Ethiopian National Defence Force

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

Total force strength Army: 180 000
Air Force: 3 500
Armour 75: T-62
240: T-54/55
60: T-72 (200 on order to replace T-54/55)
Reconnaissance 70: BRDM-1/2
AIFV 20: BMP-1
APC 90: BTR-40/60/152
110: M-113
Self-propelled artillery 10: 2S1 Carnation 122 mm
10: 2S5 152 mm
10: 2S19 Farm 152 mm
Towed artillery ?: M-1942 76 mm
?: M-1938 122 mm
100: D-30 122 mm
6: M-46 130 mm
18: WA-021/Type 88 155 mm
Multiple Rocket Launcher 50: BM-21 122 mm
25: Type 63 107 mm
Mortar ?: 82 mm
?: 120 mm
Anti-armour ?: AT-3/4 Sagger/Spigot
Recoilless rifle ?: D-44 85 mm
Rocket launcher RPG-7 Knout 73 mm
Air defence gun ?: ZSU-23-4 23 mm
?: ZU-23 23 mm
?: ZU-57
?: S-60 57 mm
?: M-1939 37 mm
Air defence missile ?: SA-2 Guideline
?: SA-3 Goa
?: SA-7 Strela
Air Force
Combat aircraft 15: MiG-21 Fishbed
10: MiG-23 Flogger
12: Su-27 Flanker
8: Su-25 Frogfoot
Trainer aircraft 7: L-39 Albratros
4: SF-260
Transport aircraft 9: An-12 Cub
2: C-130 Hercules
2: DHC-6 Twin Otter
2: Y-12
8: C-47
1: An-26
1: An-32
1: Yak-40
Combat helicopter 18: Mi-24/35 Hind
12: UH-1H (Ethiopian Army Aviation)
Transport helicopter 8: SA-316 Alouette 3
10: Mi-6 Hook
20: Mi-8/17 Hip
1: SA 330 Puma
2: Mi-14 Haze

2. Overview
Prime Minister and commander-in-chief of the Defence Forces: Hailemariam Desalegn
Defence Minister: Siraj Fegesa
Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces: Lieutenant General Samora Yunus

Commander of the Air Force: Brigadier General Mola Hailemariam
Member of: UN, AU, IAEA, ICAO, AfDB
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

Ethiopia’s military is structured into four regional commands (Central, Northern, South Eastern and Western). The commanders of these regions report directly to the Prime Minister as commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Between 1974 and 1990 Ethiopia built up a formidable armed force half a million strong with Soviet help. From 1991, the old army was disbanded, the air force grounded and with the independence of Eritrea in 1993, the Ethiopian Navy ceased to exist. Due to conflict with Eritrea in 1998, the military was rehabilitated, with the army expanded and new equipment procured – in 2001 the Ethiopian armed forces numbered 252 000, the largest in sub-Saharan Africa. During Ethiopia’s intervention in neighbouring Somalia in 2007 to drive out the Islamic Courts Union, troop numbers rose to an estimated 300 000. The Ethiopian military is still dealing with numerous low-key conflicts, notably in Ogaden and along the border with Eritrea.

Due to its combat experienced troops and importance placed on the military by the government, Ethiopia’s military is widely considered to be one of the strongest and most capable on the continent. Numerous peacekeeping operations and military assistance from foreign countries has further bolstered its reputation.

Supporting the military are several defence industrial organisations that manufacture and support weapons and equipment, such as Metals & Engineering Corp. Ethiopian industry has reportedly developed the country’s first unmanned aerial vehicle. In 2011 Ethiopia ordered Spylite and Boomerang UAVs from Israeli company BlueBird. Ethiopia also has a dedicated Defence University that supports the military.
5. Country threat report

Threat type Overview
External • Ethiopia’s border with Eritrea remains highly militarised after the country’s war with Eritrea and on and off clashes over the last decade.
• Ethiopia has an active dispute with neighbouring Egypt concerning the use of the Nile River.
Internal • Domestic insurgents are still active in several regions of Ethiopia especially the Ogaden region bordering Somalia.
Regional • Instability within Somalia has on several past occasions affected Ethiopia’s foreign security policy making.
Political • Ethiopia is currently considered to be politically stable.
Economic • Ethiopia economy is largely based on agriculture and it accounts for 46 % of GDP, 80 % of employment, and 60 % of exports. Events such as droughts would have a negative impact on Ethiopia’s economy and social stability.

6. External deployments

Operation Country Personnel/assets
Peacekeeping Sudan/South Sudan 2500


Ministry of National Defence

P.O. Box 125

Addis Ababa


Tel +2511445555

Telex: 21261

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