Democratic Republic of Congo


Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo

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: 115 000
Air Force: 2 500
Navy: 2 300 including 600 marines
Republican Guard: 7 000 (responsible to president)
Total: 120-130 000
Army (Forces du Terre)
Armour 16: Type-59
30: T-55 (received 2009/2010)
10: PT-76
32: Type 62
100: T-72 (received 2009/2010)
Reconnaissance 17: AML-60
2: RAM-V-2
19: EE-9 Cascavel
14: AML-90
AIFV 25: BMP-1
APC 3: BTR-50
70: BTR-60
58: M-3 Panhard
12: YW-531
12: M-113
Self-propelled artillery 12: 2S1 Carnation (received 2010)
12: 2S3 152 mm (received 2010)
Towed artillery 24: M-116 75 mm
36: M1938/D-30 122 mm (received 2010)
42: M-46 130 mm
8: Type-59 130 mm
14: Type-60 122 mm
20: Type-56 85 mm
Multiple Rocket Launcher 12: Type-63 107 mm
12: BM-21 122 mm (received 2010)
6: M-51 128 mm
Mortar 100: 81 mm
200: 82 mm
36: M-43 120 mm (received 2010)
Anti-armour 36: M-18 57 mm
10: M-20 75 mm
Recoilless rifle 16: M-40A1 106 mm
Rocket launcher RPG-7 Knout 73 mm
Air defence gun 12: ZPU-4 14.5 mm
40: M1939/Type 63 37 mm
Air defence missile 20: SA-7 Grail
Air Force
Combat aircraft 2: MiG-23 Flogger
2: Su-25 Frogfoot (received 2012)
8: MB-326GB
6: MB-326K
Transport aircraft 1: An-26 Curl (received 2009)
2: Boeing 727 (received 2009)
3: An-12
Combat helicopter 6: Mi-24/35 (four Mi-24V/Hind Es received 2009/2010)
Transport helicopter 35: Mi-8 (Suffering from low serviceability)
1: Mi-26 (non-operational)
2: SA 316/SE 3160
11: SA 330 Puma
Navy (Coast, River and Lake Guard)
Patrol/Strike boat (Gun/Missile/OPV/IPV) 1: Shanghai II ( two non operational)
Harbour/River patrol Several river patrol boats

2. Overview
Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces: President Joseph Kabila
Chief of General Staff: Lieutenant General Didier Etumba Longila
Minister of Defence: Alexander Cuba Ntambo
Member of: UN, AU, IAEA
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 Armed Forces of the DRC (Forces Armees de la Republique Democratique du Congo, FARDC) were formed after the Second Congo War and the installation of a transitional government in 2003. The FARDC was designed to unify government forces and elements from all the main armed groups in the DRC. Approximately 18 integrated brigades have been established while a Rapid Reaction Force of 12 battalions is being established, but the process has proven to be problematic.

The DRC’s military suffers from corruption, which impacts heavily on soldiers’ pay, with some receiving no salary at all from time to time. Troops are also inadequately equipped, supported and housed and in general the army is ill-disciplined and underfunded, resulting in soldiers preying on the local population when deployed.

There are widespread reports of human rights abuses and criminal activities carried out by FARDC troops (including integrated ex-rebels), notably rape and extortion. The FARDC is known to be involved in commercial mining businesses, mineral trafficking and other illicit activities.

Much of the equipment in the FARDC’s inventory is old, obsolete and unserviceable – its air force and navy have almost no functioning assets. However, a significant amount of military hardware was acquired from Ukraine in 2009/2010, including T-72 main battle tanks and small arms and ammunition.

The FARDC is unable to adequately deal with the numerous security challenges the country faces, most notably the M23 rebel movement, which briefly held the eastern city of Goma in November 2012 after the army retreated. As a result, there is ongoing instability in the east of the DRC.

The DRC is home to the United Nation’s largest peacekeeping mission, with 17 000 peacekeepers deployed. The UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) has been mandated to use all necessary means to carry out its protection mission, which includes the protection of civilians, humanitarian personnel and human rights defenders under imminent threat of physical violence, as well as the protection of United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment. In spite of UN backing, and training by foreign militaries such as the United States and South Africa, the FARDC remains a largely ineffective force. Consequently, MONUSCO in March 2013 approved the deployment of a 3 000 strong intervention brigade in the DRC with a mandate to conduct targeted offensive operations against eastern DRC rebels.
5. Country threat report

Threat type Overview
External • The DRC is currently facing no external military threat. However, there are strong allegations that Rwanda is supporting rebels in the country.
Internal • The country is still facing an insurgency by several rebel and militant groups in the country’s eastern provinces of North and South Kivu and the Ituri region, most notably the M23.  
• The Lord’s Resistance Army continues to operate within the DRC on the country’s borders with Uganda, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic.
Regional • The internal security situation in the Central African Republic may seriously affect the DRC’s foreign security policies.
Political • Following internationally accepted elections in 2012 the country is currently considered to be politically stable.
• There is continued political tension between policy makers in Kinshasa and the country’s Katanga province.
Economic • The DRC is home to a vast amount of natural and mineral resources. Recent internal conflict and insufficient government management principles has led to the underutilization and wastage of these resources. The DRC’s mineral wealth has contributed significantly to much of the fighting in the country and has been used to fund conflict.

Contact details:

Ministry of National Defence

P.O. Box 8635

Kinshasa 1


Tel ++243 123 0528/59894

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