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Lesotho Defence Force

Lesotho Defence Force


1. Order of battle
2. Overview
3. Defence economics
4. State of military forces
5. Country threat report

1. Order of Battle
Total force strength Army: 2 000
Air Wing: 110
Reconnaissance 4: AML-90
6: RAM-2-V
8: S52 Shorland
Towed artillery 2: L-118 105 mm
Mortar 10: L-16 81 mm
Recoilless rifle 6: M-40 106 mm
Rocket launcher ?: RPG-7 Knout 73 mm
Structure 1 reconnaissance company
7 infantry companies
1 artillery battery
1 aviation squadron
1 support company
Air Wing
Transport aircraft 3: C212 300/400 Aviocar
1: GA-8 Airvan

Transport helicopter
3: Bell 412 EP/SP Twin Huey
2: BO 105LSA-3
1: Bell 206

2. Overview

Head of Government and Minister of Defence, Police and National Security: Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili

Defence Minister: Tseliso Mokhosi

Head of armed forces: Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao

3. Defence economics
Defence budget percentage per GDP (2000-2010)


Defence budget per US$ Mil (2000-2011)



Defence budget percentage growth (2000-2011)



4. State of military forces

The Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) has a history of interfering in political affairs and therefore in the mid-1990s the Ministry of Defence was created to transform the Lesotho Defence Force into an apolitical, accountable, capable and affordable defence force. The Ministry of Defence includes the Lesotho Defence Force, Administration and National Security Service. The LDF also works with the Lesotho Mounted Police.

Following South Africa and Botswana’s military intervention in Lesotho in 1998 to resolve a political crisis following weeks of rioting, the Lesotho Defence Force was downsized and retrained, with technical assistance from South Africa and India – the Indian Army has trained the Lesotho Defence Force since 2001. The LDF is now considered to be a professional service that is less inclined to interfere in politics.

The Lesotho Defence Force’s role is to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Lesotho and uphold the Constitution of Lesotho. However, it has limited capabilities to carry out this mandate. The Force also supports the police and is used for transport and VIP duties. One of its important functions is to combat drug smuggling and cattle rustling across the borders with the Eastern Cape and Free State.

5. Country threat report
Threat type Overview
Economic • Lesotho’s economy is mainly integrated with South Africa’s economy and relies mainly on agriculture, mining, and tourism.
• Poverty, inequality and HIV/AIDS are some of the biggest challenges facing Lesotho.
Regional • Lesotho’s borders are very porous, and this has led to cross-border crime such as stock theft, illegal grazing and farm attacks.

Ministry of Defence and National Security
Along Kingsway, Opposite National Library
P/Bag A166
Maseru 100
Tel:+266 22326651 ext. 220

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