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The constitution of Namibia defined the role of the military as "defending the territory and national interests." Namibia formed the National Defence Force (NDF), comprising former enemies in a 23-year bush war: the Peoples Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) and South West African Territorial Force (SWATF). The British formulated the force integration plan and began training the NDF, which consists of five battalions and a small headquarters element. The United Nations Transitional Assistance Group (UNTAG)'s Kenyan infantry battalion remained in Namibia for three months after independence to assist in training the NDF and stabilize the north. According to the Namibian Defence Ministry, enlistments of both men and women will number no more than 7,500. Defence and security account for less than 8% of government spending.

The army of Namibia consists of:

  • five motorised infantry battalions;
  • a Presidential Guard battalion;
  • a combat support battalion;
  • a reconnaissance company;
  • an engineering company;
  • an artillery group
  • a logistics support brigade.

The Namibian Air Force is small, consisting of between 4 and 12 Chinese K-8 light attack aircraft, and a number of fixed and rotary wing transport assets. Development in this area was hampered by accidental losses during their intervention in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Chinese sources reported the delivery of FT-7NGs in November 2006. Namibian AF ordered 12 Chengdu F-7NMs in August 2005 . This is believed to be a variation of the F-PG acquired by Pakistan.

Development of Namibia's navy has been slow, and the force was only formally established in 2004, 14 years after independence. Engaging approximately 350 personnel it deploys a small number of lightly armed patrol vessels. Extensive Brazilian aid has assisted in developments and notably will result in the delivery of a new-build patrol craft (the Brendan Simbwaye) in 2008.

Defence cooperation at various levels has been explored with several governments, including the United States. Areas of cooperation include military education, training, and a fisheries program.

On May 21, 1990, Namibia signed a border-control agreement with Angola but to date has not entered into defence agreements with any country.



  • T-55 Tanks
  • BRDM-2 Armoured Personnel Carrier - (12)
  • BTR-60 Armoured Personnel Carrier - (10)
  • Casspir Armoured Personnel Carrier - (20)
  • Wolf Turbo 2 - Armoured Personnel Carrier - (30)
  • ZiS-3 76mm Towed Artillery - (12)
  • G2 140mm Gun - (24)
  • BM-21 122mm MRL - (5)

Military branches: National Defence Force (Army), Police

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 459,474 (2003 est.), 416,529 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 274,015 (2003 est.), 248,581 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $73.1 million (FY02), $90 million (FY97/98)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.4% (FY02), 2.6% (FY97/98)