Neha Patil

Mozambique Defence Armed Forces

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Current form  August 1994
Chief of the General Staff of FADM  General Graca Chongo
Percent of GDP  2.5% (2008 est.)
Commander in chief  Filipe Nyusi
Service branch  Soviet Air Defence Forces
National Defence Minister  Atanasio M’tumuke
Active personnel  11,200
Headquarters  Maputo
President  Filipe Nyusi
Military age  18
Mozambique Defence Armed Forces httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Service branches  Army, Naval Command, Air and Air Defence Forces, Militia
Budget  117 million USD (2008 est.)
Similar  Armed Forces of Gabon, Benin Armed Forces, Niger Armed Forces, Namibian Defence Force, Djibouti Armed Forces

The Mozambique Defence Armed Forces (Portuguese: Forças Armadas de Defesa de Moçambique) or FADM are the national armed forces of Mozambique. They include the General Staff of the Armed Forces and three branches of service: Army, Air Force and Navy.


The FADM were formed in mid August 1994, by the integration of the People's Forces of Liberation of Mozambique (FPLM) with the military wing of RENAMO, following the end of the civil war.


The Mozambique Defence Armed Forces were formed in mid August 1994 from the previous warring factions of the Mozambique Civil War, which ended in 1992.

The new armed forces were formed through a commission, the Comissão Conjunta para a Formação das Forças Armadas de Defesa e Segurança de Moçambique (CCFADM), chaired by the Organization of the United Nations to Mozambique ONUMOZ. The new armed forces were formed by integrating those soldiers of the former Popular Forces for the Liberation of Mozambique (FPLM) and the rebels, the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) who wished to stay in uniform.

Two Generals were appointed to lead the new forces, one from FRELIMO, Lieutenant General Lagos Lidimo, who was named Chief of the Defence Force and Major General Mateus Ngonhamo from RENAMO as Vice-Chief of the Defence Force. The former Chief of the Army (FPLM), Lieutenant General Antonio Hama Thai, was retired.

On 20 March 2008, Reuters reported that President Guebuza had dismissed the Chief and Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Lieutenant General Lagos Lidimo (FRELIMO) and Lieutenant General Mateus Ngonhamo (RENAMO), replacing them with Brigadier General Paulino Macaringue as Chief of Defence Force and Major-general Olímpio Cambora as Vice-Chief of Defence Force.

Filip Nyussi took office as Minister of Defense on 27 March 2008, succeeding Tobias Joaquim Dai. Nyussi's appointment came almost exactly one year after a fire and resulting explosions of munitions at the Malhazine armoury in Maputo killed more than 100 people and destroyed 14,000 homes. A government-appointed investigative commission concluded that negligence played a role in the disaster, and Dai "was blamed by many for failing to act on time to prevent the loss of life". Although no official reason was given for Dai's removal, it may have been a "delayed reaction" to the Malhazine disaster.

The first three infantry battalions were stationed at Chokwe, Cuamba, and Quelimane.

In April 2010 it was announced that "the People's Republic of China donated to the FADM material for agriculture worth 4 million euros, including trucks, tractors, agricultural implements, mowers and motorbikes in the framework of bilateral cooperation in the military. Under a protocol of cooperation in the military field, the Government of China will also provide support to the Ministry of Defence of Mozambique with about 1 million euros for the areas of training and logistics. The protocol for granting aid to the Armed Forces for the Defence of Mozambique (FADM) was signed by Defense Minister of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, and the charge d'affaires of the Chinese embassy in Maputo, Lee Tongli."

Mozambique has also been involved in many peacekeeping operations in Burundi (232 personnel), Comoros, The Democratic Republic of Congo, East Timor and Sudan. They have also actively participated in joint military operations such Blue Hungwe in Zimbabwe in 1997 and Blue Crane in South Africa in 1999. All which are at attempt to build security and trust in the Southern African region.

Land Forces

The 2004 General Peace Agreement stipulated that the size of the army would be 24,000 (equally drawn from FAM and RENAMO), but due to lack of interest (pay and prospective terms of service were poor) that figure was never reached.

Information on the Mozambique Army's structure is scarce. The IISS estimated in 1997-98 that it consisted of 5 infantry, 3 SF, 1 logistics battalion, and one engineer company, with a strength of 4-5,000.

The IISS estimated in 2007 that it consists of a total force of 9-10,000, with 7 infantry battalions, 3 Special Forces battalions, 2-3 batteries of artillery, 2 battalions of engineers, and one logistics battalion.

These equipment estimates are from the IISS Military Balance 2007. The serviceability of Mozambique's army equipment, is on a level of 10% or less. As of November 2011, the IISS estimated that Mozambique's army personnel numbered 9,000-10,000.

  • T-54 (more than 60 in service in 2006)
  • T-34
  • PT-76 16
  • BMP-1 (40 in service in 2006)
  • 30 BRDM-1 and BRDM-2
  • BTR-60 (160 in service)
  • BTR-152 (100 in service)
  • Casspir (some in service, maybe five)
  • RG-12
  • 12 BM-21 MRL
  • 152/130/122/105/100mm towed artillery (102 in service)
  • 52 82-mm and 120-mm mortars
  • S-125 Neva/Pechora Surface-to-air missile
  • 9K31 Strela-1 Surface-to-air missile
  • Strela 2
  • 150 ZU-23-2
  • 20 ZSU-57-2
  • 37 mm automatic air defense gun M1939 (61-K)
  • 2K12 Kub
  • 10 9K111 Fagot
  • KPV heavy machine gun
  • DShK
  • PK machine gun
  • FN FAL
  • AKM
  • SKS
  • Browning Hi-Power hangun
  • TT pistol Handgun
  • Small arms in service include the ubiquitous AK-47 range the RPK and the Sa vz. 23.
  • Air Force

    The Mozambique Air Force (Forca Aérea de Moçambique) or FAM was part of the national army initially, and from 1985 to 1990 was known as the People's Liberation Air Force (Força Aérea Popular de Libertação). Due to Mozambique's history, the air force has a history of using former Portuguese aircraft, ever since its setting-up after independence in 1975, supported by Cuba and the USSR. As such there was an inflow of Soviet-built aircraft to support the government in the civil war up to 1992. Following the ceasefire in that year the change in government policies towards Western-style economics meant that Cuban support for the Air Force dwindled and most of the aircraft have fallen into disrepair at the three main bases of Beira, Nacala and Nampula. The FAM is now effectively a token force, and the defence budget has been cut down to 1.5 of Mozambique's Gross National Product. The aircraft inventory is thus: The number of personnel in the Air Force are estimated at 4000.

    In 2011, the Portuguese Air Force offered FAM two Cessna FTB-337, updated with the latest technology for the use in training, aeromedical evacuation and maritime surveillance operations. This is part of the permanent technical-military cooperation (CTM) programme between Portugal and Mozambique. Regarding specifically the FAM, the Portuguese-Mozambican cooperation also includes other actions as the training of pilot officers, NCOs and aviation technicians, the creation of the aviation medicine and the air operations centers and the development of the search and rescue and flight safety capabilities. Also, several Mozambican officer cadets attend the Portuguese Air Force Academy.

    In 2014, the Brazilian Minister of Defense disclosed its intention to donate 3 Embraer EMB 312 Tucano and assist on financing the purchase of 3 Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano.

    In 2014, Mozambique News and Clippings 256 (Hanlon, J)reported the following: "The Romanian company Aerostar has completed the overhaul and upgrade of eight Mozambique Air Force MiG-21 fighters, some of which had not flown operationally for more than 20 years. The package also included the overhaul of a L-39 jet trainer along with six single-seat Mig-21 fighter jets and two double-seat MiG-21 trainer aircraft, as well as a full training programme for ground staff and pilots. Two R-40S basic trainer aircraft were also delivered. Six MiG-21s are now back in Mozambique with the final two aircraft shipped from Romania in early July".

    Navy Equipment

  • PCI-class inshore patrol boat (3 ordered, non-operational)
  • Pebane (P-001) ex-Spanish navy Dragonera (P-32) ( 85 tons, 32 meters ) transferred after refit 2012 from the Spanish Navy for a symbolic price (€100).
  • There are about 2000 personnel in the navy. In September 2004 it was reported that the South African Navy was to donate two of its Namacurra class harbour patrol boat to the Mozambique Navy. The boats were refitted by the naval dockyard at Simon's Town and equipped with outboard motors and navigation equipment donated by the French Navy. The French Navy Durance class command and replenishment oiler Marne (A360) was to deliver the boats to Maputo en route to its ALINDIEN operational area in the Indian Ocean after a refit in Cape Town.

    French shipyard CMN Group confirms major order by Mozambique including 6 Patrol Vessels & Interceptors


    Mozambique Defence Armed Forces Wikipedia

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