Two Defense Reports Conclude: IAF is Ranked World’s #1 Air Force

Latest research carried out by two respected military analysts claim Israel’s Air Force is the best air force on the planet, and the IDF still holds top position as the most dominant army in the Middle East.

By Joe Nathan


The Israeli Air Force is “the best in the world,” and the IDF is the most powerful land force in the region, according to new military research projects carried out by Patrick Megahan of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Military Edge Project, and Chris Harmer, a senior naval analyst at the ISW (Institute for Study of War).

F15 I,'Ra'am' ('Thunder') A multi-purpose long-range fighter jet, mainly used for attack and interception strikes. - Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit

F15 I,’Ra’am’ (‘Thunder’) A multipurpose long-range fighter jet, mainly used for attack and interception strikes. – Photo courtesy : IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

According to both studies, the IAF is “pilot to pilot, airframe to airframe” the best air force in the world, superior even to the USAF and US naval air forces.

The IAF has already ordered two squadrons of stealthy Lockheed-Martin F-35 JSF aircraft. The first squadron is expected to be operational by the middle of 2016, at which point the IAF will be the only air force in the region flying stealthy aircraft, further enhancing its already impressive technological edge over all other air forces in the region.

According the studies, the IDF’s ground and naval warfare capabilities are also unmatched by any other country in the region. The Merkava 4 tank, with its advanced anti-tank missile protection system is one of the world’s best MBTs (Main Battle Tanks) tanks. The quality and technological capabilities of its infantry forces are also unmatched by any regional military, and equaled only by the top Western armies.

Givati training exercise

Givati unit training exercise – Photo courtesy: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

The Israeli navy is also superior to any other naval forces in the region. In addition to its 8 (3 corvettes, 5 frigate) missile boats, armed with state of the art sea to sea and sea to air missiles, it also operates five dolphin –class German made submarines, with two more on order. According to several foreign reports never denied by Israel, all of its Dolphin submarines carry nuclear ICBMs, and constitute Israel’s “second strike capability”.

The INS Tanin, Dolphin class submarine, on its long journey from Germany. – Photo courtesy: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

In addition, Israel is the only country, not just in the Middle East but also in the world to have an operational multi-tier MDS (Missile Defense System). Two layers (Arrow, Iron Dome) are already operational, the third, David’s Sling (aka Magic Wand) is due to enter operational service by the middle of 2015.

Turkey, the region’s next strongest military power after Israel is no match for the IDF.

Defense budgets in all countries of the Middle East are rising, according to a report published by IHS Jane’s Annual Defence Budgets Review at the beginning of the year, which noted that Total global defense spending in 2014 will be USD 1.547 trillion up from USD 1.538 trillion in 2013 – 0.6% increase in real terms.”


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