Benin Armed Forces

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Benin Armed Forces
Coat of arms of Benin.svg
Coat of arms of Benin
Service branches Army (l'Armée de Terre)
Benin Navy (Forces Navales Beninois, FNB)
Benin People's Air Force (Force Aerienne Populaire de Benin, FAPB)
National Gendarmerie
Commander-in-Chief President Yayi Boni
Active personnel 4750[1]
Percent of GDP 1% (2011)[1]
Foreign suppliers  France
 Soviet Union
 United States

The Benin Armed Forces (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.[2]


Beninese soldiers on a firing range at Bembèrèkè in June 2009
Beninese soldiers training with a Type 56.
A Beninese soldier with a Type 56
Troops from Benin as part of the United Nations MONUSCO mission in the DR Congo, 2000

As of 2012, the Army has a strength of 4300.[1] It includes 1 armoured squadron, 3 infantry battalions, 1 commando/airborne battalion, 1 artillery battery, and 1 engineer battalion.[1]


Small Arms

Vehicles and Towed Artillery

Weapon Origin Type Variant In service Notes
PT-76 Soviet Union Light tank 18[1]
Casspir South Africa APC Casspir 2000 10 on order.[5]
M8 Greyhound United States Armoured car 7[1]
Eland Mk7 South Africa Armoured car Eland-90 3[6] Provided with French instructors for training[7][8]
Panhard VBL France Scout car 10[1]
BRDM-2 Soviet Union Scout car 14[1]
M113 United States APC 18[9]
L118 Light Gun United Kingdom Howitzer 12[1]
M101 howitzer United States Howitzer 4[1]

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 were 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.


Current inventory

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Boeing 727 United States VIP 1[10]
HS 748 United Kingdom transport 1[11]
DHC-6 Canada utility transport 1[11]


As at 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.[1]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 IISS (2012), p. 422
  2. Mathurin C. Houngnikpo, Samuel Decalo, Historical Dictionary of Benin, 78.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 Jane's Infantry Weapons 2007
  4. Photo Details. (16 June 2009). Retrieved on 2012-05-20.
  5. Benin purchases ten Casspir 2000 mine protected vehicles -, 10 February 2013
  6. DIO blindé au Bénin
  7. "Senegal Instruction Operationelle Au Profit Des Forces Armees Beninoises".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Republique du Benin
  9. "Trade Registers". Retrieved 30 December 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Benin Government B-727". Retrieved 1 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 11.0 11.1 "World Air Forces 2015 pg. 11". Flightglobal Insight. 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Works consulted
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (2012). The Military Balance 2012. London: IISS. ISSN 0459-7222.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the CIA World Factbook.