Country Listing

Israel Table of Contents



Armed Forces: As of 1987, army 104,000 on active duty, including 88,000 conscripts; navy 8,000, including 3,200 conscripts; air force 39,000, including 7,000 conscripts. Reservists: army 494,000, navy 1,000, air force 50,000. Male conscripts served three years active duty and female conscripts twenty months; annual reserve duty for males thirty to sixty days following active service. Paramilitary groups included Nahal, combining military service with work in agricultural settlements, and Gadna, providing military training at high school level.

Combat Units and Major Equipment: As of 1987, on mobilization, army had eleven divisions composed of thirty-three armored brigades; also nine independent mechanized brigades, three infantry brigades, five paratroop brigades, fifteen artillery brigades. Equipped with 3,900 tanks and 8,000 other armored vehicles. Navy had 100 combat vessels, including 3 submarines, 19 missile attack craft, 40 coastal patrol boats. Three missile corvettes and two submarines on order. Air force had 655 combat aircraft organized into twelve fighter-interceptor squadrons, six fighter squadrons, one reconnaissance squadron. First-line fighters were F-15s, F-16s, and Kfirs.

Equipment Sources: Large domestic defense industry of state-owned and privately owned firms produced aircraft, missiles, small arms, munitions, electronics, and communications gear. Export sales of US$1.2 billion annually exceeded production for domestic use. United States military aid running at US$1.8 billion annually, including fighter aircraft, helicopters, missile boats, and funding for Israeli-manufactured weapons.

Military Budget: US$5.6 billion in Israeli fiscal year 1987; approximately 14 percent of GNP and 25 percent of total government budget.

Police and Intelligence Agencies: As of 1986, Israel Police--20,874, including Border Police of approximately 5,000 and Palestinian Police (1,000). Auxiliary forces included Civil Defense Corps of army reservists (strength unknown) and Civil Guard (approximately 100,000 volunteers). Separate intelligence organizations included Mossad (external), Shin Bet (domestic), and Aman (military).

Data as of December 1988