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Taiwan Military - 2024


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Military and security forces

Taiwan Armed Forces: Army, Navy (includes Marine Corps), Air Force

Ocean Affairs Council: Coast Guard Administration (CGA)

Ministry of Interior: National Police (2024)

note: the CGA is a law enforcement organization with homeland security functions during peacetime and national defense missions during wartime; it was established in 2000 from the integration of the Coast Guard Command (formerly under the Ministry of Defense), the Marine Police Bureau (formerly under the National Police), and several cutters from the Taiwan Directorate General of Customs (Ministry of Finance)

Military expenditures

2.4% of GDP (2023 est.)
2.1% of GDP (2022)
2.1% of GDP (2021)
2.1% of GDP (2020)
1.8% of GDP (2019)

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 180,000 active-duty troops (95,000 Army; 45,000 Navy, including approximately 10,000 marines; 40,000 Air Force) (2023)

note: Taiwan trains about 120,000 reservists annually, but in 2022 announced intentions to increase that figure to 260,000

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

most of the weapons and equipment inventory of Taiwan's military forces was acquired from the US, either as secondhand or direct acquisitions; Taiwan also has a domestic defense industry capable of building and upgrading some weapons systems, including surface ships and submarines (2024)

Military service age and obligation

men 18-36 years of age may volunteer or must complete 12 months of compulsory military service; civil service can be substituted for military service in some cases; women may enlist but are restricted to noncombat roles in most cases (2024)

note 1: in January 2024, Taiwan extended compulsory service from 4 to 12 months for men born in 2005 and thereafter

note 2:
as of 2023, women made up about 15% of the active-duty military

Military - note

the military’s primary responsibility is external security, including the defense of the country’s sovereignty and territory, and the protection of Taiwan’s air space, maritime claims, and sea lanes of communication; its main focus is the challenge posed by the People’s Republic of China; the Army’s primary combat forces include nine mechanized or motorized infantry brigades, four armored brigades, and three artillery brigades; it also has an aviation and special forces command that includes several squadrons of attack helicopters; the Air Force has nearly 300 fighter and multipurpose fighter aircraft organized into tactical wings and squadrons, plus squadrons for anti-submarine and electronic warfare, early warning, and surveillance, as well as an air defense command with surface-to-air missiles; the Navy’s warship inventory includes four destroyers, 22 frigates, more than 40 corvettes, patrol vessels, and missile-armed attack craft, and two combat-capable attack submarines; it also has three marine infantry brigades 

the US Taiwan Relations Act of April 1979 states that the US shall provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character and shall maintain the capacity of the US to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or social or economic system, of the people of Taiwan (2023)

NOTE: The information regarding Taiwan on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Taiwan 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Taiwan 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.