Military Balance+ is a new online database that will enable users in government, the armed forces and the private sector, as well as academia and the media, to make faster and better-informed decisions. Harnessing pioneering technology, the Military Balance+ will allow users to customise, view, compare and download data instantly, anywhere, anytime.

Since 1959, The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) has published The Military Balance, the annual assessment of global military capabilities and defence economics. In a major innovation, the analysis and data contained in this trusted book is now available in an online database – the Military Balance+. This new product will enable subscribers in government, the armed forces and the private sector, as well as academia and the media, to assess defence developments more rapidly, facilitating faster and better-informed decision-making. The IISS will continue to produce its annual assessment of global military capabilities and defence economics in book form.

The Military Balance+ represents a step change in defence analysis. The database is easy to use, allowing users to build their own data queries and use a bespoke search capability to instantly view, compare and download defence data anywhere, anytime. In a world of instant news, where measured analysis is of increasing value, you can rely on the Military Balance+ to deliver authoritative, respected and reliable defence information where and when you want it.

The Military Balance+ is produced by a dedicated team of professional analysts working in the IISS Defence and Military Analysis Programme and will be frequently updated throughout the year. IISS analysts will continuously monitor developments, assessing and integrating relevant information as soon as possible.

If you want to know:

  • Defence budgets across the world, year by year
  • Which nations operate different types of aircraft, helicopters, ships and armoured vehicles, and how many by country
  • Ongoing military operations and multilateral exercises
  • Military deployments and forces based abroad
  • Military personnel numbers across the world
  • Global arms orders and procurement activity

The Military Balance+ should be your first stop.


The Military Balance+ provides data on the military forces of 171 countries and selected non-state armed groups. ­Click on a region or a country and scroll through the list of units by service. ­View personnel numbers, search for force types in the Data Analysis Tool and compare with other regions or countries.


Explore regional equipment holdings or view a country’s equipment inventory. ­Search by equipment type (e.g. destroyers) or equipment name (Type-052) or search and compare equipment holdings between multiple countries, international organisations (e.g. NATO) and selected non-state armed groups (e.g. Peshmerga).


Investigate the defence budgets, GDP, growth and inflation rates of regions or 171 states. ­Use the powerful Data Analysis Tool to compare between regions or countries, or to create timeseries comparisons.


Utilising the IISS's extensive research, explore weapons and systems procurements or training and maintenance deals by country or company. ­View contracts that have been signed, cancelled or completed, or are under negotiation. ­Use the powerful search tool to filter orders by type and value, or simply conduct a free-text search. ­Then see more detail on particular contracts by looking at the order timeline, companies involved, construction locations and notes. ­This extensive data set will provide users with an up-to-date resource on global defence procurements.


  • Regular front-page analysis features
  • Updated national capability and cyber summaries
  • Demographic information
  • Regional and country maps
  • Military exercises
  • Global force deployments
  • Analysis and graphics
  • Future expansion – additional data types, data years and functionality


  • Corporate licences for a minimum number of five users are available, granting instant access and download rights to at least three years of data. Prices available upon application.
  • Individual subscriptions can be purchased at an introductory rate of £695 per year (or £522 for IISS members), giving a single user the ability to view and analyse current data.

'Amid continuing conflict and broadening insecurity, The Military Balance provides essential facts and analysis for decision-makers and for better informed public debate.' Dr Robert M. Gates, former US Secretary of Defense and Director of Central Intelligence

The Military Balance+ was launched on 14 February 2017. Licenses are available at

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An online database that allows subscribers to customise, compare and download trusted Military Balance data.

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The Military Balance 2018

The Military Balance is the annual IISS assessment of the military capabilities and defence economics of 171 countries.

From £410.00
Product variations
Online Access, Digital Download & Print £660.00 + shipping (Inc VAT if applicable)
Online Access & Digital Download £410.00 (Inc VAT if applicable)
Print edition £410.00 + shipping (Inc VAT if applicable)

The Military Balance 2017

The Military Balance is the authoritative assessment of the military capabilities and defence economics of 171 countries.