Iran vs Israel: Comparing Military Strengths Of Two Arch-Foes On Brink Of War

While Iran has a population ten times larger than Israel's, much of its military hardware is of dubious condition, largely due to the arms embargo in place since in various forms since 1979. Tehran is also known to be using tanks and planes having older technology.
Iran-Israel war.

Israel, the US, and some European powers allege that Iran is on 'months away' from building nuclear weapons to complement its conventional arms, a charge Tehran has denied.

A military base in central Iraq housing army troops and pro-Iranian paramilitaries was bombed overnight amid heightened tensions between Iran and Israel, two arch-foes in the Middle East that are on the brink of a war in the fallout of the Gaza conflict. The attack comes after reports of Israel carrying out a military strike on Iran early Friday.
The development, many fear, may draw a potentially dangerous escalation from Tehran amid the fast-widening Middle East conflict.
Israel, the US, and some European powers allege that Iran is "months away" from building nuclear weapons to complement its conventional arms, a charge Tehran has denied. Iran says its current programme is for peaceful, civilian purposes.
A look at the comparative strengths of the Iranian and Israeli forces reveals discrepancies in army, navy and air force capabilities.
While Iran has a population ten times larger than Israel's, much of its military hardware is of dubious condition, largely due to the arms embargo in place since in various forms since 1979, an anlysis by Al Jazeera revealed.
Tehran is also known to be using tanks and planes having older technology. In comparison, Israel's military is the best-equipped and best-trained in the whole region, David Roberts, deputy director at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), told the Qatar-based media house.
"But some sections of [Iran’s military] are battle-tested," he said, mentioning about the Revolutionary Guards, which are better-paid and organised compared to Iran's conventional forces.
Roberts added that while the two militaries are not likely to enter direct army-to-army combat any time soon, they may well end up squaring off via proxy forces in Gulf or Mediterranean states.
Direct confrontation between Israel and Iran would likely involve long-distance aircraft, air-defence weaponry, small naval craft and ballistic missiles, he said, citing that both the countries are too far from each other to be engaged in some sustained conflict.
The Numbers
Israel has 176,500 personnel on active service in the military which is made up of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), Israel Naval Force (IN) and Israel Air Force (IAF). It is also mandatory for its citizens to serve in the armed forces once they turn 18 years old.
In compation, Iran has a much larger military comprising more than 523,000 personnel on active service. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, viewed as the most loyal guardians of the ruling system, has a further 125,000 soldiers.
It is also compulsory for young Iranian men to serve 18 months in the military service when they turn 19 years old. Some members of the Basij Forces (literally “Mobilisation of the Oppressed”), which is a paramilitary volunteer militia, join at the age of 15, according to Al Jazeera.
The country's border is defended by the Islamic Republic of Iran Regular Forces (Artesh).
The country also has aroundr 18,000 naval personnel and 30,000 air force personnel, including 12,000 in air defence.
Tanks, subs and planes
With over 3,500 tanks, Israel's army is better equipped compared to 1,613 tanks under Iranian military. Israel is also known to have more than double anti-aircraft weapons than Iranian military (1,701 compared to 200).
The Israeli military also has, according to Reuters, some 10,484 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and 5,432 artillery pieces, including 620 motorised and 456 towed pieces.
However, Iran has a significantly larger naval fleet that consists 23 submarines, 12 midget submarines (Iranian-built Ghadir and Nahang shallow-water vessels made for the Gulf) and eight swimmer delivery vehicles.
On the other hand, the Israeli navy has three Dolphin (German-made type 212 variant) tactical submarines in addition to 57 patrol and coastal combat ships, including three corvettes.
The Israeli Air Force consists of 460 combat-capable aircraft, with 168 fighters, including 27 Boeing F15A Eagle, seven F15B and 90 F16A Fighting Falcons. The fleet also includes 227 ground attack fighters and 65 attack aircraft, in addition to nine tanker/transport aircraft and 77 other transport aircraft.
Iran, on the other hand, is believed to contain some 336 combat-capable aircraft. Its air force is also understood to have 108 ground attack aircraft, among them both Iranian and Russian-built craft, many of which were reportedly taken from Iraq.
Missile power
According to reports, Iran has 1,000 strategic missiles that are capable of striking throughout the Gulf and beyond. These include the domestically produced Shahab-3 strategic intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBM), with a reported range of up to 1,000km, the Ghadr-1 with an estimated 1,600km range and a Shahab-3 variant known as Sajjil-2 with a reported range of up to 2,400km, according to Reuters reports.
These missiles are reportedly controlled by the Revolutionary Guards.
On the other hand, Israel is widely believed to have nuclear capability, and possess intermediate-range ballistic missiles capable of reaching as far as South America or Oceania. It is believed to have around 200 nuclear warheads that it can launch with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).
Despite the conventional military advantage on it side, security specialists have pointed out that the Israelis don't have enough planes and enough of the right bombs to significantly inflict damage on Tehran.
End of Article
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