'Egypt has received $1.3 billion in annual U.S. military aid. Egypt's army launched an ambitious modernization plan, cutting its personnel from about 600,000 to 340,000 to build a mobile and efficient force'
'Egypt's most impressive achievement has been its air force, which the Military Balance published by the Institute for National Security Studies, describes as 'the most far-reaching transformation of any air arm in the Middle East.' Egypt has about 200 advanced American F-16s and some two dozen French Mirage 2000 interceptors. It also has 100 attack helicopters, compared with just 80 in Israel, according to the Center for Strategic International Studies.
'Furthermore, Egypt has some 500 multiple rocket launchers (twice the number as Israel) and nearly half of its 3,100 tanks are Western, including nearly 1,000 M1s. The Egyptian Navy is the most robust in the eastern Mediterranean basin, with 10 frigates, four submarines and 23 missile boats.'
'Egypt has had surface-to-surface missile since the early 1970s and its Scud rockets reportedly are capable of reaching anywhere in Israel'
'Egypt has been moving front and center and its increasingly sophisticated and Western military today represents, on paper, the biggest conventional military danger to the IDF.
Israeli military officers have spoken privately about the concern over the aggressive character of the Egyptian buildup. Until now, the IDF, too, has been caught in a double bind. It sees the Egyptian army preparing to fight, yet is hesitant to call Egypt an enemy out of fear of turning it into one.
Nevertheless, watching Egypt spend $1.3 billion on weapons every year, even if IDF intelligence believed Cairo had no clear interest in war with Israel, didn't pass quietly; particularly after annual military exercises included simulated crossings of the Suez Canal and fighting against an enemy which fit the profile of Israel.
Today, the IDF holds two low-readiness armored divisions opposite Sinai. But IDF contingency plans call for Israel to hold back another three divisions from another front to be shifted against Egyptian forces, should they move on Israel, according to Jane's Intelligence Review.'
NOTE: From Jan 2011