Army of the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (FAE) has since its independence in 1971 invested in one of the world’s most modern military defenses. The country has been involved in a number of conflicts, partly by sending peacekeeping forces and partly by fighting forces in war participation.

24-month selective military service for men was introduced in 2014, while nine months of first-time service for women are voluntary.

The Federation’s common defense was established in 1976, but some of the emirates still have their own forces, most of them Dubai. The total strength of the United Arab Emirates is 63,000 active personnel. Several countries have military forces stationed in the United Arab Emirates. The Emirates itself has built up its forces, including mercenaries, especially from countries in South America. For example, soldiers from Colombia are deployed to the United Arab Emirates in the war in Yemen.

The Defense Branches have a joint aircraft force consisting of 23 light attack aircraft, six reconnaissance aircraft, 15 light transport aircraft and 145 helicopters, of which 28 combat helicopters of the Apache type.

Army of the United Arab Emirates


The army has a workforce of 44,000 active personnel. Materials include 385 tanks (340 Leclerc and 45 AMX-30 ), 76 lightweight Scorpion- type tanks, 73 clearing wagons, 405 storm tanks, 928 armored personnel vehicles, 20 armored fighters, and 223 self-propelled artillery, including 42 self-propelled artillery. In addition, the Army has heavy artillery, short-range ballistic and conventional warheads, short-range air defense missiles, light-air artillery, and medium- duty drones.

Air Force

The Air Force has a workforce of 4,500 active personnel. Material includes 137 fighter aircraft (78 F-16 and 59 Mirage 2000 ), two AEW & C aircraft, seven reconnaissance aircraft, three A330 MRTT tankers, 23 transport aircraft, 79 training aircraft (of which 12 Hawk can also be used as light fighter aircraft), and 25 helicopters. In addition, air force heavy drones, combat drones of a Predator, and anti-aircraft missiles with medium range.

The Navy

The Navy has a workforce of 2,500 active personnel. The fleet includes one frigate, ten corvettes, 32 patrol vessels, two minesweepers, 29 landings, and three logistics and auxiliary vessels.

President Garden

The Presidential Guard has a workforce of 12,000 active personnel. Materials include 50 Leclerc tanks and 290 storm tanks.

Operations abroad

The United Arab Emirates has participated in many military operations abroad, including the liberation of Kuwait (the Gulf War) in 1991, the NATO operation in Afghanistan (ISAF) and the multinational campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Operation Inherent Resolve). In addition, the country participated with fighter jets and special soldiers during the Libya war in 2011, and with ground forces during the 2015 Yemen war.

In 2018, the United Arab Emirates participated in Operation Restoring Hope, deploying 1,000 personnel and including naval vessels, helicopters and drones in Eritrea, 3,000 personnel and many other tanks and helicopters in Yemen, and fighters in Saudi Arabia.