Vietnam Military - 2021


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Military and security forces

People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN; aka Vietnam People's Army, VPA): Ground Forces, Navy (includes naval infantry), Air Force and Air Defense, Border Defense Force, and Vietnam Coast Guard; Vietnam People's Public Security; Vietnam Civil Defense Force (2020)

Military expenditures

2.3% of GDP (2018 est.)

2.3% of GDP (2017)

2.5% of GDP (2016)

2.4% of GDP (2015)

2.3% of GDP (2014)

Military and security service personnel strengths

information is limited and estimates of the size of the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) vary; approximately 470,000 active duty troops (400,000 ground; 40,000 naval; 30,000 air); est. 40,000 Border Defense Force and Coast Guard (2020)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the PAVN is armed largely with weapons and equipment from Russia and the former Soviet Union; Russia remains the main supplier of newer PAVN military equipment, although in recent years Vietnam has begun diversifying its procurement with purchases from other countries including Belarus, India, Israel, South Korea, and Ukraine (2020)

Military service age and obligation

18-27 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service (females eligible for conscription, but in practice only males are drafted); conscription typically takes place twice annually and service obligation is 2 years (Army, Air Defense) and 3 years (Navy and Air Force) (2019)

Maritime threats

the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial and offshore waters in the South China Sea as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargo diverted to ports in East Asia; the number of reported incidents increased from two in 2019 to four in 2020, primarily near the port of Vung Tau

NOTE: The information regarding Vietnam on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Vietnam 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Vietnam 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.