Namibia ranked weak in military strength

14 January 2020 | Government

Namibia's military is ranked as one of the weakest in the world, at 126th out of 137 countries.

Among 34 African countries, Namibia also ranked poorly in 28th position.

This is according to the 2019 Global Firepower Index (GFP) that analyses data on military spending, strength and readiness of 137 countries.

The ranking is based largely on each nation's potential conventional war-making capability across land, sea and air, with the final ranking incorporating values related to resources, finances and geography.

The finalised Firepower Index ranking utilises more than 55 individual rankings to determine a given nation's PowerIndex score.

According to the GFP, Namibia holds a PowerIndex rating of 2.6519 (0.0000 being perfect.)

It says the country's estimated military power is 10 000, which is 0.4% of Namibia's population, while the total available military power in the country is 582 642.

This is about 23% of the country's population.

Furthermore, 29 919 people in the country reach military age annually.

With regards to aircraft strength, Namibia is ranked 93rd out of 137 countries, with a total of 31 military aircraft.

This includes six fighters (ranked 63rd out of 137), six attack systems (ranked 70th) and three transporters (ranked 51st).

Its total helicopter strength was ranked 83rd, with eight helicopters which includes two attack helicopters. Namibia's tank strength is seven, with 410 armoured vehicles and its total naval assets are eight.

It further notes that Namibia's defence budget is about U$120 million (N$1.7 billion at today's exchange rate).

Meanwhile, neighbouring South Africa ranks 32nd on the list of 137 countries with 81 300 military personnel and 66 300 active personnel.

Its defence budget is about U$4.16 billion (N$59.8 billion).

In Africa, the countries with the strongest military power are Egypt, Algeria and South Africa.

Those with the weakest military strength are the Central African Republic, Sierra Leone and Liberia, with Namibia ranking as the seventh weakest military strength in Africa.

The USA and then Russia, followed by China and India, possess the highest military strength, with Suriname, Liberia and Bhutan receiving the lowest rank globally for military strength.

China, however, has the largest active military personnel at more than 2.183 million, whereas Namibia ranks 115th on the list of countries in this respect.

Meanwhile, the United States has the strongest aircraft strength with 13 398 aircraft systems, and it also spends the most on defence with a budget of U$716 billion (N$10.3 trillion).

The defence ministry in Namibia was allocated N$6 billion in the revised budget for the 2018/19 financial year. Defence spending will account for 8.8% of total government spending of N$66.5 billion during the 2019/20 financial year.