The defense has reduced its volume over a ten-year
period, modernized and placed under civilian political
control. Defense costs decreased from 7.8 to 2% of GDP in
1985-2006. Approximately the same amount is financed in
other ways than over the defense budget, mainly for
investments in new equipment. So far, staffing has been done
through military service, but from 2006 there is a
transition to voluntary recruitment.
The defense comprises about 78,000 men and is organized
into an army of 47,000 men with six divisions and two
independent regiments/brigades. The navy comprises about
20,000 men with 4 submarines, 6 larger surface combat
vessels, 25 patrol boats, 5 amphibious vessels and a navy
corps of 3,500 men and a naval aircraft with 6 fighter
aircraft and 17 armed helicopters. The Air Force comprises
11,000 men with 87 fighter aircraft and 14 armed
helicopters. Half-military security forces amount to 38,000
men. The material is of Western origin and is being
modernized at a rapid pace; 10 new and 18 used F-16 fighter
planes, 2 used submarines and 2 used frigates, as well as
far-reaching discussions to change all or a large part of
the tank fleet to Leopard II are examples of support from
eg. The Netherlands and Spain.
Chile participates in UN peacekeeping operations in
Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR), Haiti (MINUSTAH), India/
Pakistan, the Middle East, Montenegro and Serbia. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that CHL stands for Chile.
Chile's defense overview
Chile has military service with first-time service of 12
months in the Army and in the Air Force, and 18 months in
the Navy. The total strength of Chile's armed forces is
77,200 active personnel, with a reserve of 40,000 personnel
(2018, IISS). In addition there are 44 700 semi-military
Carabineros. The Coast Guard belongs under the Navy.
The army has a staff of 46 350 active personnel.
Materials include 244 tanks (115 Leopard 1 and 131 Leopard
2), 191 storm tanks, 548 armored personnel vehicles, and 65
self-propelled artillery, including 17 self-propelled
artillery. In addition, the Army has heavy artillery, short
range air defense missiles, light air defense artillery,
eight light transport aircraft and 26 helicopters.
The Air Force has a personnel force of 11,050 active
personnel. Materials include 48 fighter jets (12 F-5 Tigers
III, and 36 F-16), 10 F-16 fighter aircraft, 16 A-36 Halcón
attack aircraft, three reconnaissance aircraft, one AEW & C
aircraft, five tankers, 37 transport aircraft, 46 training
aircraft (including 14 Super Tucano which can also be used
as light attack aircraft), 40 helicopters, and three medium-
The Navy has a workforce of 19,800 active personnel,
including 3,600 Marines. The fleet includes four tactical
submarines, one fighter, seven frigates, 12 patrol vessels,
one dock landing vessel, six landings, and 13 logistics and
The Navy's aircraft have four anti-submarine aircraft,
four maritime patrol aircraft, seven reconnaissance
aircraft, seven training aircraft, and 20 helicopters.
In addition, the naval forces of material have 15 light
Scorpion light tanks, 25 armored personnel vehicles, heavy
artillery, sea-going missiles, and short-range air defense
The Coast Guard has 55 patrol vessels.
The semi-military Carabineros belong to the Ministry of
the Interior, and have a staff of 44 700 active personnel.
Materials include 20 armored personnel vehicles, four light
transport aircraft, and 16 light helicopters.
In 2018, Chile participated, among others, in the UN
operations in Cyprus (UNFICYP) with 12 personnel, and in the
Middle East (UNTSO) with three observers.