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Strongest Military In Africa: Where does Nigeria rank?

The Nigeria military has a history of wins and losses just like that of every other country. However, the Nigerian military can boast of more wins than losses. Following the unrest going on in Europe, questions are being asked about just how strong the Nigerian military is. 

World powers like the United States and Russia have the strongest militaries in the world. How far is the Nigerian military from reaching the potency of these countries? Well, you’ll be surprised. 

In this post, I’ve listed out the countries with the strongest military in Africa. You can find out where Nigeria ranks from the list. 

  1. Egypt 

Egypt has the strongest military in Africa which isn’t surprising as it’s a country that spans Africa and the Middle East. Here’s a breakdown of Egypt’s military strength: 

  • Total Military Personnel: 1,230,000 (estimated)  
  • Total Aircraft Strength: 1, 062 
  • Attack Helicopters: 91
  • Tanks: 4,394 
  • Armoured Vehicles: 10,000 
  • Self-Propelled Artillery: 1,165
  • Towed Artillery: 2,200 
  • Rocket Projectors: 1,235
  • Helicopter Carries: 2 
  • Submarines: 8 
  • Patrol Vessels: 48 
  • Aircraft Carriers: 0 
  • Mine Warfare: 23  
  1. South Africa 

South Africa comes next; it’s the country with the second strongest military force in Africa. Here’s a breakdown of South Africa’s military strength: 

  • Total Military Personnel: 267,000 (estimated) 
  • Total Aircraft Strength: 225 
  • Attack Helicopters: 12
  • Tanks: 195 
  • Armoured Vehicles: 2,565 
  • Self-Propelled Artillery: 43
  • Towed Artillery: 82
  • Rocket Projectors: 50
  • Helicopter Carries: 0
  • Aircraft Carriers: 0 
  • Submarines: 3
  • Patrol Vessels: 31
  • Mine Warfare: 2
  1. Algeria 

Third on the list is Algeria, another North African country. Algeria is ranked at number 31 when looking at it from a global angle. Here’s a breakdown of Algeria’s military strength: 

  • Total Military Personnel: 465,000 (estimated) 
  • Total Aircraft Strength: 552 
  • Attack Helicopters: 45
  • Tanks: 2,196
  • Armoured Vehicles: 6,461
  • Self-Propelled Artillery: 545
  • Towed Artillery: 450
  • Rocket Projectors: 334
  • Helicopter Carries: 0
  • Aircraft Carriers: 0 
  • Submarines: 6
  • Patrol Vessels: 25
  • Mine Warfare: 0
  1. Nigeria 

Here comes Nigeria. So, if you’re wondering where Nigeria ranks among the strongest militaries in Africa, the country ranks in number 4. On a global scale, Nigeria is ranked at number 35. Here’s a breakdown of Nigeria’s military strength: 

  • Total Military Personnel: 215,000 (estimated) 
  • Total Aircraft Strength: 140 
  • Attack Helicopters: 15
  • Tanks: 376
  • Armoured Vehicles: 2,019
  • Self-Propelled Artillery: 44
  • Towed Artillery: 349
  • Rocket Projectors: 47
  • Helicopter Carries: 0
  • Aircraft Carriers: 0 
  • Submarines: 6
  • Patrol Vessels: 109
  • Mine Warfare: 2 
  1. Morocco 

Once again, we have another North African country in this top list. It seems North African countries invest a lot in the military compared to other regions of Africa. Here’s a breakdown of Morocco’s military strength: 

  • Total Military Personnel: 325,000 (estimated) 
  • Total Aircraft Strength: 249 
  • Attack Helicopters: 0
  • Tanks: 3,335
  • Armoured Vehicles: 3,500
  • Self-Propelled Artillery: 517
  • Towed Artillery: 211
  • Rocket Projectors: 144
  • Helicopter Carries: 0
  • Aircraft Carriers: 0 
  • Submarines: 0
  • Patrol Vessels: 22
  • Mine Warfare: 0
  1. Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one African country with a stretching history. The country ranks number 65 in the world and has the 6th strongest military force in Africa. Here’s a breakdown of Ethiopia’s military strength: 

  • Total Military Personnel: 150,000 (estimated) 
  • Total Aircraft Strength: 90 
  • Attack Helicopters: 7
  • Tanks: 340
  • Armoured Vehicles: 110
  • Self-Propelled Artillery: 67
  • Towed Artillery: 470
  • Rocket Projectors: 183

Note the absence of naval force? Well, Ethiopia doesn’t have a navy as it’s a landlocked country. In other words, the country has no access to the sea so they can’t have marine soldiers. 

  1. Angola 

Back to the South African region, we have Angola. While it comes number 7 in Africa, the country ranks at number 66 among countries with the best military in the world. Here’s a breakdown of Angola’s military strength: 

  • Total Military Personnel: 117,000 (estimated) 
  • Total Aircraft Strength: 299 
  • Attack Helicopters: 15
  • Tanks: 320
  • Armoured Vehicles: 1,210
  • Self-Propelled Artillery: 28
  • Towed Artillery: 585
  • Rocket Projectors: 118
  • Helicopter Carries: 0
  • Aircraft Carriers: 0 
  • Submarines: 0
  • Patrol Vessels: 37
  • Mine Warfare: 0
  1. Libya 

Libya is one African country with an on-going military and political crisis. Well, the country’s military ranks number 8 in Africa. Here’s a breakdown of Libya’s military strength: 

  • Total Military Personnel: 30,000 (estimated) 
  • Total Aircraft Strength: 127 
  • Attack Helicopters: 7
  • Tanks: 100
  • Armoured Vehicles: 2,275
  • Self-Propelled Artillery: 183
  • Towed Artillery: 125
  • Rocket Projectors: 450
  • Helicopter Carries: 0
  • Aircraft Carriers: 0 
  • Submarines: 0
  • Patrol Vessels: 1
  • Mine Warfare: 2 
  1. Sudan 

The 9th strongest military in Africa is the Sudanese military. The force is ranked at number 73 in the world. Here’s a breakdown of Sudan’s military strength: 

  • Total Military Personnel: 205,000 (estimated) 
  • Total Aircraft Strength: 192 
  • Attack Helicopters: 43
  • Tanks: 360
  • Armoured Vehicles: 207
  • Self-Propelled Artillery: 10
  • Towed Artillery: 389
  • Rocket Projectors: 30
  • Helicopter Carries: 0
  • Aircraft Carriers: 0 
  • Submarines: 0
  • Patrol Vessels: 10
  • Mine Warfare: 0
  1. Tunisia 

Last on this list is Tunisia. Here’s a breakdown of Tunisia’s military strength: 

  • Total Military Personnel: 46,000 (estimated) 
  • Total Aircraft Strength: 151 
  • Attack Helicopters: 0
  • Tanks: 145
  • Armoured Vehicles: 954
  • Self-Propelled Artillery: 0
  • Towed Artillery: 86
  • Rocket Projectors: 0
  • Helicopter Carries: 0
  • Aircraft Carriers: 0 
  • Submarines: 0
  • Patrol Vessels: 36
  • Mine Warfare: 0

Bottom line 

In conclusion, Nigeria ranks at number 4 among the strongest militaries in Africa. The strongest is Egypt. It’s worth noting that while African countries have good land forces, they do lack in airforce and most especially naval force.  

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