Zambian Defence Force

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Military of Zambia
Leadership
Commander-in-Chief President Edgar Lungu
Minister of Defence Davies Chama
Manpower
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
Expenditures
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.

Army[edit]

  • 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

Equipment[edit]

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.

United Nations Peacekeeping Missions[edit]

Zambia has been an active participant in several UN peacekeeping operations, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. Zambian personnel have been fated to be caught up in some of the most dramatic incidents of UN Peacekeeping in Africa: witnessing the Kibeho Massacre in Rwanda during April 1995; having large numbers of Zambian peacekeepers taken hostage by rebels in Sierra Leone during 2000; [5] and with troops caught up in fighting between Sudanese and South Sudanese forces in the contested Abyei area during May 2011.[6] Despite these crises Zambian forces have generally performed well and earned a reputation as effective peacekeepers.[7][8]


UN missions which have seen the deployment of battalions of Zambian troops include the following.

UNAMIR (United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda), October 1993 – 19 April 1996

Three Zambian fatalities.[9]

UNAMSIL (United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone), 22 October 1999 to December 2005

Thirty-four Zambian fatalities.[10]

  • Zambatt 1, deployed April 2000. Shortly after deployment some 200 Zambian peacekeepers were taken hostage by rebels and some later killed.[11]
  • Zambatt 3 (Lt. Col. MS Sitwala). On 5 January 2002 six personnel were killed and another 12 injured in an accidental explosion while transferring surrendered mortar bombs to storage.[12]
  • Zambatt 4, deployed mid-2002, 830 strong.[13]
  • Zambatt 7 (Col. John Siame) – 821 personnel; deployed February 2004 to …[14] (Note: Sgt [Ms] Megani Forry died of natural causes during deployment, early 2004.[15]

UNMIS (United Nations Mission in the Sudan), 24 March 2005 – 9 July 2011

Three Zambian fatalities. [16]

Four Zambian peacekeepers were wounded on 10 May 2011,[17] shortly before the independence of South Sudan and before an outbreak of fighting when the Zambians were criticised for not better protecting civilians.[18]

MINUSCA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic)

  • Zambatt 1, 750 personnel, including 50 Special Forces, deployed 30 April 2015 to April 2016.[19]
  • Zambatt 2, deployed 22 April 2016.[20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.state.gov/t/pm/rls/rpt/fmtrpt/2007/92084.htm
  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
  5. ^ Ashby, Phil (2003) Unscathed: Escape from Sierra Leone, Pan Macmillan Ltd, London.
  6. ^ Mbao, E. (2011) 'Zambia defends Abyei peacekeepers', Africa Review (Kenya), 6 June 2011, accessed 20 December 2016, <http://www.africareview.com/news/Zambia-defends-Abyei-peacekeepers/979180-1176182-format-xhtml-abqrq0/index.html>
  7. ^ Lungu H. & Ngoma, N. (2005) The Zambian military—trials, tribulations and hope. In: Rupiya, M. (ed.) Evolutions and Revolutions: A Contemporary History of Militaries in Southern Africa. Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria: 331-329. ISBN 1-919913-82-3
  8. ^ Chewe, Innocent (2014) An Examination of Professionalism in the Zambia Army, thesis presented to the Faculty of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master Of Military Art and Science, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA613529
  9. ^ UN Peacekeeping, Fatalities by Nationality and Mission - up to 31 October 2016, accessed 18 November 2016, <http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/fatalities/documents/stats_2.pdf>
  10. ^ UN Peacekeeping, Fatalities by Nationality and Mission - up to 31 October 2016, accessed 18 November 2016, <http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/fatalities/documents/stats_2.pdf>
  11. ^ Perlez, J. & Wren, C.S. (2000) 'U.N. Reports Rebels Now Hold 300 of Its Troops in Sierra Leone', New York Times, 6 May 2000, accessed 6 February 2017, <http://www.nytimes.com/2000/05/06/world/un-reports-rebels-now-hold-300-of-its-troops-in-sierra-leone.html>
  12. ^ UNAMSIL Press Briefing, 08 Jan 2002, Report from UN Mission in Sierra Leone, published on 08 Jan 2002, accessed 19 December 2016, <http://reliefweb.int/report/sierra-leone/unamsil-press-briefing-08-jan-2002?utm_medium=email&utm_source=user&utm_campaign=shared>
  13. ^ 'Zambian peacekeepers decorated in Sierra Leone', Panapress, 16 November 2002, accessed 6 February 2017, <http://www.panapress.com/Zambian-peacekeepers-decorated-in-Sierra-Leone--13-468570-17-lang2-index.html>
  14. ^ UNAMSIL, 2004, ‘SRSG Decorates Zambian Peace Keepers with UN Peace Medal’, press release, 28 May.
  15. ^ UNAMSIL, 2004, ‘SRSG Decorates Zambian Peace Keepers with UN Peace Medal’, press release, 28 May.
  16. ^ UN Peacekeeping, Fatalities by Nationality and Mission - up to 31 October 2016, accessed 18 November 2016, http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/fatalities/documents/stats_2.pdf
  17. ^ 'Four Zambian UN peacekeepers shot in Sudan', Lusaka Times (Lusaka), 11 May 2011, accessed 17 December 2016, <https://www.lusakatimes.com/2011/05/11/zambian-peacekeepers-shot-sudan/>
  18. ^ Mbao, E. (2011) 'Zambia defends Abyei peacekeepers', Africa Review (Kenya), 6 June 2011, accessed 20 December 2016, <http://www.africareview.com/news/Zambia-defends-Abyei-peacekeepers/979180-1176182-format-xhtml-abqrq0/index.html>
  19. ^ Nkala, O. (2015) ‘Zambia Begins Delayed UN Mission to CAR’, Defence News (web site), 20 May 2015
  20. ^ Cancio, F. (2016) ‘Zambia: 500 Soldiers off for Peace Keeping in CAR’, Centrafrican News Agency, 23 April 2016, accessed 17 December 2016, <http://www.lanouvellecentrafrique.org/2016/01/21/rwanda-rdf-officers-in-car-decorated/>