Amid ongoing disputes about territory in the South China Sea, China has been pushing hard to modernise its military. Last week, The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) declared its Chengdu J-20 fifth-generation stealth fighter operational. The aircraft that has been in development for years aims to challenge US’ F-22 and F-35 aircraft.
Russia too has been working on upgrading its old Cold War-era equipment. It recently unveiled the Sukhoi Su-57 PAK-FA, its stealth fighter and the T-14 Armata tank. Here’s a look the shifting trends in military expenditure based on Sipri data.
HOW MILITARY SPENDING HAS CHANGED SINCE 2007
While China, Russia and India have been increasing their defence spends, spends by the US and UK have seen a decline. Despite that the US continues to be an undisputed military giant. Its defence expenditure in 2015 was a massive $1.68 trillion, about 36 per cent of the total global military spending that year.
COUNTRIES WITH THE HIGHEST MILITARY SPENDING WORLDWIDE
The US did take some austerity measures in response to the global financial crisis in 2012 and post-Iraq/Afghanistan military operations, but its basic defence budget remains primarily unchanged. US outlays for defence will rise from a low of $625 billion in 2014, to $ 734 billion by 2022. Of this $392 billion is expected to be spent on nuclear weapons, $97 billion on missile defenses and $ 100 billion on environmental and health costs.
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