Tale of the Tape: Middle East Nuclear Throwdown Edition

How does Iran stack up against a potential Israeli military attack on its nuclear facilities? Popular Mechanics sizes up the combatants:

There are two general types of antiaircraft weapons guarding Iran—those purchased from the U.S. and other NATO nations before the revolution in 1979, and those bought from Russia or China afterward.

Recent events in the Middle East are casting doubt over the efficiency of Russian equipment. During a September 2007 air raid by Israeli forces into Syria that wrecked a reported nuclear weapons facility there, the Syrian military did not launch any defending airplanes or Russian-made missiles before, during or after the strike. That has led analysts to wonder if newly purchased Russian radar and weapons are falling behind in the arms race for air superiority.

Ben-Ari says the IAF has been buying and upgrading airplanes specifically for long-distance strikes such as a potential attack against Iran. At least 50 F-15 Raam and F-16 Soufa aircraft have been converted by installing extra fuel tanks for greater range and countermeasures to defeat radar and missiles.

Long story short: bye-bye reactors. The sooner the better.

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