Country Listing

Jordan Table of Contents



Armed Forces: In 1988 armed forces totaled about 85,300; components were army, 74,000; navy, 300; and air force, 11,000. National Service Law of 1976 required two years' service by males at age eighteen or when education completed; liberal exemptions granted for medical or compassionate reasons.

Major Tactical Military Units: Army had two armored divisions, two mechanized divisions (each division had three brigades), a Royal Guards Brigade, a Special Forces airborne brigade, and independent artillery and air defense battalions. Air force had four fighter ground-attack squadrons, two fighter squadrons, one advanced training squadron with backup combat potential, one transport squadron, and four helicopter squadrons. Navy, an integral part of army with coast guard mission, operated five coastal patrol boats in Gulf of Aqaba; three larger armed craft ordered in 1987.

Major Equipment: Bulk of armored vehicles, artillery, and antitank missiles provided by United States; additional tanks from Britain; tactical air defense missiles from Soviet Union; fixed Hawk air defense missiles from United States. Combat aircraft consisted of newer French-manufactured Mirages and older United States F-5s.

National Security Costs: Defense budget of JD256 million (US$763 million) in 1988, although not all assistance from Arab states--mainly Saudi Arabia--recorded in budget. Defense budget constituted 22 percent of total government spending in 1987.

Internal Security Forces: National police, known as Public Security Force, estimated to total 4,000 in 1988, under Ministry of Interior in peacetime but subordinated to Ministry of Defense in event of war. Internal and external security responsibility of General Intelligence Directorate, civilian agency headed by senior army officer reporting directly to prime minister and King Hussein.

Data as of December 1989