Zambia Defence Force


Zambia 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: Active 13 500 Reserve 3000
Air Force: 1600
Paramilitary: 3000
Armour 16: Type-59
8: T-54/55
20: PT-76
14: Ratel
Reconnaissance 70: BRDM-1/BRDM-2
APC 23: Ratel-20
13: BTR-60
20: BTR-70
24: Ferret
1: Rhino
Towed artillery 18: 105 mm Model 56 pack howitzer
25: 122 mm D-30
18: 130 mm M-46
35: 76 mm M1942
Multiple Rocket Launcher 30: 122 mm BM-21
Mortar 55: 81 mm
24: 82 mm
12: 120 mm
Anti-armour 9: K11 Malyutka (AT-3 Sagger)
12: 57 mm M18
12: 75 mm M20
12: 84 mm Carl Gustav
Air defence gun 50: 20 mm M-55 (triple)
40: 37 mm M-1939
30: 57 mm S-60
16: 85 mm KS-12
Air defence missile 9: K32 Strela-2 (SA-7 Grail)
Structure 1: Armoured Regiment ( 1 tank battalion,1 armed reconnaissance regiment)
6: Light Infantry battalion
1: Artillery regiment (2 Fire Direction Artillery Batallion, 1 Multiple Rocket Launchers battalion
1: Engineers Regiment
1: Commando battalion (special forces)
Air Force
Combat aircraft 10: MiG-21MF Fishbed
2: MiG-21U Mongol A
Trainer aircraft 15: K-8 Karakourm
10: MB-326GB
10: MFI-15 safari
6: SF-260TW
Transport aircraft 5: Do-28
2: MA-60
4: Y-12 (II)
5: Y-12 (IV)
5: Y-12E
VI Paircraft 1: CL-604
1: HS-748
Transport helicopter 1: AW139
4: Mi-17 Hip H
10: Bell 205 (UH-1H Iroquois/AB-205)
3: Bell 212
5: Bell 47G
7: AS365/AS565 Panther

2. Overview

Head of State and Government: Edgar Lungu

Defence Minister: Richwell Siamune

Chief of Defence Staff: Lt Gen Paul Mihova

Chief of Staff of the Army: Lt Gen Paul Mihova

Chief of Staff of the Air Force: Lt Gen Eric Chamese

Member of: UN, AU, Commonwealth, SADC, G-77 etc.
3. Defence economics
Military expenditure (ME) as percentage of GDP (2004-2013)

Military expenditure per US$ Mil (2000-2013)

Military expenditure (ME) percentage growth (2000-2013)

4. State of military forces

The primary responsibilities of the Zambian military are ensuring border security and territorial integrity. The country has a commitment to international peacekeeping, specifically on the African continent. Zambia has seen a gradual increase in military expenditure but its armed forces continue to be hampered by obsolete and outdated equipment along with maintaining ageing weapons systems.

As Zambia is a landlocked nation the country has no navy, however it does have a limited number of patrol boats which ensure security on the country’s rivers. Zambia’s air force also has a limited capacity due to its small size. The country does contribute forces to peacekeeping missions and is an active participant in the Southern African Development Community and African Union.

One of the key issues that the country’s military has dealt with over the last few years has been the eradication of landmines left over from Africa freedom fighters that often had bases in the country. 2014 marked 5 years since a landmine incident occurred in the country.
5. Country threat report

Threat type Overview
External • Zambia is currently facing no external security threat.
Internal • Zambia is currently facing no internal security threat
Regional • Occasional instability to the north in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the only major regional threat to Zambia
Political • Zambia is considered to be politically stable along with having a relatively efficient and transparent government
Economic • Zambia’s main economic activity has always been copper mining which is where the country generates most of its wealth. It has numerous contracts with China in this regard.

6. Major external deployments

Operation Country Personnel/assets
UNOCI Ivory Coast Troops: 2
MUNUSCO Democratic Republic of Congo Troops: 20
UNAMID Sudan/Darfur Police: 41
Troops: 18
UNISFA Sudan/Abyei region Troops: 3
UNMIL Liberia Police: 16
Troops: 3
UNMISS South Sudan Police: 30
Troops: 7


Ministry of Defence

PO Box RW 17X, Lusaka
(Telephone: 251-211, 254-667; Fax: 254-670, 221-339, 253-875)