Botswana Defence Force

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

1. Botswana Defence Force Order of Battle

Total force strength Army: 10 000
Air Force: 2 500
Paramilitary: 1 500
Total: 12 500
Botswana Derfence Force
Armour 50: SK-105 Kurassier
24: FV101 Scorpion
64: VBL
6: FV 103 Spartan
50: BTR-60
50: LAV-150
50: Piranha III
Artillery 12: L-118 LG 105 mm
6: Model 56 105 mm
12: Soltam M71 155 mm
20: Aerostar SA 120 mm (MLR)
Mortar 22: 81 mm
6: 120 mm
Anti armour 6: TOW
Recoilless rifle 30: Carl Gustav (84 mm)
Rocket launcher RPG-7
Air defence 5: Javelin (Missile)
10: SA-16 (Missile)
12: SA-7 (Missile)
7: M-167 Vulcan (Gun)
Structure 2 infantry brigades
1 armoured brigade (2 regiments)
1 engineer regiment
1 Commando battalion
1 Para and Presidential Guard battalion
2 field artillery brigades (3 regiments each)
1 air defence artillery brigade (2 regiments)
1 mechanical and electrical engineer regiment
Signal Corps
Medical Corps
Ordnance Corps
Armament Corps
Force Training School
Vessels 10: Panther airboats
2: Boston Whaler Raider class
Botswana Defence Force Air Wing
Combat aircraft 9: CF-5A Freedom Fighter (ex-Canadian Armed Forces)
6: CF-5D Tiger II (ex-Canadian Armed Forces)
Trainer aircraft 5: PC-7 Mk II (ordered April 2011 to replace PC-7s; deliveries concluded 2012)
Transport aircraft 3: C-130B Hercules (ex-USAF)
10: BN-2 Defender
2: C-212 Aviocar
2: CN235M-300
5: Cessna O-2 Skymaster
1: Dornier Do 328
Ultralight ?: Aviatika 890U
VIP 1: Beech 200 King Air
1: Gulfstream IV
1: BD-700 Global Express/Global 5000
Transport helicopter 5: Bell 412
8: AS 350B Ecureuil
Structure Air Wing HQ:
Technical Training School
Air Logistics
8 squadrons
Squadrons Fighter: Z28 Squadron at Thebephatshwa with CF-5A/Ds

Transport: Z10 Squadron at Thebephatshwa with C-130Bs, CN235s, C212s; Z12 Squadron at Francistown with BN-2 Islanders; Z3 Squadron at Francistown with Cessna O-2 Skymaster

Trainer: Z7 Squadron at Thebephatshwa with PC-7 Mk IIs

Helicopter: Z21 Squadron at Francistown with Bell 412; Z23 Squadron at Thebephatshwa with AS 350 Ecureuil

VIP: Gulfstream IV, King Air 200, Bell 412, Global 5000

 2. Botswana Defence Forces overview:
President: Ian Khama
Minister of Defence: Shaw Kgathi
Commander of the Defence Forces: Lieutenat-General Gaolothe Galebotswe
Member of: UN, Commonwealth, AU, AfDB, Southern African Development Community Standby Brigade
Structure: The President (Seretse Khama Ian Khama) is Commander-in-Chief of the Botswana Defence Forces. He acts either directly or through a Defence Council, of whose members he appoints. The Commander of the Botswana Defence Force and all officers above the rank of Lieutenant Colonel are appointed by the President.
3. Botswana defence economics
Defence budget percentage per GDP (2000-2010)

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
DB% per GDP 3.3 3.5 3.7 3.7 3.1 2.8 2.4 2.5 2.5 2.9 2.4


Defence budget per US$ Mil (2000-2011)

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005  2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
DB per US$ Mil 315  385  411 396 366 332 327 361 386 372 352 344


Defence budget percentage growth (2000-2011)

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005  2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
DB% growth  22.2 6.8 -3.6 -7.6 -9.3 -1.5 10.4 6.9 -3.6    -5.4 -2.3


4. State of military forces

Botswana’s military is small but capable and is one of the most professional in the region, benefitting from a relatively large defence budget. During the mid-1990s Botswana upgraded its military significantly, with the acquisition of new aircraft, the construction of the Thebephatshwa air base and the purchase of armoured vehicles and artillery. Such militarisation was a cause for concern for Botswana’s neighbours but the country is politically stable. It is widely regarded as one of the most democratic and peaceful countries in southern Africa, enjoying healthy economic growth and social stability. Arguably the biggest risk the country is facing comes from the high rate of HIV/AIDS, which has dropped life expectancy considerably (around 25% of Botswana’s 2 million people have HIV/AIDS).

The country’s military is generally inward-looking and focused on things like anti-poaching activities and disaster management. However, it is developing a mechanised capability with light tanks and other armoured vehicles.

Although Botswana is a landlocked country, it has a number of waterways (notably the Chobe River and Okavango swamps) that need policing. The army therefore has a marine unit with patrol boats and river craft that deploy in support of anti-poaching operations and border patrol along Botswana’s waterways.
5. Country threat report

Threat type Overview
External • Botswana is currently facing no external military threat. Political tensions do however linger between Botswana, Namibia, and Angola concerning the use of the Okavango Delta and the ownership of the Sedudu Island on the Chobe River.
Internal • Botswana is facing no internal security threat.
Regional • Political instability in Zimbabwe could affect Botswana‘s foreign security policy making.
Political • Botswana’s internal political structure has come under international scrutiny in recent years.
Economic  • Botswana’s economy is highly dependent on the export of natural minerals especially diamonds. Diamond price instability on the international market could affect Botswana’s economy negatively.

Botswana Defence Force address:

Sir Seretse Khama Barracks

Private Bag X06



Tel: +267 366 2100/366 2775

Fax: +267 3932016


Note: The information here is as accurate as possible but errors and ommissions may occur.