Zambia Military


The defense (2009) comprises about 15,000 men enlisted with 3,000 men in reserve and is organized into three brigades. The Air Force has about 20 older fighter aircraft. Semi-military security forces amount to approximately 1,400 men. The material is outdated and of Soviet origin. Defense costs rose from 1.1% to 2.2% of GDP in 1985-2007.

Zambia participates in UN peacekeeping operations with observers in the Central African Republic/Chad, Ivory Coast, Congo (Kinshasa), Liberia, Nepal and Sudan. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that ZWB stands for Zambia.

Zambia Army

Zambia has volunteer military service. The total force numbers for Zambia’s armed forces are 15 100 active personnel, with a reserve of 3,000 personnel (2018, IISS). In addition, 1400 semi-military police forces are arriving.

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The army has a workforce of 13,500 active personnel. The equipment includes 30 tanks (20 type 59 and ten T-55), 30 light tanks of the PT-76 type, 70 light trucks, 23 storm tanks, and 33 armored personnel vehicles. In addition, the Army has medium-heavy artillery and anti-aircraft artillery.

Air Force

The Air Force has a workforce of 1,600 active personnel. The equipment includes 23 transport aircraft, 51 training aircraft (21 of which can also be used as light fighter aircraft), and 22 helicopters. In addition, the Air Force has drones and short range air defense missiles.

International operations

In 2018, Zambia participated in the UN operation in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) with an infantry battalion (942 personnel) and eight observers, and with a small number of personnel and observers in the UN operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), in Sudan (UNAMID), and in South Sudan (UNMISS).