Benin Armed Forces

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

1. Benin Armed Forces Order of Battle

Total force strength Army: 6 800
Air Force: 400
Navy: 500
Paramilitary: 2 800 Gendarmerie, 600 Republican Guards
Total: 11 100
Army (l’Armee de Terre)
Armour 20: PT-76
7: M-8
10: VBL M-11
16: M113 (ex-Belgian)
10: Casspir NG 2000
Artillery 12: L-118 105mm (Towed) ?
4: M-101 (Towed 105 mm)
Mortar 60 mm
81 mm
Rocket launcher RPG-7
Anti armour LRAC 89 mm ?
Structure 4 Rapid Intervention units:
1st Commando Parachute Battalion
1st Motorised Battalion
1st Armoured Group
National Fire Brigade
5 Inter-arms battalions (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 8th)
6 Support and Combat Support units:
1st Artillery Battalion
1st Engineer Battalion
1st Signal Battalion
1st Material Battalion
1st Logistic Battalion
HQ Group
Benin People’s Air Force (Force Aerienne Populaire du Benin)
Trainer/surveillance 2: LH-10 Grand Duc
Transport 2: An-26 (apparently grounded)
2: C-47 ?
1: Commander 500B
1: DHC-6-300 Twin Otter
2: Do-128
1: HS-748
VIP aircraft 1: B-707-320 (Presidential transport – possibly grounded)
1: F-28 Fellowship
Transport helicopter 4: AW-109BA (Ex-Belgian; acquired in 2007)
2: AS-350B Ecureuil
Maritime/RECCE helicopter 1: SA 313B Alouette II
Benin Navy (Forces Navales Beninois)
Patrol 1: Patriote class
2: Zhuk class (ex-Soviet – allegedly sold for scrap)
3: 32 metre coastal patrol boats (Alibori, Oueme and Zou) delivered by Ocea in 2012.
Launches/speedboats 3: Boston Whaler launches
4: Defender class speedboats (donated by US in 2008-2010. 4 delivered according to US government sources, although some sources claim only 2)
Tug 1: Kondo coastal tug
Patrol/Strike boat (Gun/Missile/OPV/IPV) 2: Matelot Brice Kpomasse class (Matelot Brice Kpomasse and La Sota -ex-Chinese; donated in 2000)

2. Overview
Head of State and Government and Minister of Defence: President Thomas Yayi Boni
Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces: Major General Chabi Amoussa Mathieu Boni
Member of: UN, AU, ICAO, AfDB, Seabeds Committee

Conscription: 18 months
3. Benin defence economics

Defence budget percentage per GDP (2000-2010)

Note: Data for years 2007, 2009, 2010 are not known.

Defence budget per US$ Mil (2000-2011)

Defence budget percentage growth (2000-2011)

4. State of military forces

Benin has a small military geared for internal operations. The Air Force is positioned to fulfil transport and communications functions and support ground forces. It has a limited surveillance capability, but this has been bolstered by the arrival of new aircraft.

Benin’s biggest security threat is piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, something which affects its economic wellbeing (there were 45 incidences of hijacking and robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea in 2011). Although its coastline is only 120 km long, until recently the country had barely enough resources to adequately patrol this area and monitor its exclusive economic zone. However, recent purchases have considerably strengthened Benin’s military, especially the navy. New patrol boats from Ocea and aircraft from LH Aviation are being used to patrol the country’s coastline.

Benin has little in the way of procurement programmes, receiving most of its new equipment from donors or at special prices from partnerships. Benin receives aid and training support from countries like the United States, Belgium and France while China has provided a four million euro grant for the purchase of a patrol boat. The Army has little heavy equipment as it is focused on becoming a flexible infantry force for peacekeeping, border security and other such missions. Benin contributes a substantial number of troops to peacekeeping operations and taking part in United Nations peace support operations makes a positive contribution to the government as the country is compensated for such activity.

5. Country threat report

Threat type Overview
External • Benin is facing no external military threat.
• Maritime piracy within the Gulf of Guinea has been drastically increasing.
Internal  • Crime is Benin’s biggest internal security threat.
Regional • Islamic militancy in the West African region could affect Benin’s foreign security policy design.
Political • Benin is considered to be political stable.

6. External deployments

Operation Country Personnel/assets
Peacekeeping DRC 450
Peacekeeping Liberia 2
Peacekeeping Sudan 5
Peacekeeping Cote D’Ivoire 427
Peacekeeping CAR 3
Peace enforcement Mali 300

Benin Armed Forces address

Ministry of National Defence

P.O. Box 2493


Tel +229 300536/300890/301988

Fax: +229 301 821

E-mail: [email protected]

Note: The order of battle figures for Benin may not be representative due to the varying serviceability of much of its equipment.