The U.S. outguns Iran, but it faces painful realities in the event of a war

A review of Iran’s weapons shows that many of them are “obsolete, obsolescent, or of relatively low quality,” according to a 2018 report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. But the report adds that Tehran’s ballistic and cruise missiles, air defenses and use of proxy forces can “scarcely be ignored.”…

Among the weapons that Iran possesses are antiaircraft missile systems such as the S-300, which can target objects at altitudes of 15 miles. Tehran also has a fleet of more than 300 aircraft, though nothing nearly as advanced as what the U.S. Air Force flies. The aircraft include Russian-made MiG-29 fighters and Su-24 bombers, and legacy American aircraft that the Pentagon has retired, such as the F-4. Iran bought them from the United States before its 1979 revolution, according to CRS.

At sea, Iran’s navy is believed to operate a fleet that includes more than 100 vessels, about half of which are small, quick-moving vessels that would not stand up well to American destroyers but could grind maritime traffic to a halt by laying mines and harassing commercial ships.