Categories: Africa Ranking

Top 10 Most Powerful Militaries In Africa (2021)

According to the Global Fire Power, Egypt has the most powerful military in Africa and the 13th in the world with a PwrIndx* score of 0.2216

As ranked by Global Fire Power, below are the 10 most powerful militaries in Africa.

***Each country was Ranked by Their Current military capabilities and available firepower

GFP Power Index rating (0.0000 being perfect)

The ranking is based on over 50 individual factors with categories ranging from military might and financials to logistical capability and geography.

However, the ranking does not simply rely on the total number of weapons available to any one country but rather focuses on weapon diversity within the number totals to provide a better balance of firepower available.

In addition, nuclear weapons are not recognised directly (but receive an indirect score bonus), while geographical factors, logistical flexibility, natural resources and military budget influence the rankings.

Egypt was ranked as having the strongest military in Africa in 2021 with 450,000 active personnel, 1,500 aircraft strength, 3735 tanks and a budget of $10 billion while Algeria was ranked second strongest with just over 130,000 active personnel, 551 aircraft, 2024 tanks and a budget of $13.94 billion. South Africa, Nigeria and Morocco round up the top 5 strongest military in Africa in 2021.

1. Egypt (Power Index Rating: 0.2216)


Egypt has the most powerful military in Africa and 13th out of 140 in the world. It holds a PwrIndx* score of 0.2216 (a score of 0.0000 is considered ‘perfect’).

Manpower
Active Personnel: 450,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 480,000
Available firepower
Tanks: 3735
Armoured Fighting Vehicles: 11,000
Self-Propelled Guns: 1,165
Rocket Projectors: 1,235.

The country also has a total of 1,013 aircraft strength, a naval total asset of 316, and a Defense Budget of $10,000,000,000.

2. Algeria (Power Index Rating 0.4439)

Algeria is the second most powerful military in Africa, and 27th most powerful in the world. It holds a PwrIndx* score of 0.4439.

Manpower
Active Personnel: 130,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 150,000
Firepower
Tanks: 2024
Armored Vehicles: 7,000
Self-Propelled Guns: 324
Towed-Artillery: 396
Rocket Projectore: 300

There’s also a total of 551 aircraft owned by the military, a total naval strength of 69 and a defence budget $13,904,000,000.

3. South Africa GFP (Power Index rating: 0.5665)


South Africa is the 3rd most powerful military in Africa, and 32nd most powerful military in the world. The country holds a PwrIndx* score of 0.5665.

Manpower
Active Personnel: 66,500
Active Reserve Personnel: 15,000
Firepower
Tanks: 195
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 3,000
Self-Propelled Guns: 43
Towed-Artillery: 72
Rocket Project: 50

Other info
Total Naval Asset: 30
Total Aircraft: 221
Defense Budget: $3,597,000,000.

4. Nigeria (Power Index Rating 0.6241)

Ranked number 4 in the most powerful militaries in Africa, and 35th most powerful military in the world. Nigeria holds a PwrIndx* score of 0.6241.

Manpower
Active Personnel: 120,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 0
Firepower
Tanks: 355
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 2,000
Self-Propelled Guns: 65
Towed-Artillery: 339
Rocket Propeller: 59

Nigeria’s millitary also has a total of 125 aircraft strength, total naval asset of 75 and a Defense Budget of $2,100,000,000.

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5. Morocco (Power Index rating: 0.8739)

Morocco is the 5th most powerful military in Africa, and the 53rd most powerful in the world. The country holds a PwrIndx* score of 0.8739.
Manpower
Active Personnel: 310,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 150,000
Firepower
Tanks: 3,033
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 8,000
Self-Propelled Guns: 510
Towed-Artillery: 156
Rocket projectors: 144

Other info
Total Naval Asset: 121
Total Aircraft Strength: 249
Defense Budget: $6,000,000,000.

6. Angola (Power Index rating: 1.0799)

Angola is the 6th in the most powerful military in Africa, and the 65th most powerful military in the world. It holds a PwrIndx* score of 1.0799.

Manpower
Active Personnel: 110,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 0
Firepower
Tanks: 379
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 600
Self-Propelled Guns: 28
Towed-Artillery: 350
Rocket projectors: 115

The country also has a total aircraft strength of about 300, total naval strength of 57 and a Defense Budget of $7,650,000,000.

7. Ethiopia (Power Index Rating 1.1901)

The country’s millitary is the 7th most powerful military in Africa and the 66th in the world. It holds a PwrIndx* score of 1.1901.

Manpower
Active Personnel: 162,000
Active reserve personnel: 0
Firepower
Tanks: 365
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 130
Self-Propelled Guns: 65
Towed-Artillery: 480
Rocket projectors: 180

The country also has a total aircraft strength of 92 aircrafts, and a Defense Budget of $520,000,000.

8. Libya (Power Index rating: 1.2736)

The country’s military is the 8th most powerful military in Africa and the 70th in the world. It holds a PwrIndx* score of 1.2736.

Manpower
Active Personnel: 30,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 0
Firepower
Tanks: 200
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 4550
Self-Propelled Guns: 365
Towed-Artillery: 250
Rocket projectors: 900

Other info
Total Aircrafts strength: 118
Total Naval Strength: 5
Defense Budget: $4,900,000,000.

9. Tunisia (Power Index rating: 1.4134)

For 2021, Tunisia is ranked 73 of 140 out of the countries considered for the annual GFP review. It holds a PwrIndx* score of 1.4134.

Manpower
Active Personnel: 36,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 0
Firepower
Tanks: 170
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 1200
Self-Propelled Guns: 67
Towed-Artillery: 162
Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems: 0

Other info
Total Naval Strength: 50
Total Aircraft Strength: 156
Defense Budget: $810,000,000

10. Sudan (Power Index Rating: 1.5159)

For 2021, Sudan is ranked 77 of 140 out of the countries considered for the annual GFP review. It holds a PwrIndx* score of 1.5159.

Manpower
Active Personnel: 105,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 85,000
Firepower
Tanks: 830
Armored Fighting Vehicles: 450
Self-Propelled Guns: 10
Towed-Artillery: 0
Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems: 0

Sudan’s military also possess a Total Aircraf strength of 190, a total naval strength of 18, and a Defense Budget of $4,000,000,000.

Methodology

The finalized Global Firepower ranking above utilizes over 50 individual factors to determine a given nation’s PowerIndex (‘PwrIndx’) score with categories ranging from military might and financials to logistical capability and geography.

Uzonna Anele

Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

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Uzonna Anele