Open translate

Zambia Military - 2024


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Military and security forces

Zambia Defense Force (ZDF): Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force, Zambia National Service; Defense Force Medical Service

Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security: Zambia Police (includes a paramilitary battalion) (2024)

note: the Zambia National Service is a support organization that also does public work projects

Military expenditures

1.2% of GDP (2022 est.)
1.3% of GDP (2021 est.)
1.3% of GDP (2020 est.)
1.3% of GDP (2019 est.)
1.4% of GDP (2018 est.)

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 17,000 active troops (15,000 Army; 2,000 Air) (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the ZDF's inventory is largely comprised of Chinese, Russian, and Soviet-era armaments; in recent years, leading suppliers have included China and Italy (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18-25 years of age (17 with parental consent) for voluntary military service for men and women; no conscription; 12-year enlistment period (7 years active, 5 in the Reserves) (2023)

note: Zambia had military conscription from 1975-1980

Military deployments

925 Central African Republic (MINUSCA) (2023)

Military - note

the Zambia Defense Forces (ZDF) are responsible for preserving the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; it also has some domestic security responsibilities in cases of national emergency; border security and support to African and UN peacekeeping operations are priorities; the ZDF is part of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Standby Force and participates in multinational training exercises; it has received training assistance from China and the US

the Army’s principal combat forces are three light infantry brigades, supported by armored and artillery regiments; it also has a maritime patrol unit to provide security for the country’s lakes and rivers; the Air Force has small numbers of mostly Chinese-made combat aircraft and helicopters 

the ZDF traces its roots to the Northern Rhodesia Regiment, which was raised by the British colonial government to fight in World War II; the ZDF was established in 1964 from units of the dissolved Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland armed forces; it participated in a number of regional conflicts during the 1970s and 1980s; Zambia actively supported independence movements such as the Union for the Total Liberation of Angola (UNITA), the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU), the African National Congress of South Africa (ANC), and the South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) (2023)

NOTE: The information regarding Zambia 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 Zambia 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Zambia 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.