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Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force
Founded June 1979
Military age 18-30[note 1]
Conscription No
Available for
military service
344,038, age 18–49 (2010 est.)
Fit for
military service
201,853 males, age 18–49 (2010 est.),
175,477 females, age 18–49 (2010 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
16,168 males (2010 est.),
15,763 females (2010 est.)
Active personnel 3000+ (ranked n/a)
Reserve personnel 0
Deployed personnel 0
Budget $115 million (2011 est.)[1]
Percent of GDP 3.0% of GDP (2011 est.)[1]

The Military of Swaziland (Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force) is used primarily during domestic protests, with some border and customs duties; the force has never been involved in a foreign conflict.[2] The army has struggled with high rates of HIV infection. Since measures were put in place the rate is dropping.[3]

The USDF replaced the Royal Swaziland Defence Force, which was created in 1973 to replace the role of the British Army following independence in 1968.

The King is the Commander-in-Chief of the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF), and the substantive Minister of the Ministry of Defence.[4] However, he delegates the responsibilities of the day-to-day activities of the executive arm of the government.[5] There is a Defence Council, which is responsible for inter alia advising the King on all matters pertaining to the USDF.[5] The USDF is commanded by Major General Stanley Dlamini; the deputy commander is Brigadier General Patrick Motsa,[6] and the formation commander is Brigadier General Jeffry S. Tshabalala.[7]

Equipment[edit | edit source]

Swaziland Army officers.

Armoured Personnel Carriers[edit | edit source]

Vehicle Country of origin Type Versions In service Notes
RG-31 Nyala  South Africa Armoured vehicles Mk5E 7[8] 7 delivered in the 1990s

Weapons[edit | edit source]

Weapon Country of origin Type Versions In service Notes
Armalite AR-18[9] United States Assault rifle AR-180 Unknown
IMI Galil[10]  Israel Assault rifle Unknown Unknown
SIG SG 540[10]   Switzerland Assault rifle Unknown Unknown
FN FAL[10]  Belgium Battle rifle Unknown Unknown
Sterling submachine gun[10]  United Kingdom Submachine gun Unknown Unknown
Uzi[10]  Israel Submachine gun Unknown Unknown
FN MAG[10][11]  Belgium General-purpose machine gun Unknown Unknown Unknown

Branches[edit | edit source]

Air Force[edit | edit source]

An IAI Arava of the Swazi military air wing at Pretoria AFB Waterkloof (October 1995). This airframe was written off in the 2004 accident.

Swaziland also maintains a relatively small air wing, part of the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF).[12] The air wing is mainly used for transporting the King as well as cargo, and personnel; surveying land with search and rescue functions, and mobilizing in case of a national emergency.[13]

Both Arava 201 have crashed; the first was on a demo flight in the 1980s, leaving both pilots dead.[14] The second was lost in 2004, after bad weather caused the pilots to miss the runway and crash into a sugar cane field. Although no injuries were reported, the incident left the air force temporarily crippled.[2]

Aircraft Country of origin Type Versions In service Notes
IAI Arava  Israel Cargo plane IAI 202 0[15] 2 delivered, one crashed in the 1980s, and the other in 2004
Canadair Global Express  Canada Passenger plane BD-700-1A10 1[16] 1 delivered, currently used as a troop transport
Cessna 337 Super Skymaster United States Passenger plane 1[16] 1 delivered, currently used as a medical transport
Learjet 35 United States Passenger plane 1[17] 1 delivered, currently used as a troop transport
Piper PA-28 Cherokee United States Passenger plane PA-28-140 1[16] 1 delivered, currently used for land surveying
McDonnell Douglas MD-87 United States Passenger plane DC-87 1[18] 1 delivered, currently used by government officials
Aérospatiale Alouette III  France Utility helicopter SA-316B 3[8] 3 donated to Swaziland in 2000[19]

Army[edit | edit source]

The army, called the Umbutfo Swaziland Defense Force (USDF), is the main component of Swaziland's military.[20]

Facilities[edit | edit source]

  • Nsingizini Army Barracks
  • Mbuluzi Barracks
  • Mdzimba Mountain Barracks
  • Phocweni Barracks
  • Etjeni Barracks
  • Zombodze Barracks

Units[edit | edit source]

  • Ludlukhala Regiment
  • Lindimpi Regiment (watchman/guard)
  • Gcina Regiment

Navy[edit | edit source]

Due to Swaziland being landlocked, the country does not maintain a navy.[20]

Commanders[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook document "2010 edition".

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Compulsory HIV testing required, only HIV-negative applicants accepted

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "SIPRI military expenditure database". Milexdata.sipri.org. http://milexdata.sipri.org/. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Crash diminishes Swaziland's air force". Independent Online (South Africa). November 23, 2004. http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=84&art_id=qw1101220382909B224. Retrieved 2009-10-19. 
  3. "allAfrica.com: Swaziland: Army Slowly Winning the HIV/Aids Battle". 2010-12-18. http://allafrica.com/stories/201012140720.html. Retrieved 2010-12-18. 
  4. "Swaziland: Time for Democracy?". Africafocus.org. http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/swaz1104.php. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Security in Swaziland, Swaziland Security, Ministry of Defence, Swaziland welcome, Commonwealth". Commonwealth-of-nations.org. http://www.commonwealth-of-nations.org/Swaziland/Security/Ministry_of_Defence%60_Swaziland/welcome. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  6. "Welcome to the home page of the Government of Swaziland". Archived from the original on June 13, 2011. http://web.archive.org/web/20110613214553/http://www.gov.sz/home.asp?pid=2244. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  7. "Welcome to the home page of the Government of Swaziland". Archived from the original on June 13, 2011. http://web.archive.org/web/20110613214925/http://www.gov.sz/home.asp?pid=2245. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Arms Trade Register". SIPRI. http://armstrade.sipri.org/armstrade/page/trade_register.php. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  9. Bishop, Chris. Guns in Combat. Chartwell Books, Inc (1998). ISBN 0-7858-0844-2.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
  11. "Military of Swaziland". eNotes. 2012-07-06. http://www.enotes.com/topic/Military_of_Swaziland. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  12. "Photo Search Results". Airliners.net. http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?regsearch=3D-DAC&distinct_entry=true. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  13. "Air force (Swaziland) - Sentinel Security Assessment - Southern Africa". Janes.com. 2011-04-12. http://www.janes.com/articles/Janes-Sentinel-Security-Assessment-Southern-Africa/Air-force-Swaziland.html. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  14. "ASN Aircraft accident IAI Arava 201 3D-DAB Zomba Air Base". Aviation-safety.net. 1980-01-15. http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19800115-0. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  15. "Swazi military aviation OrBat". Milaviapress.com. http://www.milaviapress.com/orbat/swaziland/index.php. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 "UK blocks Swazi arms". DefenceWeb. 2011-03-23. http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14343:uk-blocks-swazi-arms&catid=47:Logistics&Itemid=110. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  17. "Aircraft 3D-BIS, Learjet 45 C/N 104". Airport-data.com. http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/3D-BIS.html. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  18. "Times Of Swaziland". Times.co.sz. http://www.times.co.sz/News/75450.html. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  19. "SAAF Alouettes for Swaziland". SAAF. http://www.saairforce.co.za/news-and-events/69/saaf-alouettes-for-swaziland. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 "CIA - The World Factbook". Cia.gov. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/wz.html. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 https://www.issafrica.org/uploads/EVOLUTCHAP10.PDF

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35th edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.

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