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July 16, 2014 5:00 pm
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As IDF Prepares for Prolonged Hamas Attack, Israel’s Army Ranked 11th in the World

avatar by Joshua Levitt

IDF soldiers. Photo: Twitter.

As Israel prepares for a possible ground invasion of Gaza to liberate Hamas of its long-range rockets, the size and scope of Tzahal, the Hebrew acronym for Tzava Hagana L’Israel, or the Israel Defense Forces, ranks 11th in the world.

An index created by Global Firepower was originally published in April, but has been referred to by Business Insider and Israel’s Globes business daily this week to give readers more background on the IDF’s capabilities.

In terms of the global ranking, the top five armies in the world are in the U.S., Russia, China, India and the UK. The next five are France, Germany, Turkey, South Korea and Japan.

Compared to its neighbors in the Middle East, Israel, at number 11, bests Egypt, at 13, Iran at 22, Syria at 26, Algeria at 31, UAE at 42, Yemen at 45, Morocco at 65, Tunisia at 66, Jordan at 67, and Iraq at 68.

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Hamas’s Qassam Brigade was not ranked in the study.

For each country, Global Firepower created a profile that breaks down the number of soldiers, types of man, air and naval power, as well a country’s resources to sustain itself in battle.

In Israel’s case, the army has manpower of 3.5 million, with 2.9 million fit for service, out of a population of  8 million.

On land, the IDF has 3,870 tanks, 9,436 armored fighting vehicles, 706 self-propelled guns, 350 towered-artillery and 88 multiple-launch rocket systems.

In the air, the IDF has 680 total aircraft, with 243 fighter jets, 48 attack helicopters and 98 transports.

At sea, IDF has 3 frigates, 3 destroyers, 5 corvettes and 14 submarines, in addition to 66 coastal defense craft.

Israel’s defense budget totals $15 billion compared to its GDP of about $250 billion.

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