Bangladesh’s Defense

The military service in Bangladesh is voluntary. The total strength is 157,050 active personnel. In addition, about 63,900 semi-military forces, including 38,000 border guards, around 20,000 security forces, 5,000 armed police, and 900 Coast Guard personnel (2018, IISS). Bangladesh has very high participation in international UN operations.


The army has a workforce of 126,150 active personnel. Heavy materials include 276 tanks (174 type 59, 58 type 69, and 44 type 90), eight light tanks (type 62), and 481 armored personnel vehicles. In addition, the army has seven light aircraft and eight helicopters.

Bangladesh Army

Air Force

The Air Force has a workforce of 14,000. Materials include 53 fighter aircraft (45 F-7 Airguard and eight MiG-29), 11 transport aircraft, 38 training aircraft, and 31 helicopters.

The Navy

The Navy has a workforce of 16,900 active personnel. The fleet includes two submarines, four frigates, eight corvettes, 44 patrol vessels, five minesweepers, 15 landings, and nine logistics and auxiliary vessels. In addition, the Navy has two transport aircraft and two helicopters.

International operations

Bangladesh participated in 2018 UN operations in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) with 1710 personnel and five observers, Central African Republic (MINUSCA) with 1010 personnel and nine observers, in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 116 personnel, in Mali (MINUSMA) with 1415 personnel and three observers, in Sudan (UNAMID) with 356 personnel and three observers, in South Sudan (UNMISS) with 1601 personnel and seven observers, and in Western Sahara (MINURSO) with 29 personnel, one field hospital, and seven observers.

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