What are the armies with the most tanks in their arsenals?

(CNN Spanish) — Russia’s war in the Ukraine has brought an old weapon of war back to center stage: the tank.

Since the first days of the Russian invasion, on February 24, 2022, both sides have used their vast fleets of tanks – mostly Soviet designed and manufactured – in fighting in eastern, northern and southern Ukraine.

And now Western countries that support Ukraine, including the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom, have accepted Kyiv’s orders to send their modern tanks to the battlefield, to replace losses and continue to face Russia.

Tanks had their baptism of fire during World War I, and they dominated the battlefields in World War II. Since then, countries have continued to develop, and these steel beasts remain at the center of modern armies, even in the age of drones, satellites, attack helicopters, and powerful man-portable anti-tank missiles.

Ukrainian soldiers rummage through an abandoned Russian T-90A tank in Kyrylivka on September 30, 2022. (Credit: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images)

But which are the countries that have the largest number of tanks in their arsenals?

Russia, the great tank power, ranks first with 12,566 main battle tanks in its arsenals, according to the Global Firepower Index. Of these, some 8,168 are ready to be put into service, and the rest are in storage. Losses in the current war are not counted either.

North Korea, whose tank fleet is also of Russian origin or design, has 6,645 tanks, 3,987 of which are operational.

The United States ranks third, with 5,500 tanks (4,125 operational).

China, meanwhile, appears in fourth place, with 4,950 tanks (3,713 operational), followed by Egypt, with 4,664 tanks (3,032 operational).

Ukraine, at war with Russia, is in 13th place, with 1,890 tanks (1,323 operational), not counting losses in the conflict.

The NATO countries, meanwhile, have more than 12,000 tanks, between operational and stored, a similar number to Russia.

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