Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Oružane snage Bosne i Hercegovine
Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina official "Coat of Arms".jpg
Coat of Arms of the Armed Forces of BIH
Service branches Ground Forces
Air Force and Aircraft Defence
Headquarters Sarajevo
Commander-in-Chief Bakir Izetbegović
Minister of Defence Zekerijah Osmić[1]
Chairman of the Joint Staff and Commander Lt. Gen. Anto Jeleč[1]
Military age 18 years of age
Conscription Abolished in 2006
Available for
military service
1,190,445 males, age 18–49 (2014 est.),
1,140,888 females, age 18–49 (2014 est.)
Fit for
military service
991,569 males, age 18–49 (2014 est.),
951,780 females, age 18–49 (2014 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
50,87 males (2014 est.),
65,789 females (2014 est.)
Active personnel 14,725[1]
Reserve personnel 7,000[1]
Deployed personnel  Afghanistan – 45
 Democratic Republic of the Congo – 5 (all officers/advisers)
 Iraq – 85[2]
Percent of GDP 2.4% (2013 est.)[3]
Domestic suppliers

Zrak (Optics)
Igman (small arms ammunition)
ORAO A.D. (Turbojet engines and parts)
BNT Travnik (small arms ammunition)
GINEX Gorazde (small arms parts of ammunition)

BINAS (small arms ammunition)
FSV – FABRIKA SPECIJALNIH VOZILA A.D (Spare parts for all types of combat vehicles and tank M-84)
Foreign suppliers  United States
China China
Related articles
History Logo of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Shield of the Army of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Army of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
History of the Army of Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
War in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Patriotic League
Territorial Defence Force of the Republic of Bosnia and Hercegovina
Ranks Military ranks and insignia of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnian Ground Forces
"Tigers" logo
Bosnian Ground Forces Emblem
Active 2006-present
Country Bosnia and Herzegovina
Branch Army
Role Ground defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Size 12,806
Garrison/HQ Sarajevo
Motto "Perspektiva" ("Perspective")[1]
General Kenan Dautović
Tomo Kolenda
Radovan Ilić
Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina brigades

The Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian Latinic: Oružane snage Bosne i Hercegovine, OSBIH; Serbian Cyrillic: Оружане снаге Босне и Херцеговине, ОСБИХ) is the official military force of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Bosnian Armed forces were unified in 2005 and are composed of two founding armies: the Bosniak-Croat Army of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosnian Serb Army of Republika Srpska.

The Ministry of Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, founded in 2004, is in charge of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Chain of command[edit]

In accoradnce with BiH Law of defense and BiH Law of service the supreme civilian commander of the Armed Forces Bosnia and Herzegovina is the collective Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.The collective Presidency directs Ministry of defense BiH and the Armed Forces Bosnia and Herzegovina Former ministers of defense include H.E. Nikola Radovanović, H.E. Selmo Cikotić, H.E. Muhamed Ibrahimović. The current Minister of defense BiH is H.E. Zekerijah Osmić. Former Chiefs of Joint Staff AF BiH include LGEN Sifet Podžić and Lieutenant General Miladin Milojčić. The current BiH Chief of Joint Staff is Lieutenant General Anto Jeleč. Conscription was completely abolished in Bosnia and Herzegovina effective on and from 1 January 2006.[4]

Defence law[edit]

The Bosnia and Herzegovina Defence Law addresses the following areas: the Military of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Government Institutions, Entity Jurisdictions and Structure, Budget and Financing, Composition of Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, War Declaration, natural disasters, conflict of interests and professionalism, Oath to Bosnia-Herzegovina, flags, anthem and military insignia, and transitional and end orders.


The AFBiH was formed from three armies of the Bosnian War period: the Bosnian (dominantly Bosniak with numbers of Serbs and Croats) Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Bosnian Serb Army of Republika Srpska, and the Croat Defence Council.

The Army of the Republic of Bosnia And Herzegovina was created on 15 April 1992 during the early days of the Bosnian War. Before the ARBiH was formally created, there existed Territorial Defence, an official military force of Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a number of paramilitary groups such as the Green Berets, Patriotic League, and civil defense groups, as well as many criminal gangs and collections of police and military professionals. The army was formed under poor circumstances, with a very low number of tanks, APCs and no military aviation assets. The army was divided into Corps, each Corp was stationed in a territory. The first commander was Sefer Halilović.

The Army of Republika Srpska was created on 12 May 1992. Before the VRS was formally created, there were a number of paramilitary groups such as the Srpska Dobrovoljačka Garda, Beli Orlovi, as well as some Russian, Greek and other volunteers. The army was equipped with ex-JNA inventory. It had about 200 tanks, mostly T-55s and 85 M-84s, and 150 APCs with several heavy artillery pieces. The Air Defense of VRS has shot down several aircraft, like F-16, Mirage 2000, F-18 and one Croatian Air Force MiG-21. The VRS received support from the Yugoslav Army and FRY.

The Croatian Defence Council was the main military formation of the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia during the Bosnian War. It was first organized military force to with the aim to control the Croat populated areas, created on 8 April 1992. They ranged from men armed with shotguns assigned to village defense tasks to organized, uniformed, and well-equipped brigade-sized formations that nevertheless employed part-time soldiers. As time went on, the HVO forces became increasingly better organized and more "professional", but it was not until early 1994, that the HVO began to form the so-called guards brigades, mobile units manned by full-time professional soldiers.

In 1995–96, a NATO-led international peacekeeping force (IFOR) of 60,000 troops served in Bosnia and Herzegovina, beginning on December 21, 1995 to implement and monitor the military aspects of the Dayton Peace Agreement. IFOR was succeeded by a smaller, NATO-led Stabilization Force or SFOR. The number of SFOR troops was reduced first to 12,000 and then to 7,000. SFOR was in turn succeeded by an even smaller, European Union-led European Union Force, EUFOR Althea. As of 2004, EUFOR Althea numbered around 7,000 troops.

As the joint AFBiH began to develop, troops began to be sent abroad. Bosnia and Herzegovina deployed a unit of 37 men to destroy munitions and clear mines, in addition to 6 command personnel as part of the Multinational force in Iraq. The unit was first deployed to Fallujah, then Talil Air Base, and is now located at Camp Echo. In December 2006, the Bosnian government formerly extended its mandate through June 2007. Bosnia and Herzegovina is planning to send another 49 soldiers from the 6th Infantry Division to Iraq in August 2008, their mission will be to protect/guard Camp Victory in Baghdad.


Bosnian soldiers in Iraq, 2005.
A Bosnian female soldier preparing to board an U.S C-17 at Sarajevo International Airport, on the way or Afghanistan ISAF mission.
Bosnian soldiers and an M113 move towards the target position during an exercise in 2013.

The Military units are commanded by the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina Joint Staff in Sarajevo. There are two major commands under the Joint Staff: Operational Command and Support Command.

There are three regiments that are each formed by soldiers from the three ethnic groups of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs and trace their roots to the armies that were created during the war in BiH. These regiments have their distinct ethnic insignias and consist of three active battalions each. Headquarters of Regiments have no operational authority. On the basis of the Law on Service in the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the regimental headquarters have the following tasks: to manage the regimental museum, monitor financial fund Regiment, prepare, investigate and cherish the history of the regiment, the regiment publish newsletters, maintain cultural and historical heritage, give guidance on holding special ceremonies, give guidance on customs, dress and deportment Regiment, conduct officer, NCO and military clubs. Each regiments three battalions divided evenly between the three active brigades of the Army.

  • Operational Command (Sarajevo)[5]
    • 5th Infantry Brigade (Tuzla)
      • (Bosniak) Infantry Battalion (Tuzla)
      • (Serbian) Infantry Battalion (Bijeljina)
      • (Croatian) Infantry Battalion (Kiseljak)
      • Reconnaissance Company
      • Signals Platoon
    • 6th Infantry Brigade (Banja Luka)
      • (Serbian) Infantry Battalion (Banja Luka)
      • (Croatian) Infantry Battalion (Orašje)
      • (Bosniak) Infantry Battalion (Bihać)
      • Reconnaissance Company
      • Signals Platoon
    • 4th Infantry Brigade (Čapljina)
      • (Croatian) Infantry Battalion (Livno)
      • (Bosniak) Infantry Battalion (Goražde)
      • (Serbian) Infantry Battalion (Bileća)
      • Reconnaissance Company
      • Signals Platoon
Structure of the Operational Command
    • Tactical Support Brigade (Sarajevo)
      • Armored Battalion (Tuzla)
      • Artillery Battalion (Žepče) (one battery detached to each brigade)
      • Engineer Battalion (Derventa) (one company detached to each brigade)
      • Military Intelligence Battalion (Rajlovac)
      • Military Police Battalion (Butilama) (one platoon detached to each brigade)
      • De-mining Battalion (Rajlovac)
      • Signals Company (Pale)
      • NBC Defense Company (Tuzla
    • Air Force & Anti-Air Defense Brigade (Rajlovac, Banja Luka)
      • Helicopter Battalion (Rajlovac) (one squadron detached to each brigade HQ)
      • Air Defense Battalion (Rajlovac) (one company detached to each brigade)
      • Early Warning & Surveillance Battalion (Banja Luka)
      • Flight Support Battalion (Sarajevo, Banja Luka)
Chiefs of Joint Staff structure
Bosnian soldiers dressed in different costumes on the anniversary on 7th of April 2014 in Sarajevo.
  • Support Command (Banja Luka)
    • Personnel Command (Banja Luka)
    • Training and Doctrine Command (Travnik)
      • Combat Training Center (Manjača)
        • Armored Mechanized Battalion
      • Combat Simulation Center (Manjača)
      • Professional Development Center (Pazarić)
        • Officers School
        • NCO School
        • Military Police School
        • Foreign Language Center
    • Logistics Command
      • Center for Movement Control
      • Center for Material Management
      • Main Logistics Base (Doboj and Sarajevo)
      • 1st Logistics Support Battalion
      • 2nd Logistics Support Battalion
      • 3rd Logistics Support Battalion
      • 4th Logistics Support Battalion
      • 5th Logistics Support Battalion

Within the armed forces, there are a number of services. These include a Technical service, Air technology service, Military Police service, Communications service, Sanitary service, a Veterans service, Civilian service, Financial service, Information service, Legal service, Religious service, and a Musical service.

Uniform and Insignia[edit]

Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina were unified in 2005 and at that time they needed a uniform for the newly founded army. MARPAT was designated as the future uniform of AFBIH.

A soldier of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, observes an enemy position from cover while on an ambush Situational Training Exercise during Immediate Response 2012 held at the Slunj Training Area 1 June.

Insignia is found on military hats or berets, on the right and left shoulder on the uniform of all Soldiers of the Armed Forces. All, except for generals, wear badges on their hats or berets with either the land force badge or air force badge. Generals wear badges with the coat of arms of Bosnia surrounded with branches and two swords.All soldiers of the armed forces have on their right shoulder a flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina. All members of the 3 regiments wear their regiment insignia on the left shoulder. There are other insignias, brigades or other institution are worn under the regiment insignia. The name of the soldiers is worn on the left part of the chest while the name "Armed Forces of BiH" is worn on the right part of the chest.


Name Origin Type Number Photo Notes
Small arms
M16  United States Assault rifle [6] M16a1m16a2m4m16a45wi.jpg M16, M16A4, M4A1 and M16A1 versions.
AR-15  United States Assault rifle [7] Stag2wi .jpg SP1 and A3 versions[7]
M4 carbine  United States Assault rifle [7] PEO M4 Carbine RAS M68 CCO.jpg M4A1 and Carbine, 5.56 mm M4's.[7]
Heckler & Koch HK33  Germany Assault rifle [6] HK33A2 Flickr (yet another finn).jpg HK33KA3, HK33SG/1, HK33A2 and HK13 versions.[7]
AK-47  Soviet Union Assault rifle [6] AK-47 type II Part DM-ST-89-01131.jpg Original, AK-103, AK-12 and RPK-74's.[7]
Zastava M70  Yugoslavia Assault rifle [6] Zastava M-64 prototypes.png M-70AB3, M-70A, M-70B1N, M-70AB2N and M-70A1.[7]
Zastava M72  Yugoslavia Assault rifle [6] M72B1.jpg M72B1 and M72's.[7]
Heckler & Koch G3  Germany Assault rifle [6] DCB Shooting G3 pictures.jpg G3, G3KA4A1, G3A1 and G3A3 versions.[7]
Bizon SMG  Russia Submachine gun [2] PP-19 Bizon right view.jpg Bizon-2-01, Bizon-2-06 and Bizon-2-07 versions.
Heckler & Koch MP5  Germany Assault rifle [6] MP5.jpg M5, MP5A5, MP5KA1, MP5SFA2 and MP5SFA3's.[7]
Škorpion vz. 61  Yugoslavia Submachine gun [6] Submachine gun vz61.jpg
FN FAL  Germany Assault rifle [8] FN-FAL belgian.jpeg M964A1 MD3, M964, M964A1 and static versions.[7]

Machine guns[edit]

Name Origin Type Number Photo Notes
M60  United States Machine gun [6] M60GPMG.jpeg M60E3, M60E4 and M60E6.[7]
M2 Browning  United States Machine gun [6] Machine gun M2 1.jpg M2HB and M2HB-QCB's.[7]
M240 machine gun  United States
Machine gun [6] PEO M240B Profile.jpg M2HB and M2HB-QCB's.[7]
Zastava M84  Yugoslavia Machine gun [6] M84 mg.jpg M84 and M86 versions.[7]
Ultimax 100  Singapore Machine gun [6] Section Automatic Weapon.jpg Mark 3/3A and Mark 2's.[7]
M249 light machine gun  United States Machine gun [6] PEO M249 Para ACOG.jpg M249 PIP and static versions.
DShK  Soviet Union Machine gun [6] MITRALOZ 12.7 mm KA.jpg DŠK, DŠKM and Type 54 versions.
NSV machine gun  Soviet Union Machine gun [6] 12,7 NSV Turku 3.JPG

Armoured vehicles[edit]

Name Origin Type Number Photo Notes
Armoured vehicles
M-84  Yugoslavia Main Battle Tank 71[6] Yu MBT M-84 01.jpg
AMX-30B  France Main Battle Tank 50[7] AMX-30 2 Bovington.jpg Bought in 1996[7]
M60A3  United States Main Battle Tank 45(?)[6][7][9] Bosnian M60 A3 tank.jpg 1996, US "Train and Equip Program" aid[7] Part non operational
T-54/55  Soviet Union Main Battle Tank 155[6] T-55 ARBIH.JPEG Of which 15 second handed from Egypt[7]
Type 92  China Tank Destroyer 10[7] Chinese wheeled APC (2008).jpg
AML 60/90  France Armoured Car 10[7] Panhard AML-90 img 2308.jpg Aid from UAE[7]
AMX-10P  France Infantry Fighting Vehicle 25[6][9] AMX-10-IMG 1468.jpg Aid from Qatar[7]
BVP M-80A  Yugoslavia Infantry Fighting Vehicle 103[6] BVP М80А VS.jpg
M113  United States Armoured Personnel Carrier 80[7][9] US M113 in Samarra Iraq.jpg Aid from USA[7]
OT M-60
OT M-60P
 Yugoslavia Armoured Personnel Carrier 22[6]
OT M-60 Tank.JPG Phased out
BOV 30
 Yugoslavia Armoured Personnel Carrier 3[6]
BOV BSD (2).jpg [9]
BTR-50PK  Soviet Union Armoured Personnel Carrier 2[9] BTR-50PK.JPG
BTR-70  Soviet Union Armoured Personnel Carrier 3[6] BTR70 002.jpg
 Soviet Union
Howitzer 258[6] D-30-howitzer-batey-haosef.jpg Of which 12 second handed from Egypt[7]
 Soviet Union
Howitzer 13[6]
Howitzer D-20.jpg Of which 12 second handed from Egypt[7]
 Soviet Union
Howitzer 61[6]
M-46-130mm-gun-batey-haosef-1.jpg Of which 12 from Egypt, and 8 from Romania[7]
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
 United States
Howitzer 101[6]
M56A1.jpg Of which 36 second handed from UAE[7]
 United States Howitzer 126[7] USArmy M114 howitzer.jpg 1997, US "Train and Equip Program" aid[7]
Self-Propelled Artillery & MRLS
2S1 Gvozdika  Soviet Union Self-propelled howitzer 24[6] 2S1 Gvozdika 2.JPG
ZSU-57-2  Soviet Union Self-propelled anti-aircraft gun 33[6] ZSU-57-2 (2).JPG [7]


Artillery Type Versions In service Photo Notes
Type 63 multiple rocket launcher Multiple Rocket Launcher H12 Type 63 multiple rocket launcher.JPG
BM-21 Grad Multiple rocket launcher BM-21 Grad, APR-40 5 BM-21 and 36 APR-40 Russian BM-21 Grad in Saint Petersburg.JPG Source:
M-63 Plamen Multiple rocket launcher Plamen 27 М94 PlamenS 2.jpg
M-77 Oganj Multiple rocket launcher Oganj 34 M77 Oganj 1.jpg Source:
M-87 Orkan Multiple rocket launcher Orkan 1 SVLR M-87 Orkan.jpg Non operational

Air Force[edit]

The Air Force and Anti-Aircraft Defence Brigade of Bosnia and Herzegovina was formed when elements of the Army of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska Air Force were merged in 2006.[10]


Bosnian UH-1H
Aircraft Type Versions Quantity[11] Photo Notes
Mil Mi-24 Attack-transport helicopter 5[citation needed] Russian Air Force Mil Mi-24PN Dvurekov-6.jpg Bought by the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995 but ended up in the hangars of the Turkish Air Force in Ankara. Awaiting delivery.[12]
Bell UH-1 Iroquois Utility helicopter UH-1H 19[citation needed] Bosnian Airofrce Bell UH-1H.jpg Few non operational. One crashed on June 28, 2012.[13]
Mi-8/17 Utility helicopter Mi-8T
18 Mi-8T[citation needed]
6 Mi-17[citation needed]
Baltic Airlines Mil Mi-8 Aladyshkin.jpg 5 Non operational, 1 crashed on February 10, 2012[14]
Soko Gazelle Utility helicopter SA 341H 16[14] Soko SA-342L1 Partizan "Gazela".jpg 3 awaiting overhaul
Mil Mi-34 Utility helicopter Mi-34 Hermit 1[citation needed] Mi-34.jpg awaiting overhaul
Soko G-4 Super Galeb Advanced trainer/light attack G-4 1 SOKO G-4 Super Galeb.jpg Non operational. Offered for sale to Serbia.[15]
Soko J-22 Orao Strike Fighter J-22 7 J-22 Orao 25103 V i PVO VS, september 13, 2009.jpg Non operational. Offered for sale to Serbia.[15]
UTVA 75 Basic trainer Utva 75 2[citation needed] Utva-75.jpg


  1. ^ a b c d e f
  2. ^ a b "Equipment and structure". November 5, 2008. Retrieved 2014-10-23. 
  3. ^ CIA – The World Factbook – Bosnia and Herzegovina
  4. ^ NATO and the Defence Reform Commission: partners for progress (
  5. ^ As per
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak "Bosnia Herzegovina Land Forces military equipment, armament and vehicles Army". Retrieved 2014-10-15. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah SIPRI Arms Transfers Database
  8. ^ "BSWiki Information". Mućkalo. Retrieved 2014-10-15. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f Ioannis Michaletos (2012). "DEFENSE BALANCE IN WESTERN BALKANS". Retrieved 2013-10-01. 
  10. ^ "Bosnia breaks through ethnic divide by merging Serb, Muslim-Croat forces". Stars and Stripes. 11 January 2006. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  11. ^ Niels Hillebrand. "Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Air Forces & Air Defence - Oružane Snage BiH: ZS i PZO - MILAVIA Air Forces". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "Hercegbosna article". Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  13. ^ D.B. "Srušio se vojni helikopter nedaleko Sarajeva!". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "Bosnian crew escapes Mi-8 helicopter crash". 16 February 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "Serbia eyes surplus Bosnian fighters". 25 September 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]