Tunisian Armed Forces

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Tunisian Armed Forces:

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

 

  1. Order of Battle
 

 

Total force strength

Land Forces: 27 000

Air Force: 3 500

Navy: 4 500

National Guard: 7 000

Gendarmerie: 2 000

Army

Main Battle Tanks:

24: M-60A1

52: M-60A3

54: SK-105 Kuerassier

Reconnaissance:

20: Alvis Saladin

10: AML-60

18: AML -90

18: EE-9 Cascavel

APC/MRAP/APV:

4: ACMAT Bastion

100: BMC Kirpi

10: Dingo-1

18: EE-11 Urutu

70: Ejder Yalcin

110: Fiat 6614

80: HMMWV Up-Armoured

120: M113A1/A2

9: Pitbull VX

10: Typhoon

13: VAB Mk-3 (For Police)

Armoured Recovery Vehicle

6: M-88A1

3: SB-20 Greif

Towed artillery/gun

26: M-30 107 mm

45: M101A1/A2 105 mm

12: M114A1 155 mm

48: M198 155 mm

Self-propelled artillery

10: M108 105mm

18: M109 155 mm

Mortar

90: 81 mm

64: 107 mm

18: 120 mm

Anti-tank/ATGW/ATK

180: BGM-71 TOW

35: M901 ITV TOW

120: MILAN

?: SS-11

180: AGM-114K HELLFIRE (For OH-58D combat helicopters)

Anti-aircraft/air defence gun

90: M-55 20 mm

10: Type-55 (M-1939)/Type-65 37 mm

Air defence system/SAM

46: M-48 Chaparral launchers

60: RBS-70

Self-Propelled anti-aircraft system 16: M-42 Duster
Recoilless rifle 300: LRAC
Structure

3: Mechanised brigades (1 armed regiment, 2 mechanised infantry regiments, 1 artillery regiment.)

1: Desert brigade (3 regiments)

1: Anti-aircraft artillery brigade

3: Artillery regiments

1: Engineer regiment

1: Independent armoured reconnaissance regiment

4: Para-commando battalions

Air Force
Combat aircraft

12: F-5E Tiger II

3: F-5F Tiger II

8: MB326KT

Trainer/COIN aircraft

9: L-59T

2: MB326LT

6: MB326B

8: SF260CT

12: SF260WT

Transport aircraft

5: C-130B Hercules

1: C-130H Hercules

2: C-130J-30 Hercules

2: L-410UVP-E20

3: L-410UVP-E20G

3: S208A

Multi-role/Attack helicopter

3: Bell 429

18: OH-58D Kiowa Warrior

5: SA341 Gazelle

2: SA342L1 Gazelle

4: SA316B Alouette III

4: SE3160 Alouette III

8: SE3130 Alouette II

1: Sikorsky S-61R/CH-3E

14: Sikorsky S-61R/HH-3E

1: UH-1V

Transport helicopter

6: AS350B Écureuil

16: Bell 205

6: Bell 205A-1

1: Bell AB212

15: UH-1H

2: UH-1N Iroquois

1: UH-60M Black Hawk (Another 12+ are on order for 2019/2020)

Border Surveillance 12: MX-7
UAV

Jbelassa UAV

NASNAS MK1 short range

Super Nasnas short range

7: ScanEagle

Navy
Patrol/Strike boat

3: Bizerte class (FRA P-48)

4: Damen MSOPV 1400

6: Hamilcar class (ex-German Type-143B)

1: Istiklal patrol boat (Esterel 32 m type)

6: Joumhouria class patrol boats (P270TN type)

1: Kerkouane class (P212 type)

3: La Galite class missile FAC (French Combattante III)

6: P270

3: Utique class (Chinese Haizhui II)

2: Vosper 103 Tazarka class FAC

2: 13.5 metre patrol boats (US donation)

12: 7.6 metre patrol boats (US donation)

Amphibious/Transport/Supply

1: Khaireddine (ex-US Wilkes)

2: Tabarka (ex-US White Sumac)

National Guard

4: Carabinieri Classe 700

2: P300 type patrol craft

6: P350TN patrol boats

1: Ras el Blais Class patrol boat (ex-Kondor)

5: Sbeitla class inshore patrol craft

10: launchers and boats

 

  1. Overview

Head of State and Government: Beji Caid El Sebsi

Prime Minister: Youssef Chahed

Defence Minister: Abdelkrim Zbidi

Chief of Staff: Brigadier General Ismail Fathalli

Chief of Staff of the Air Force: Brigadier General Mohamed Hajjem

Chief of Staff of the Navy: Vice-Admiral Abderraouf Atallah

Member of: UN, Arab League, OAPEC, OAU, IAEA, ICAO, IMCTC, AU, LAS, AfDB, G15, IAEA, Seabeds Committee and others.

 

  1. Defence economics

Military expenditure (ME) in USD $ Million (2009-2018)

Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
ME 452 469 558 561 615 732 870 925 859 844

 

 

Military expenditure (ME) as percentage of GDP (2009-2018)

Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
GDP in USD Billion 43.45 44.05 45.81 45.04 46.25 47.59 43.16 42.06 40.26 39.86
ME in USD Million 452 469 558 561 615 732 870 925 859 844
ME% of GDP 1.04 1.06 1.22 1.25 1.33 1.54 2.02 2.2 2.13 2.12

 

 

Military expenditure (ME) growth (2009-2018) as a percentage

Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
ME growth 3.2 3.8 19 0.5 9.6 19 18.9 6.3 -7.1 -1.75

 

 

  1. State of military forces

Tunisia’s military is somewhat under-equipped and faces challenges due to equipment that is outdated and, in some cases, obsolete. As such the country relies heavily on donations of surplus military equipment, specifically from the USA, France and Italy. During 2014 the USA announced it would provide $60 million worth of equipment to the country in the fight against Islamist militants, this includes night vision technology, helmets, shields along with naval patrol boats.

 

Despite the equipment limitations the Tunisian military has proven effective in managing domestic terrorism in the country.  Islamic fundamentalism is a threat in Tunisia and armed groups have targeted military outposts and transport convoys. Terrorism is still a problem for the country with attacks by the Islamic fundamentalists occurring yearly. 2015 was marked by terrorism with 60 tourists and 13 members of the national guard being killed by Islamic fundamentalists. The extremists are now targeting oil company pipelines and infrastructure in Tunisia.

 

The army has played a vital role in securing the country’s borders, particularly with its bigger neighbour Libya where there is ongoing conflict. The Tunisian navy has also actively patrolled the Mediterranean conducting search and rescue operations and dealing with the flow of illegal migrants. There were 957 newly registered asylum seekers and refugees since the beginning of 2019. In addition to this, migrant boats are consistently capsizing and leading to migrant death off Tunisia.

 

  1. Country threat report
Threat Type Overview
External Tunisia is currently facing no external security threat.
Internal Tunisia is currently facing internal security threats presented by the rise of Islamic extremism in the country which has led to the emergence of radical militant groups.
Regional Tunisia faces terrorist threats as a result of the instability present in Libya to the East.
Political Tunisia is considered to be politically stable since having elections in September 2019. This comes after it was the country in which the 2011 Arab spring begun.
Economic Tunisia is in the process of liberalising its economy which is resulting in consistent economic growth. Tunisia’s economic growth has largely depended on oil, phosphates, agri-food products, car parts manufacturing, and tourism.

 

The last annual rate of CPI published in Tunisia was on November of 2018 and it was 7.4%.

 

In terms of the human development index (HDI) of Tunisia, which is the index used by the United Nations to measure the progress of a country, was 0.735 points in 2017, leaving it in 96th place in the table of 189 countries published.

 

  1. Current major external deployments
Operation Country Personnel/Assests
MUNUSCO Democratic Republic of Congo

Troops: 2

Police: 39

Experts: 17

UNAMID Darfur Police: 67
MINUSMA Mali

Air force: 75

QRF Troops: 750

Military Police: 120

1 C-130J-30 Super Hercules

 

Contact:

Ministry of National Defence

Boulevard Bab M’Nara

1030 Tunis

Tunisia

Tel +216 71 560244

[email protected]

 

 



Updated on 10 October 2019