Analysis: Russian 2019 Defense budget reached USD48 billion

Russia’s 2019 defense budget reached USD48 billion. Russia is reported to be at the 8th position in the Top 10 list of the countries with the largest defense expenditures in 2019. Compared to 2018, Russia retained its place, increased defense budget by only USD1 billion.

Analysis Russian 2019 defense budget reached USD48 billion
T-80 MBTs (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The first place in the abovementioned Top 10 list was held by the United States of America, the defense budget of which was cut from USD742 billion in 2018 to USD726 billion in 2019. Washington is expected to reduce its 2020 defense spending to USD721 billion. Nevertheless, the USA still accounts for some 40% of the world’s combined defense expenditures. "The United States continues to focus spending increases on innovation, with 2020 funding extensions for hypersonics, artificial intelligence, directed energy, autonomy, cyber and space," said Jane’s senior analyst Guy Eastman.

On the contrary, the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC’s) 2019 budget grew by approximately USD9 billion and reached USD217 billion. Therefore, the PRC was ranked second in the Top 10 list of the largest defense spenders last year. According to the report, Beijing’s share in the combined 2019 defense budget of the Asia-Pacific (As-Pac) region reached 46%. The second biggest regional defense budget (USD56 billion) belongs to India, which accounts for 12% of the As-Pac defense spending last year and holds the fourth place in the Top 10 list.

In 2019, Saudi Arabia had the third-largest defense budget in the world - approximately USD57 billion. "That growth remains conservative by regional [Middle-Eastern] standards as governments generally remain cautious about pursuing expansionary budgetary measures, particularly in light of volatile energy prices," said Jane’s experts in the report.

Europe was among the main drivers of global defense spending growth. "European defense spending is set to hit USD300 billion in the next 24 months, having languished between USD250 billion and USD275 billion since 2005," said the experts, adding that the region’s defense expenditures would grow by 4.0% annually and reach USD57 billion by 2030. When it comes to the abovementioned Top 10 list of the biggest 2019 defense spenders, it should be mentioned that the United Kingdom (UK), France, and Germany held the fifth, sixth, and seven positions with defense budgets of USD56 billion, USD53 billion, and USD48 billion, respectively. Moreover, ten North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) member states (including the USA, Bulgaria, Greece, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, the UK, France, Poland, and Lithuania) had increased defense budgets to 2.0% of their respective national gross domestic product (GDP) by 2019.

The two remaining Top 10 countries - Japan and South Korea - held the ninth and tenth places with defense budgets reaching USD45 billion and USD41 billion, respectively. "The threat from North Korea has spurred growth in Japan as well as South Korea," said Jane’s senior analyst Ana Popescu.

The combined defense budget of Sub-Saharan Africa reached USD13 billion in 2019. "[The region’s defense] budgets in 2030 are expected to be close to USD18 billion," said Popescu.

Global defense spending reached about USD1.8 trillion in 2019. "Global spending growth will moderate to between 1.5-2.0% a year over the next ten years," said Jane’s principal defense budgets analyst Fenella McGerty.

Last year, Bulgaria showed the biggest growth of defense spending as the country’s defense budget increased by 125% owing to payment for eight F-16 Block 70 multirole combat aircraft.

Six of the ten fastest-growing defense budgets in the world in 2019 were situated in Europe.

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