People watch Israeli Air Force planes fly over the Mediterranean Sea from a Tel Aviv beach, during an aerial show as part of celebrations for Israel's Independence Day, marking the 66th anniversary of the creation of the state.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel’s military is the most powerful in the Middle East, while its air force ranks second to none globally, according to a study conducted by military experts for Business Insider.
The business and technology news website ranked the 15 strongest armies in the region while noting the size of the countries’ respective defense budgets as well as the latest geopolitical tumult and its impact on military strength.
“A close defense relationship with the US and an energetic domestic defense industry give Israel a qualitative edge over all of the region’s other militaries,” the report stated.
“Israel has space assets, advanced fighter jets, hi-tech armed drones and nuclear weapons. Its air force has incredibly high entry and training standards.”
“Pilot to pilot, airframe to airframe, the Israeli air force is the best in the world,” Chris Harmer, a senior naval analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, told Business Insider.
Harmer’s research was partially used to rank the militaries of the region.
“Israel also has one of the region’s most battle-ready armies, a force that has fought in four major engagements since 2006 and has experience securing a few of the most problematic borders on earth,” the report read.
“Israel’s military has also never attempted a coup or ruled the country directly, unlike several others on this list. Thanks to Israel’s small size, the military can rapidly mobilize its reserves on relatively short notice.”
Turkey was ranked the second most powerful military in the region, followed by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.