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Global military fleet - by country 2015

This statistic illustrates the share of the global military fleet in 2015, with a breakdown by country. South Korea's active military aircraft fleet accounted for around three percent of the world total.

Additional information on military fleets around the world

Ever since humans defied gravity and shaped the power of flight to suit their needs, aircraft have played a significant role in warfare. As result, aircraft make up a significant proportion of the military fleet of most countries. Not only do military aircraft serve a combat purpose but also provide countries surveillance capabilities in dangerous areas.
In line with the dominance of the United States in regards to defense spending, the country also commands over a quarter of the military aircraft fleet globally. Although the United States commands the largest fleet of combat equipped aircraft other countries have maintained or increased their capabilities. While the United States government is the primary consumer of aircraft, the United States manufacturing and research sector plays a significant role in the production of combat aircraft. However, in recent years production of aircraft has moved towards a more global supply chain model with the large firms such as Boeing segregating different components of research and production around the world.
The threat of conflict over territorial claims in contested waters has increased the need for aircraft carriers that effectively provide a portable aircraft base at sea. Many have pointed towards China´s commissioning of its first aircraft carrier in 2012 as a sign that the country seeks to possess the military power that will allow it to protect or solidify their claims in the South China Sea.

Share of the global active military aircraft fleet in 2015, by country

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Release date

December 2015



Survey time period


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