Benin Armed Forces

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Benin Armed Forces
Coat of arms of Benin.svg
Coat of arms of Benin
Service branches Army (l'Armée de Terre)
Benin Navy (Forces Navales Beninois, FNB)
Benin People's Air Force (Force Aerienne Populaire de Benin, FAPB)
National Gendarmerie
Commander-in-Chief President Yayi Boni
Active personnel 4750[1]
Percent of GDP 1% (2011)[1]
Foreign suppliers  France
 Soviet Union
 United States

The Benin Armed Forces (FAB) constitutes the army, navy, air force, and national gendarmerie of Benin. For a number of years, the Belgian Armed Forces have had an active programme of co-operation with Benin, offering training and coaching, donating redundant military equipment and using the country for limited military exercises.[2]


Beninese soldiers on a firing range at Bembèrèkè in June 2009
Beninese soldiers training with a Type 56.
A Beninese soldier with a Type 56
Troops from Benin as part of the United Nations MONUSCO mission in the DR Congo, 2000

As of 2012, the Army has a strength of 4300.[1] It includes 1 armoured squadron, 3 infantry battalions, 1 commando/airborne battalion, 1 artillery battery, and 1 engineer battalion.[1]


Small Arms[edit]

Vehicles and Towed Artillery[edit]

Origin Type Versions In service Notes
PT-76  Soviet Union Light tank 18[1]
Casspir  South Africa Armoured personnel carrier Casspir 2000 -- 10 on order.[5]
M8 Greyhound  United States Armoured car 7[1]
Eland Mk7  South Africa Armoured car Eland-90 variant. 3[6] Provided with French instructors for training Beninese crews.[7][8]
Véhicule Blindé Léger  France Scout car 10[1]
BRDM-2  Soviet Union Scout car 14[1]
M113  United States Armoured Personnel Carrier 18[9]
L118 Light Gun  United Kingdom Howitzer 12[1]
M101 howitzer  United States Howitzer 4[1]

Air Force[edit]

After achieving independence from France in 1960 the Benin Air Force was transport equipped with seven French-supplied Douglas C-47s, four MH.1521 Broussards and two Agusta-Bell 47Gs. Two F-27s were entered service in 1978 for transport duties before being transferred to Air Benin. Also during the same era two AN-26s were acquired. In late 1985 two Dornier Do-28s entered service to replace the C-47s. A single DHC-6 Twin Otter was acquired in 1989.

The Benin Air Force maintains a small transport and utility fleet of 14 aircraft, including seven helicopters.

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[10][11] Notes
Agusta A109  Italy scout/attack helicopter A109HO 2 5 delivered
Eurocopter AS 350 Ecureuil  France utility helicopter AS 350B 1 2 AS-350B+1 AS-355M delivered
Boeing 727  United States VIP-transport 727-256 Adv. 1 Acquired from Iberia and modified in 2007/08.[11]
British Aerospace HS.748  United Kingdom transport HS.748 1 2 delivered
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter  Canada transport DHC-6-300 1
Dornier Do 28  Germany utility Do.28D-2 2
Douglas DC-3  United States transport C-47B 2 8 delivered
Aero Commander  United States transport 500B 1
LH-10 Ellipse  France Surveillance Grand Duc 2[12] In service 2011

Beninese Air Force also has two An-26s, and one Boeing 707, but these are currently grounded.[13]


As at 2012 the navy has a strength of approximately 200 personnel. It operates two ex-Chinese patrol boats, which are designated the Matelot Brice Kpomasse class.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k IISS (2012), p. 422
  2. ^ Mathurin C. Houngnikpo, Samuel Decalo, Historical Dictionary of Benin, 78.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Jane's Infantry Weapons 2007
  4. ^ Photo Details. (16 June 2009). Retrieved on 2012-05-20.
  5. ^ Benin purchases ten Casspir 2000 mine protected vehicles -, 10 February 2013
  6. ^ DIO blindé au Bénin
  7. ^ "Senegal Instruction Operationelle Au Profit Des Forces Armees Beninoises". 
  8. ^ Republique du Benin
  9. ^ "Trade Registers". Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  10. ^ Aviation Week & Space Technology 2009, 26 January 2009 240. Web.11 August 2009. <>.
  11. ^ a b "". 
  12. ^ Afrique, Benin, Aeronautique, un avion pour la surveillance active, 21 November 2010
  13. ^ "Beninese military aviation OrBat". 
Works consulted
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (2012). The Military Balance 2012. London: IISS. ISSN 0459-7222. 

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the CIA World Factbook.