Country Listing

Nicaragua Table of Contents



Armed Forces: In 1993 consisted of Sandinista People's Army (EPS), with ground, air, and small naval elements. Reduced to 15,200 personnel from peak strength of 97,000 during 1980s. Mandatory military service and reserve and militia forces eliminated in 1990. EPS nominally subordinate to civilian authority but in practice enjoys substantial autonomy within political system; maintains strong links to FSLN.

Major military Units: 13,500-member army with ground forces organized into six regional commands; 500-member naval element with sixteen patrol boats; and 1,200 member air element organized into one squadron.

Military Equipment: Most weaponry supplied by former Soviet Union, with some older items purchased from United States prior to 1979. Some naval craft acquired from People's Democratic Republic of Korea.

Defense Budget: Estimated at US$210 million in 1993, about 14 percent of GDP.

Internal Security Forces: 11,000-member National Police, formerly Sandinista Police, under Ministry of Government.

Data as of December 1993