Angolan Armed Forces

Angolan Armed Forces
Angolan Armed Forces
Forças Armadas Angolanas
Service branches Angolan Army
Angolan Navy
Forca Aerea Nacional Angolana
Headquarters Ministry of Defence, Rua 17 de Setembro, Luanada, Angola[1]
General Geraldo Sachipengo Nunda
Minister of Defence Cândido Pereira Van-Dúnem
Chief of General Staff General Geraldo Sachipengo Nunda [2]
Conscription Universal compulsory service for 24 months plus training
Available for
military service
2,548,455 males, age 17 to 49,
2,462,601 females, age 17 to 49
Fit for
military service
1,282,195 males, age 17 to 49,
1,256,390 females, age 17 to 49
Reaching military
age annually
126,694 males,
123,586 females
Active personnel 130,500
Deployed personnel Small numbers
Budget $1.654 billion (2007)[3]
Related articles
History Angolan War of Independence
Angolan Civil War
First Congo War
Republic of the Congo Civil War
Second Congo War

The Angolan Armed Forces (Portuguese: Forças Armadas Angolanas) are the military in Angola that succeeded Forças Armadas de Libertação de Angola following the abortive Bicesse Accord with UNITA in 1991. As part of the peace agreement, troops from both armies were to be demilitarized and then integrated. Integration was never completed as UNITA went back to war in 1992. Later, consequences for UNITA members in Luanda were harsh with FAPLA veterans persecuting their erstwhile opponents in certain areas and reports of vigilantism.

The FAA is headed by Chief of Staff Geraldo Sachipengo Nunda since 2010, who reports to the Minister of Defense, actually Cândido Pereira Van-Dúnem.

There are three components, the Army (Forças Armadas), Navy (Marinha de Guerra) and Air Force Força Aérea Nacional Angolana. Total manpower is about 130,500. (2007). The army is by far the largest of the services with about 120,000 men and women.[4] The Navy numbers about 2,500 and operates seven small patrol craft and barges. Airforce personnel total about 8,000; its equipment includes eight Russian-manufactured Sukhoi Su-27 fighter aircraft and transport planes. In 2002 one got lost during the civil war with UNITA forces.[5]

A small number of FAA personnel are stationed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa) and the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville). A presence during the unrest in the Ivory Coast, 2010/2011, were not officially confirmed. Angola is basically interested in the participation of the FAA operations of the African Union and has formed special units for this purpose.

The Angolan army has around 29,000 "ghost workers" who remain enrolled in the ranks of the FAA and therefore receive a salary.[6] Major equipment included over 140 main battle tanks, 600 reconnaissance vehicles, over 320 armored vehicles, infantry fighting vehicles, 298 howitzers carriers.

In 1990-91, the Army had ten military regions and an estimated 73+ 'brigades', each with a mean strength of 1,000 and comprising infantry, tanks, APC, artillery, and AA units as required (IISS Military Balance 1990 or 1991). The Navy had an estimated 2,500 personnel whose major naval units consisted of nine patrol/coastal vessels from Spain and France. There are talks with the German government to deliver some 12 navy fast speed vessels for sea border protection. The Air Force /Air Defense Forces had 8,000 personnel and 90 combat capable aircraft, including 22 fighters, 59 fighter ground attack aircraft and 16 attack helicopters.

The defense budget in 2005 totaled 1.16 billion US-Dollars.


Navy Fleet (Marinha de Guerra)

Most of the craft detailed are from the 1980s or earlier, but the navy acquired new boats from Spain and France in the 1990s. Germany will deliver Fast Attack Craft for border protection from 2011.

  • Fast missile craft
    • OSA-II with four SS-N-2 Styx missiles - 6
  • Fast torpedo craft
    • Shershen class torpedo boat with four 533mm heavyweight torpedo tubes 4 or 5
  • Inland-water and coastal patrol boats
    • Argos 4
    • Poluchat-I 2
    • Zhuk - 1 or 2
    • Jupiter 1 or 2
    • Bellatrix 4 or 5
    • Mandume Class patrol craft - 4 [7]
    • Patrulheiro Class patrol boat - 3[7]
  • Mine warfare craft
    • Yevgenya class minesweeper MH1 2
  • Amphibious vessels
  • Coastal defense equipment
    • SS-C1 Sepal radar system

The navy also has several aircraft for maritime patrol:

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[8] Notes
Fokker F27  Netherlands Medium transport 1
EMB 111  Brazil Maritime patrol 2
Boeing 707  United States Maritime patrol 1

Equipment - Army

Light equipment


  • T-72 main battle tank - 22
  • T-62 main battle tank - 18
  • T-54/T-55 main battle tank - about 100
  • PT-76 light tank - about 12
  • BRDM-2 amphibious armoured patrol/scout car - 50
  • BMP-1 amphibious infantry fight vehicle - 150
  • BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle - 62 (ex-Polish)
  • BTR-60 amphibious armoured personnel carrier - 100
  • BTR-80 armoured personnel carrier - 70
  • BMD-1 airborne amphibious infantry fighting vehicle - 10
  • EE-11 Urutu armoured personnel carrier - 5

Field Artillery

  • D-30 122 mm howitzer - 500
  • M-46 130 mm field gun - 48
  • D-20 152 mm towed howitzer - 4
  • 2S1 122 mm self-propelled howitzer - 8
  • 2S3 152 mm self-propelled howitzer - 4
  • BM-21 122 mm MRL - 50
  • RM-70 122 mm self-propelled MRL - 40
  • 2B9 Vasilyok 82 mm mortar - 250 - mounted on BMD-1
  • 120 mm Mortar - 500

Air Defense Artillery

  • SAM - 500
    • SA-3 Goa (Neva/Pechora)
    • SA-9 Gremlin
    • SA-16 Gimlet
    • SA-7 Strela/Grail portable AA SAMs
  • ZSU-23-4 Shilka self propelled AA Gun - 20
  • ZPU-4 14.5 mm AA gun
  • M-1939 37 mm self-propelled automatic air defense gun
  • S-60 57 mm self-propelled autocannon


  • AT-4 Spigot anti-tank weapon - 100

General Purpose

Air Force

See National Air Force of Angola


  1. ^ Military Technology, World Defence Almanac, Vol. XXXII, Issue 1, 2008, p.301
  2. ^ General Nunda is a former UNITA general.
  3. ^ Global Angola Armed Forces retrieved August 21, 2011 (de)
  4. ^ Global Angolan Armed Forces retrieved August 21, 2011 (de)
  5. ^ Angolan Armed Forces retrieved August 22, 2011 (de)
  6. ^ Rádio Ecclesia: 18 anos das Forças Armadas Angolanas retrieved August 22, 2011 (pt)
  7. ^ a b [Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World- Angola, Eric Wertheim, 15th Ed., p5]
  8. ^ "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 15, 2007.


  • "World Defence Almanac". Military Technology (Bonn, Germany: Monch Publishing Group) XXXII (1): 301–302. 2008. ISSN 0722-3226. 

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