currently, the U.S is one of 6 countries that have nuclear submarines in their navy, with the others being Russia, France, the U.K, China, and India.
11) The U.S is the only country to have used stealth aircraft in combat. The country used the F-117 Stealth aircraft to drop bombs during the invasion of Panama. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) is the developer of the famous B-2 stealth bomber that was deployed during the second Gulf war in 2003.
12) The U.S is one of five nuclear states recognized under the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The country also has the second-largest nuclear warhead arsenal after Russia, with 6,950 nuclear warheads. Speaking of military spending facts that will blow your mind, right?
13) The U.S was the first country to develop a nuclear triad of forces, as far back as 1945. The nuclear triad refers to the ability of a country to deliver a nuclear attack through three means, namely land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), strategic bombers, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). Other powers with this capability are Russia and China.
14) The U.S has the strongest force of tanks in the world, with an estimated 8,000 tanks. Russia has a larger number of tanks, but most of these are old T-72 tanks and do not have the firepower and sophistication of the M1 Abrams tanks used by the U.S military.
15) The U.S has the most powerful air force in the world, with more than 3,500 military aircraft and over 1,800 attack helicopters. Use of smart bombs and precision-guided munitions has made the U.S air force the most feared military force in the world, allowing the U.S government to conduct operations around the world without fear.
16) Lastly, the U.S has the largest number of military satellites in the world, numbering more than 120 satellites, which are used to survey its enemies around the globe. Its satellites are also highly sophisticated, allowing extremely high resolution images to be taken and proving a powerful boost to its intelligence gathering services.
These military spending facts that will blow your mind should have at least amazed you, but there are many more shocking facts which you can dig out from the Defense budget.
Which figure is the most shocking? Or did we miss one that you think is even more shocking? Let us know in the comments.