Iran Military Power 2020-2021

World ranking: 15 

Overview

Iran along with North Korea has been the target of the media for quite some time. With the killing of Soleimani at the start of 2020, all eyes have been on Iran. Situated in a land bridge between the Middle East and the rest of Asia, with lots of oil and population of 80 million most of which are young, Iran has the potential to be a powerhouse. While this list only elaborates on conventional power rather than proxies, it should be mentioned that Iran's ranking also puts into account their use of proxy forces.

Capital: Tehran

Population: 83.8 million

Defence Budget: 17.4 billion

land forces

Iran's army is a relatively large force. A substantial amount of its equipment is of Soviet origin. However Iran has attempted to modernise its vehicles. The latest product of this endeavour is the Karrar tank. Most of the Iranian Army's strength comes from its wide array of surface-to-surface missiles.

Tanks: 2,066

AFV: 4,300

MLRS: 1,935

SPG: 570

Air force

Iran has an interesting mix or Western and Eastern aircraft. However this isn't by choice. Ever since the revolution Iran's F-4s, F-5s and F-14s have been at the mercy of the remaining spare parts. Iran has tried to modernise and maintain its fleet to the best of its ability. It bought a number of MiG-29s in the early 90s and has attempted to reverse engineer its F-5s. However its most capable jets are still the pre-revolution F-14s.

Fighters: 226

Attack: 35

Armed UAVs: 40

Attack Helicopters: 12

Helicopters: 100

Other: 165

Navy

The Islamic Republic of Iran Navy and Navy of the IRGC have a combined total of 398 vessels. Most of these are smaller patrol vessels. Iran only has 10 large surface combat vessels, 3 corvettes and 7 frigates. However it has a whopping 34 submarines.. These numbers may seem strange, however they make sense. Iran would rather use smaller attack vessels in large numbers in order be dominant in the Persian Gulf. It's a cheap and effective to overwhelm any enemy who tries to block the Straight of Hormuz. It must be mentioned that many of these smaller vessels have questionable attack ranges, however when factoring the fact that such small vessels are usually only engaged when they are in view, this is not a problem. Iran's sheer amount of vessels has ensured that they have maintained full a strong presence in the region and have knocked heads with the US, Britain and other powers.

Total Vessels: 398

Carriers and LHDs: 0

Destroyers: 0

Frigates: 7

Corvettes: 3

Submarines: 34

Strong points

  • Large array of missiles

  • Crude, but broad defence industry

  • Amount of naval vessels

  • Not afraid to lose troops

weak points

  • Lack of finesse 

  • Ageing aircraft fleet

  • Training - better than neighbouring Arab militaries, yet not on par with Turkey or Israel.

Statistics

Manpower

875,000

Tanks

2,066

AFV

4,300

MLRS

1,935

SPG

570

Fighters

226

Attack 

35

UCAV

40

Attack helis

12

Helicopters

100

Other

165

Total vessels

398

Aircraft Carriers

0

Destroyers

0

Frigates

7

Corvettes

3

Submarines

34