AFRICANGLOBE- Angola’s military and defence expenditure will increase from the current $6.5 billion to $13 billion by 2019 due to increased demand for border security equipment, fighter jets, multi-role aircraft, helicopters, navy vessels and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
In a new report entitled “Future of the Angolan Defence Industry – Market Attractiveness, Competitive Landscape and Forecasts to 2019,” US-based defence market analysts Market Research said Angolan defence spending will be driven by the need to modernise and improve the operational capabilities of all three wings of the Armed Forces of Angola (FAA) and a desire to increase the number of serving troops while embarking on new veterans care projects.
“Angola’s military expenditure, valued at $6.8 billion in 2014, is expected to increase to $13 billion by 2019, registering a CAGR of 11.99% over the forecast period. Angolan military expenditure will be driven by troop expansion, as well as a revision in troop wage structure, in a bid to improve living standards along with military hardware modernization and border security plans.
“The defence ministry is expected to procure fighter jets and multi-role aircraft, naval vessels, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Over the past (review) period, Angola’s defence expenditure has registered a growth rate of 17.95%, increasing from $3.5 billion in2010 to $6.8 billion in 2014,” reads a summary of the key findings of the market analysis report.
The report comes a month after the Angolan defence ministry announced plans to acquire new helicopters, navy vessels and weapons for ground troops. The new hardware will be operated by pilots and experts who have completed their respective training programmes in Russia, Cuba and Brazil. The Air Force has a pending order for 12 Sukhoi Su-30MK fighter jets and expects large quantities of military equipment ordered last year from Russia in a $1 billion arms deal.
The Air Force in January 2013 received the first three of six Embraer Super Tucano light attack/trainer aircraft from Brazil.
The Angolan Navy will also receive seven Macae-class patrol boats from Brazil. Four of these will be built in Brazil and the other three in Angola. There have also been rumours that the navy plans to acquire a second-hand aircraft carrier from Spain or Italy.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Angolan defence spending for 2013 stood at $6.5 billion, a 36 per cent increase from the previous year. By 2013 rankings, Angola’s defence expenditure ranked second in Africa after top defence spender Algeria. However, Angola is now the top defence spender in Sub-Saharan Africa after surpassing South Africa in the 2013 rankings.
An analysis of recent statements made by top Angolan military commanders and government officials suggest that Angola’s defence spending is also being driven by its new commitment to support United Nations peacekeeping operations across Africa.
Addressing a peace building seminar in the capital Luanda, Foreign Minister Georges Chikoti said the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) will be deploying 1 800 peacekeepers to the Central Africa Republic (CAR) where the force will use lessons learned from fighting the 27 year-long civil war against the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) rebels to bring peace.
“We plan to use our war experience to promote peace (in Africa) and other parts of the globe. For the first time we are sending Angolan troops to the Central African Republic (CAR) to join the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping forces there,” Chikoti said.
Angolan Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Sachipengo Nunda also told delegates who attended the 23rd commemoration of the establishment of the unified army in Luanda that the army is satisfied that the national security situation remains peaceful and stable.
He said it is now focused on acquiring and developing the operational capabilities that will enable the FAA to deploy more troops to African-Union and UN peacekeeping operations on the continent.
“We are creating the necessary conditions to enable the Angolan staff to support UN peacekeeping missions,” Nunda said. However, the Angolan army has vast experience in foreign military operations.
In the past decade, the FAA has successfully intervened militarily to restore security in neighbours Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Guinea Bissau to end cycles of often chaotic military coups and armed rebellions.