Country Listing

Libya Table of Contents



Armed Forces: In 1986 military manpower estimated at over 90,000; components were army (over 70,000), air force (10,000), and navy (6,500). Compulsory Military Service Statute of 1978 made all eligible males between ages of seventeen and thirty-five subject to draft commitment of three years of active service in army or four years in air force or navy. A 1984 statute mandated compulsory military training for all Libyans coming of age, whether male or female, to achieve total mobilization of population in event of national emergency. Law strengthened People's Militia (formerly known as Popular Resistance Force) into 45,000-person paramilitary force. All forces were under control of Qadhafi in his role as commander in chief of military establishment.

Police: Civil force, under Secretariat of the Interior, known after 1985 as People's Security Force (formerly known as Police at the Service of the People and the Revolution). Total number of personnel not available 1987.

Major Tactical Military Units: In 1987 army composed of twenty armored battalions, thirty mechanized infantry battalions, ten artillery battalions, two special forces groups comprising ten paratroop battalions, and eight air defense battalions. Air force organized into one medium bomber squadron, three fighterinterceptor squadrons, five forward ground attack squadrons, one counterinsurgency squadron, nine helicopter squadrons, and three air defense brigades. Although navy configured to carry out essentially coast guard role, inventory included six Soviet- built submarines.

Major Equipment Suppliers: Between 1980 and 1985, Soviet Union leading supplier of military equipment to Libya (US$4.6 billion) followed by Czechoslovakia (US$875 million), Italy (US$850 million), France (US$725 million), and People's Republic of China (US$320 million). In early 1987, however, Soviet deliveries reportedly curtailed or cut off. Policy of refusing to ship arms to Libya was agreed to in Tokyo Declaration on International Terrorism signed in 1986 by United States, Canada, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), Britain, Italy, France, and Japan. In 1987, Libya turning to peripheral suppliers such as Greece, Brazil, and Yugoslavia.

Military Costs: According to Libyan figures, 1984 defense budget was LD340 million, which constituted 23.6 percent of total budget. In 1985, defense expenditures omitted entirely from budget. According to United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Libyan defense spending in 1985 estimated at $5.1 billion.

Data as of 1987