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Military power of France & United Kingdom

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France vs United Kingdom

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Country: France (FR) United Kingdom (GB)
Capital: Paris London
Population: 67,413,000 67,886,004
Area: 640,679 km2 242,495 km2
More: France military forces description United Kingdom military forces description
Economy Comparison:

Military expenditures

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Military budget: 52.7 billion $ 59.2 billion $
Percent of GDP: 2.1% 2.2%

Military budget

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(USA)

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(USA)

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Manpower

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Active personnel: 270,000 196,140
Reserve personnel: 35,000 45,000
Available for military: 14,563,662 14,856,917

Active

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(China)

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(China)

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Land Forces

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Tanks: 406 286
Armoured fighting vehicles: 6,463 4,644
Total artillery: 134 259
Self-propelled artillery: 109 89
Rocket artillery: 13 44

Tanks

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Air Forces

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Total aircraft: 1,253 996
Fighter aircraft: 56 157
Multirole aircraf: 146 21
Attack aircraft: 86 0
Helicopters: 540 359
UCAV (combat drone): 12 9

Total aircraft

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(USA)

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(USA)

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Navy

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Total naval: 111 74
Aircraftcarriers: 4 1
Destroyers: 11 6
Frigates: 11 12
Corvettes: 0 0
Submarines: 10 10

Total naval

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(China)

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(China)

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Nuclear weapons

France

France managed to research and develop its own nuclear weapon in 1960. The test, known as, Gerboise Bleue, was the result of mostly French research. One of the main figures that played crucial role in the entire process of developing the bomb was General Pierre Marie Gallois. He was concerned that the Suez Crisis, which started in 1956, would show the world how insignificant France became, since out of all Great Powers in the world, they were the only one without possessing its own nuclear arsenal. The tests were conducted on the terrains of Sahara Desert.

At this moment France owns 300 nuclear warheads, out of which almost all are deployed. What is more, compared to Great Britain, they made more tests, approximately 210. Noteworthy is the fact that the development of the first nuclear bomb in France as well as its tests were a bit controversial. It was due to the fact that France allowed Israeli observers to attend the tests, providing them with almost unrestricted access to all the data. It was quite important, since Israel, together with United Kingdom and France, were trying to invade Egypt.

United Kingdom

Third out of fifth nuclear-weapon states that are under the NPT, the treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The first successful test in the nuclear history of Great Britain occurred in October 1952, three years after Russia’s first successful attempt. “Hurricane”, which was the codename for the test assumed the use of 3 megaton bomb, which was dropped in Australia. The UK itself did not have many tests after that. Comparing to a thousand and hundreds of tests by Americans and Russians, the Brits made only 45 tests of nuclear arsenal.

We should remember about the fact that United Kingdom was in a strict cooperation with United States at the very beginning. It means that we cannot forget about the tremendous help the Americans received from the British government and men of science while developing their first nuclear bomb. Unfortunately, all the data that USA could not be sent back to the UK, since the cooperation has ended prematurely. This was one of the reasons why UK developed their first nuclear weapon so late. At this moment, they possess 215 warheads in total, out of which 120 is deployed and completely operational.

Military service

France

18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; 1-year service obligation; women serve in noncombat post.

United Kingdom

16-33 years of age (officers 17-28) for voluntary military service (with parental consent under 18); no conscription; women serve in military services, but are excluded from ground combat positions and some naval postings; must be citizen of the UK, Commonwealth, or Republic of Ireland; reservists serve a minimum of 3 years, to age 45 or 55; 17 years 6 months of age for voluntary military service by Nepalese citizens in the Brigade of Gurkhas; 16-34 years of age for voluntary military service by Papua New Guinean citizens.