The Strength Of The Diminished South African National Defense Force

This is how South Africa’s army compares to the superpowers of the world.Share on LinkedIn

SA Army Helicopter

 South Africa’s army is ranked 46 out of 126 military forces in the world, according to Global Firepower’s 2016 ranking.

Global Firepower bases its ranking on each nation’s “potential conventional war-making capability across land, sea, and air”.

“The final ranking incorporates values related to resources, finances, and geography, and over 50 different factors make up the final GFP ranking, delivering the PowerIndex,” it said.

“Bonuses and penalties are applied where appropriate.”

South Africa’s Army

In first place was the United States of America, followed by Russia, China, India, and France.

The strength of South Africa’s army is detailed below – broken down into categories.


  • Available manpower – 26,000,000
  • Fit for service – 14,100,000
  • Active frontline personnel – 89,000
  • Active reserve personnel – 17,100

SANDF Soldier

Land systems

  • Tanks – 195
  • Armoured fighting vehicles – 2,265
  • Self-propelled guns – 43
  • Towed artillery – 97
  • Multiple-launch rocket systems – 50

G6 Gun Header

Air power

  • Total aircraft – 212
  • Fighters/interceptors – 17
  • Fixed-wing attack aircraft – 17
  • Transport aircraft – 109
  • Trainer aircraft – 67
  • Helicopters – 96
  • Attack helicopters – 12

SA Army Helicopter

Naval power

  • Frigates – 4
  • Submarines – 3
  • Coastal defence craft – 26
  • Mine warfare – 4

SA navy vessel

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  • Ian Grobler

    All that firepower means nothing with these fools we are dealing with!

  • Jandre Kroeze

    Not wise to publicise such info where everyone including potential enemies can read it.

    • Johann C Brits

      Oh no, Zim is going to attack us!

    • TruthExtractor

      Our potential enemies know more about us than we do.

    • Human7002

      They already know this information I wouldn’t worry too much

    • Jochen Peiper

      It is public knowledge for everyone. You can find the frontline strength of any army in the world online, including the SADNF, US Army, Britain, Israel, Russia… it is public knowledge.. There is a book published about it which lists the top armies of each continent by the same information as this called Janes Defense Weekly. The question that begs asking is the force readiness of all that equipment and those men.

  • Michael Brink

    Irrelevant stats.
    Example : –
    Subs = 4 – Serviceable subs = 0
    Fighters = 17, Serviceable fighters = 5
    14 million fit for service – Absolute rubbish.