Zambian Defence Force

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Military of Zambia
Military age n/a
Available for
military service
2,477,494, age 15–49 (2004 est.)
Fit for
military service
1,310,814, age 15–49 (2004 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
NA (2004 est.)
Active personnel 15,100
Budget $42.6 million (2003)
Percent of GDP 0.9% (2003)

The Zambian Defence Force (ZDF) consists of the Zambia Army, the Air Force, and Zambian National Service (ZNS). The ZDF is designed primarily for internal defence in Zambia. Being a landlocked country, Zambia has no navy.


  • 3 x brigades
  • 1 x Armoured regiment composed of a Tank Battalion and 1 Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion. U.S. State Department International Military Education and Training records from FY-2006 indicate a Zambian officer attended from 64 Armoured Regiment at Mikongo Barracks, east Lusaka.[1]
  • 9 x Infantry battalions (including 3 reserve battalions)
  • 1 x Artillery Regiment (1 MRL battalion and 2 Field Artillery battalions)
  • 1 x Engineer Regiment


Small Arms[edit]

Vehicles and Towed Artillery[edit]

Origin Type Versions In service Notes
T-54/55  Soviet Union Main Battle Tank 25[3] Deliveries in 1976 and 1981.
PT-76  Soviet Union Light tank 50[3]
BTR-70  Soviet Union Armoured Personnel Carrier 20[3]
BTR-60  Soviet Union Armoured Personnel Carrier 13[3]
WZ551  China Armoured Personnel Carrier 6X6 WZ551B variant.[3] 20
Buffel  South Africa Armoured Personnel Carrier Rhino variant. 1[3]
Ratel  South Africa Infantry Fighting Vehicle 14[4]
Ferret  United Kingdom Armoured car 28 Inherited from Northern Rhodesian security forces.[3]
BRDM-2  Soviet Union Scout car 44 Acquired in 1981.[3]
BRDM-1  Soviet Union Scout car 44 Acquired in 1980.[3]
D-30  Soviet Union Howitzer 24[3]
M-46  China Howitzer Type 59. 18[3]
BM-21  Soviet Union MLRS 50[3]

Air Force[edit]

Main article: Zambian Air Force

The Zambian Air Force is a small air force equipped with Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21MFs and Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19S in addition to a range of transport aircraft and helicopters.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Arms Trade Register". SIPRI. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  4. ^ SA Ratels in Libya spur DA to call for investigation