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Israel’s and Egypt’s Military Strength Revealed in British Survey

A survey by the Institute of Strategic Studies indicated today that Israel was spending nearly 12 percent of its gross national income on defense and that such spending accounted for 30 percent of the Government’s total expenditures. The Institute said Egypt was spending nine percent of gross national product, or 18 percent of all Government outlays, on defense. Egypt was the only other Middle East country included in the survey.

The survey, entitled “Military Balance, 1966, ” asserted that Israel’s defense outlays rose from $271, 000, 000 in 1964-65 to $382, 000, 000 last year and to $447, 000, 000 during the current year. The survey put Israel’s regular military forces at 71, 000 personnel which could be expanded in a few days by mobilization to 275, 000.

Israel was said to have 800 tanks, compared with 600 reported in a previous Institute survey. The additions, according to the Institute, were mainly American Patton tanks. The Institute reported that Israel had 350 combat aircraft, 200 self-propelled guns and two battalions equipped with American-made supersonic air-to-ground Hawk missiles as against one such battalion last year.

Egypt’s combat aircraft were reported as totaling 500, down 50 from the prior year but that Egypt now had 130 Soviet-made MIG-21’s compared with 52 of the MIGs last year. The number of Egyptian tanks was cited as 1, 200, which was the same total as last year but the Egyptians have replaced older types with more modern tanks. Egypt is thought to have about 100 missiles, the Institute said, but there is no evidence that the Egyptians have reliable guidance systems for the rockets and none are yet deployed.

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