Benin Armed Forces

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Benin Armed Forces
Forces armées béninoises
Coat of arms of Benin.svg
Coat of arms of Benin
Service branchesArmy (l'Armée de Terre)
Benin Navy (Forces Navales Beninois, FNB)
Benin Air Force (Force Aerienne du Bénin, FAB)
National Gendarmerie
Commander-in-ChiefPresident Patrice Talon
Minister of DefenceYarou Robert Theophile
Chief of the Defence StaffLaurent Amoussou
Active personnel4,750[1]
Budget$US73 million (2011)[1]
Percent of GDP1% (2011)[1]
Foreign suppliers France
 United States
 Soviet Union
Related articles
RanksMilitary ranks of Benin

The Benin Armed Forces (FAB - Forces armées béninoises) 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 training with Type 56s.
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 had a strength of 4,300.[1] It includes 1 armoured squadron, 3 infantry battalions, 1 commando/airborne battalion, 1 artillery battery, and 1 engineer battalion.[1]

Infantry weapons[edit]

Name Origin Type Variant Notes
Small arms
TT pistol[3]  United States Semi-automatic pistol
MAT-49[3]  France Submachine gun
AKM[3]  Russia Assault rifle
AK-47[3]  Russia Assault rifle AK-103, AK-12, RPK-74
Type 56[4]  China Assault rifle
MAS-36 rifle[3]  France Bolt-action rifle
SKS[3]  Soviet Union Semi-automatic rifle
MAS-49 rifle[3]  France Semi-automatic rifle
AA-52[3]  France general purpose
Degtyaryov[3]  Soviet Union general purpose RP-46
RPD[3]  Soviet Union general purpose
DShK[3]  Soviet Union general purpose
M2 Browning[3]  United States general purpose M2HB, M2HB-QCB
RPG-7  Soviet Union Rocket-propelled grenade

Heavy weapons[edit]

Name Origin Type In service Notes
Armored fighting vehicle
PT-76  Soviet Union Light tank 18[1]
M8 Greyhound  United States Anti-armor vehicle 7[1]
Eland-90  South Africa Armored car 3[5] provided with French training[6][7]
Panhard VBL  France Armored car 10[1]
BRDM-2  Soviet Union Armored car 14[1]
Casspir 2000  South Africa APC 10 on order[8]
M113  United States APC 18[9]
L118 Light Gun  United Kingdom Howitzer 12[1]
M101 howitzer  United States Howitzer 4[1]

Air Force[edit]

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.

The roundel of the Benin Air Force


Current inventory[edit]

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Boeing 727  United States VIP 1[10]
Hawker Siddeley HS 748  United Kingdom Transport 1[11]
DHC-6 Twin Otter  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. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l IISS (2012), p. 422
  2. ^ Mathurin C. Houngnikpo, Samuel Decalo, Historical Dictionary of Benin, 78.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Jane's Infantry Weapons 2007
  4. ^ Photo Details. (16 June 2009). Retrieved on 2012-05-20.
  5. ^ DIO blindé au Bénin
  6. ^ "Senegal Instruction Operationelle Au Profit Des Forces Armees Beninoises".
  7. ^ Republique du Benin Archived 3 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Benin purchases ten Casspir 2000 mine protected vehicles Archived 13 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine -, 10 February 2013
  9. ^ "Trade Registers". Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Benin Government B-727". Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  11. ^ a b "World Air Forces 2018". Flightglobal Insight. 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
Works consulted
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (2012). The Military Balance 2012. London: IISS. ISSN 0459-7222.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website