A member of military units of the IRGC Ground Force fires a rocket launcher as they launched war games in the Gulf, December 22, 2018.
(photo credit: HAMED MALEKPOUR/TASNIM NEWS AGENCY VIA REUTERS)
Israel’s military has slipped below its arch-nemesis Iran in the ranking of military powers, ranking 16 out of 137 countries, according to the international defense site Global Firepower (GFP).
It was the third year in a row that Israel fell in the site’s ranking, falling one spot from the previous year and down five spots when it ranked 11th in 2016. Iran, meanwhile, climbed to 13th in 2018 from 20th in 2017.
According to the defense site, it only takes conventional military capabilities into account when compiling and factors in another 55 criteria, such as the range of weapons in its arsenal, amount of available manpower, abilities of the local defense industries, as well as natural resources, geographical size and economic strength.
“The unique, in-house formula allows for smaller, more technologically-advanced nations to compete with larger, though lesser-developed ones,” the site said, adding that “a perfect PwrIndex (Power Index) score is 0.0000 which is realistically unattainable in the scope of the GFP formula.”
The site also allows for one to compare two specific countries against each other, showing military data such as total manpower available, active personnel, total amount of reservists, and total military personnel. The site also shows the total amount of arms such as aircraft, tanks, naval assets as well as artillery strength.
A comparison between Iran and Israel shows that while Iran has significantly more naval assets than Israel (398 versus 65), Iran has a total coastline of 2,440 km. compared to Israel’s 273 km.
Israel has far greater tank strength (2,760 assets versus 1,650) and has some 10,575 armored fighting vehicles, compared to Iran’s 2,215. The total amount of aircraft between the two countries are close, with Israel having 596 aircraft versus Iran’s 505.
According to the site, Israel’s total military personnel stands at 615,000, compared to Iran’s 934,000. But Iran’s total population is significantly larger than Israel, with 82 million people versus Israel’s 8.3 million people. Jerusalem meanwhile has a defense budget of $20 billion versus Tehran’s budget of $6.3 billion. The United States topped the defense site’s list as the strongest military force, followed by Russia and China in second and third places, respectively. India placed fourth, followed by France and the United Kingdom.
In the Middle East, while Israel was outranked by Iran, Egypt (12) and Turkey (9), it continued to outrank other countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia (26), Syria (49), Jordan (76) and Lebanon (106).
While the Jewish state placed higher than other Western countries, like Canada (25) and Poland (22), it nevertheless ranked below Germany (10), Italy (11) Brazil (14) and Indonesia (15).
North Korea placed 18th in the list.