We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

The SANDF ranked against the rest of the world in latest global listing


SA has the third strongest military force in Africa, but only ranks 32nd when it comes to the rest of the world.

This is according to the 2019 Military Strength Ranking compiled by Globalfire Power, which ranked the armies of 137 countries.

The ranking uses 55 different factors including the number and diversity of weapons. Other factors which are considered included: location, natural resources, local industry. financial stability, but not the current political leadership.

Nuclear weapons and stockpiles are not taken directly into account, but receive indirect scores. Nato (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) allies get a boost, because they share military resources.

The top 10 armies were:

1) United States;

2) Russia;

3) China;

4) India;

5) France;

6) Japan;

7) South Korea;

8) United Kingdom;

9) Turkey; and

10) Germany.

The weakest 10 were;

128) Gabon;

129) Mauritania;

130) Somalia;

131) El Salvador;

132) Central African Republic;

133) Panama;

134) Sierra Leone;

135) Suriname;

136) Liberia; and

137) Bhutan.

SA was ranked the third strongest military in Africa behind Egypt (12th) and Algeria (27th).

According to the ranking SA has:

  • 66,300 active personnel;
  • 15,000 reserve personnel;
  • 26,250m manpower at its disposal;
  • 14,175m people fit-for-service;
  • 963,908 citizens reach the eligible age to serve annually;
  • 17 aircraft fighters;
  • 17 attack aircraft;
  • 23 transport aircraft;
  • 63 trainer aircraft;
  • 195 combat tanks;
  • 2,500 fighting armoured vehicles;
  • 43 self-propelled artillery;
  • 100 towed artillery;
  • 50 rocket projectors;
  • 4 frigates;
  • 3 submarines;
  • 31 patrol vessels; and
  • 2 mine warfare vessels.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.