Benin Armed Forces

Benin Armed Forces
Forces Armées Béninoises
Coat of arms of Benin
Service branchesArmy
Benin Navy
Benin Air Force
National Gendarmerie
Commander-in-ChiefPatrice Talon
Minister of DefenceYarou Robert Theophile
Chief of the Defence StaffFructueux Gbaguidi
Active personnel4,750
Budget$US73 million (2011)
Percent of GDP1% (2011)
Foreign suppliersUnited States United States
Russia Russia
France France
Related articles
RanksMilitary ranks of Benin

The Benin Armed Forces (French: Forces Armées Béninoises; FAB) constitutes the army, navy, air force, and national gendarmerie of Benin. For a number of years, the Belgian Armed Forces have had an active programme of co-operation with Benin, offering training and coaching, donating redundant military equipment and using the country for limited military exercises.


The constitution of 11 December 1990 ordered the Benin Armed Forces to ensure effective, permanent and efficient security coverage of the territory, as well as border vigilance.[citation needed]

The national gendarmerie no longer exists since 2019. It has been merged with the national police.[citation needed]



As of 2012, the Army had a strength of 4,300. It includes 1 armoured squadron, 3 infantry battalions, 1 commando/airborne battalion, 1 artillery battery, and 1 engineer battalion, and 1 National Fire Brigade. The army has the following units:

  • 1st Parachute Commando Battalion
  • 1st Motorized Intervention Battalion
  • 1st Armoured Group
  • National Group of Firefighters
  • 1st Combined Arms Battalion
  • 2nd Combined Arms Battalion
  • 3rd Combined Arms Battalion
  • 7th Combined Arms Battalion
  • 8th Combined Arms Battalion
  • 1st Mixed Artillery Battalion
  • 1st Engineer Battalion
  • 1st Signal Battalion
  • 1st Materiel Battalion
  • 1st Train Battalion
  • Headquarters Group

Air Force

After achieving independence from France in 1960 the Benin Air Force was transport equipped with seven French-supplied Douglas C-47s, four MH.1521 Broussards and two Agusta-Bell 47Gs. Two F-27s entered service in 1978 for transport duties before being transferred to Air Benin. Also during the same era, two AN-26s were acquired. In late 1985 two Dornier Do-28s entered service to replace the C-47s. A single DHC-6 Twin Otter was acquired in 1989.


As of 2012, the navy has a strength of approximately 200 personnel. It operates two ex-Chinese patrol boats, which are designated the Matelot Brice Kpomasse class.

Republican Guard

The Republican Guard is responsible for the security of the President of the Republic, ministers, members of the government, institutions of the Republic and their leader.


Small arms

Name Image Caliber Type Origin Notes
TT-33 9×19mm Semi-automatic pistol  Soviet Union
Submachine guns
PPSh-41 7.62×25mm Submachine gun  Soviet Union
MAT-49 9×19mm Submachine gun  France
SKS 7.62×39mm Semi-automatic rifle  Soviet Union
AKM 7.62×39mm Assault rifle  Soviet Union
Type 56 7.62×39mm Assault rifle  China
MAS-36 7.5×54mm Bolt-action rifle  France
MAS-49/56 7.5×54mm Semi-automatic rifle  France
Machine guns
RPD 7.62×39mm Squad automatic weapon  Soviet Union
RP-46 7.62×54mmR General-purpose machine gun  Soviet Union
KPV 14.5×114mm Heavy machine gun  Soviet Union
DShK 12.7×108mm Heavy machine gun  Soviet Union
FM 24/29 7.5×54mm Light machine gun  France
AA-52 7.62×51mm General-purpose machine gun  France
Browning M2 .50 BMG Heavy machine gun  United States M2HB and M2HB-QCB
Rocket propelled grenade launchers
RPG-2 40mm Rocket-propelled grenade  Soviet Union
RPG-7 40mm Rocket-propelled grenade  Soviet Union
LRAC F1 89mm Shoulder-launched missile weapon  France


Name Image Type Origin Quantity Status Notes
Field artillery
M101 Howitzer  United States 4 INS
L118 Howitzer  United Kingdom 12 INS
MO-81-61 Mortar  France Unknown INS

Air defence systems

Name Image Type Origin Quantity Status Notes
ZPU-4 Anti-aircraft gun  Soviet Union Unknown INS
9K31 Strela-1 Surface-to-air missile  Soviet Union 4 INS
9K32 Strela-2 MANPADS  Soviet Union Unknown INS


Name Image Type Origin Quantity Status Notes
PT-76 Amphibious Light tank  Soviet Union 18 INS

Armored vehicles

Name Image Type Origin Quantity Status Notes
BRDM-2 Amphibious armored scout car  Soviet Union 14 INS
Eland-90 Armoured car  South Africa 3 INS
M8 Greyhound Armoured car  United States 7 INS
Panhard VBL Scout car  France 10 INS
Casspir MRAP  South Africa 10 INS Casspir 2000
VAB Armoured personnel carrier  France 8/15 INS
M113 Armored personnel carrier  United States 22 INS
ACMAT Bastion Armoured personnel carrier  France 2 INS

This page was last updated at 2023-09-23 23:22 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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