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Bangladesh Military - 2024


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Military and security forces

Armed Forces of Bangladesh (aka Bangladesh Defense Force): Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force

Ministry of Home Affairs: Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), Bangladesh Coast Guard, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Ansars, Village Defense Party (VDP) (2023)

note 1: the Armed Forces of Bangladesh are jointly administered by the Ministry of Defense (MOD) and the Armed Forces Division (AFD), both under the Prime Minister's Office; the AFD has ministerial status and parallel functions with MOD; the AFD is a joint coordinating headquarters for the three services and also functions as a joint command center during wartime; to coordinate policy, the prime minister and the president are advised by a six-member board, which includes the three service chiefs of staff, the principal staff officer of the AFD, and the military secretaries to the prime minister and president

note 2: the RAB, Ansars, and VDP are paramilitary organizations for internal security; the RAB is a joint task force founded in 2004 and composed of members of the police, Army, Navy, Air Force, and Border Guards seconded to the RAB from their respective units; its mandate includes internal security, intelligence gathering related to criminal activities, and government-directed investigations

Military expenditures

1.1% of GDP (2022 est.)
1.2% of GDP (2021 est.)
1.3% of GDP (2020)
1.4% of GDP (2019)
1.4% of GDP (2018)

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; approximately 160,000 total active personnel (130,000 Army; 15,000 Navy; 15,000 Air Force) (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

much of the military's inventory is comprised of Chinese- and Russian-origin equipment; in recent years, China has been the leading provider of arms to Bangladesh (2023)

Military service age and obligation

16-21 years of age for voluntary military service; Bangladeshi nationality and 10th grade education required; officers: 17-21 years of age, Bangladeshi nationality, and 12th grade education required (2023)

Military deployments

approximately 1,400 Central African Republic (MINUSCA); 1,650 Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO; plus about 200 police); 120 Lebanon (UNIFIL); 1,600 South Sudan (UNMISS); 150 Sudan (UNISFA) (2023)

Military - note

the military’s primary responsibility is external defense but it also has a domestic security role and has traditionally been a significant player in the country’s politics, as well as its economy; the military has a long history of participating in UN peacekeeping missions, which has provided operational experience and a source of funding; it runs an international institute for the training of peacekeepers; the military also conducts multinational and bilateral exercises with foreign partners, particularly India; it has commercial business interests in such areas as banking, food, hotels, manufacturing, real estate, and shipbuilding, and manages government infrastructure and construction projects

the Army is the dominant service and its primary combat forces are approximately 10 infantry divisions, complemented by several independent brigades and regiments of armor, artillery, and commandos; it maintains a large presence in the Chittagong Hills area where it conducted counterinsurgency operations against tribal guerrillas from the 1970s until the late 1990s; the Navy conducts both coastal and blue water operations and participates in UN and humanitarian missions and multinational exercises; its principal surface warships are a mix of frigates, corvettes, and large patrol ships; it also has a few attack submarines; the Air Force has several squadrons equipped Chinese- and Russian-made combat aircraft; the Air Force has about 50 mostly Chinese- and Russian-made combat aircraft organized into several squadrons (2023)

NOTE: The information regarding Bangladesh on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Bangladesh 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Bangladesh 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.