South Africa

South Africa Military Stats


  • Air force > Combat aircraft: Number of fighter aircrafts (fixed wing aircrafts with combat capability).
  • Army > Attack helicopters: Number of attack helicopter (includes helicopters that have some attacking capabilities).
  • Army > Main battle tanks: Number of main battle tanks.
  • Budget: Annual defense budget in billion USD.
  • Expenditures > Percent of GDP: Current military expenditures as an estimated percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Global Peace Index: The Global Peace Index is comprised of 22 indicators in the three categories ongoing domestic or international conflicts; societal safety; and security and militarization. A low index value indicates a peaceful and safe country.
  • Navy > Aircraft carriers: Number of aircraft carriers.
  • Navy > Corvette warships: Number of corvettes.
  • Navy > Submarines: Number of patrol boats (includes minesweepers).
  • Paramilitary personnel: Paramilitary.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Personnel > Per capita: Armed forces personnel are active duty military personnel, including paramilitary forces if the training, organization, equipment, and control suggest they may be used to support or replace regular military forces. Per capita figures expressed per 1,000 population.
  • Service age and obligation: This entry gives the required ages for voluntary or conscript military service and the length of sevice obligation.
  • WMD > Missile: A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of missile weapons of mass destruction
  • WMD > Nuclear: A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of nuclear weapons
  • War deaths: Battle-related deaths are deaths in battle-related conflicts between warring parties in the conflict dyad (two conflict units that are parties to a conflict). Typically, battle-related deaths occur in warfare involving the armed forces of the warring parties. This includes traditional battlefield fighting, guerrilla activities, and all kinds of bombardments of military units, cities, and villages, etc. The targets are usually the military itself and its installations or state institutions and state representatives, but there is often substantial collateral damage in the form of civilians being killed in crossfire, in indiscriminate bombings, etc. All deaths--military as well as civilian--incurred in such situations, are counted as battle-related deaths."
Air force > Combat aircraft 43 2014 39th out of 62
Army > Attack helicopters 8 2014 19th out of 25
Army > Main battle tanks 168 2014 35th out of 57
Budget 3.9 US$ BN 2014 22nd out of 58
Expenditures > Percent of GDP 1.7% 2006 52nd out of 100
Global Peace Index 2.29 2013 42nd out of 162
Navy > Aircraft carriers 0.0 2014 47th out of 70
Navy > Corvette warships 0.0 2014 42nd out of 45
Navy > Submarines 3 2014 16th out of 45
Paramilitary personnel 12,382 2014 48th out of 147
Personnel > Per capita 1.19 per 1,000 people 2005 141st out of 160
Service age and obligation 18 years of age for voluntary military service 2004
WMD > Missile It is not clear when South Africa began ballistic missile-related efforts, but reportedly by the mid-1980s, some missile infrastructure existed in the country. It appears that Israel collaborated with South Africa in development of this program, but the nature and extent of this relationship is unknown. Following a July 1989 flight-test of what Pretoria described as a “booster rocket” in a space-launch program, U.S. intelligence noted striking similarities between this system and Israel’s intermediate-range Jericho-2 ballistic missile. Facing U.S. opposition to missile proliferation and the end of its apartheid government, South Africa abandoned its missile and space launch programs in 1991 and dismantled associated facilities under international observation. South Africa became a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in 1995. 1995
WMD > Nuclear In the 1960s, South Africa began to explore the technical utility of "peaceful nuclear explosions" for mining and engineering purposes. In 1973, then Prime Minister Johannes Vorster approved a program to develop a limited nuclear deterrent capability. Ultimately, South Africa manufactured six air-deliverable nuclear weapons of the "gun-type" design. In parallel with decisions to end apartheid, the government halted the bomb program in 1989 and dismantled existing weapons and associated production equipment. South Africa acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapon state in 1991, and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors subsequently verified the completeness of its nuclear dismantlement. South Africa joined the Zangger Committee in 1994 and the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 1995. South Africa was instrumental in winning indefinite extension of the NPT in 1995, and played a leading role in successful conclusion of the 2000 NPT Review Conference as a member of the "New Agenda Coalition" that also included Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, and Sweden. More recently, South Africa began working more closely with the IAEA in 2004, in order to monitor international smuggling of nuclear weapons materials, after investigations of a South African businessman exposed connections to the A.Q. Khan network. In 2004, there was also ample discussion concerning South Africa’s dwindling coal reserves and its need for additional nuclear power generation. 2004
War deaths 0.0 2008 67th out of 195


"South Africa Military Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/South-Africa/Military

  • South Africa ranked first for expenditures > dollar figure amongst Sub-Saharan Africa in 2004.
  • South Africa ranked #8 for manpower reaching militarily significant age annually > males amongst Christian countries in 2013.