Defence budget 2010
GDP 2009
Land area
Life expectancy
Population growth rate
Euros 450 million (US$550 million)
Euros 19.6 billion (US$24 billion)
9,200 sq kms (3,538 sq miles)
Nicosia (Population 195,000)
78 years
1.3 per cent
Total Armed Forces  
Army (National Guard)

Maritime Wing
Air Wing

10,000 (including 9,000 conscripts and 400 Maritime and Air Wing personnel) Possibly 50,000 ready reservists available
100 (approximate)
300 (approximate)


Conscripts serve for around 25 months.

Some 35,000 Turkish troops are stationed in the northern part of the island (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) and have been there since the invasion of 1974. In 1983 the United Nations Security Council Resolution 541 stated that the “attempt to create the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was legally invalid”.

Cyprus remains divided into Greek Cypriot and Turkish areas and the Greek Cypriot part of the island has membership of the European Union. A United Nations Peacekeeping Force (UNFICYP) with about 860 personnel is stationed along the buffer zone (Green Line) between the two communities.

There is considerable input from the mainland Greek Armed Forces (about 1,500 personnel) and possibly a slight ‘blurring’ of the command responsibilities between the Cypriot Government and the Greek Ministry of Defence in Athens. A Greek officer is generally the commander of the Cypriot National Guard and a number of the senior command and staff appointments are held by Greek military officers.

The UK has 1,600 personnel stationed on the island.

Contact Details



Ministry of Defence
4 Emm Roidi Street

Tel:  +357 2 303189
Fax: +357 2 362605



Greek Cypriot National Guard (GCNG) Land Operations Group

GCNG Strength: approximately 10,000 (including about 9,500 conscripts). Approximately 50,000 ready reservists.

Outline Structure:

2 x Divisional Headquarters
1 x Armoured Brigade
1 x Special Forces Group
2 x Combat/Logistic Support Brigades

This is a force that is heavily reliant on the mobilisation of reserves and it is debatable as to how many well trained, ready reserve would be available in an emergency. Probably about 60 per cent of the active GCNG soldiers are deployed along the ‘Green Line’ between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot areas.

Greek Cypriot National Guard (GCNG) Outline Structure

Formed reserve forces units include 6 x light infantry brigades each with 3 x infantry battalions and associated support.

Cypriot Armoured Brigade (Outline Organisation)

Cypriot Armoured Brigade Outline Organisation




Main Battle Tanks (MBT)

41 x T-80U

  100 x AMX-30
Reconnaissance (Recce) 15 x EE-3 Jacaranda (Wheeled)
  120-EE-9 Cascavel (Wheeled)
Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicles (AIFV) 40 x BMP-3 (Tracked)

Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC)

160 Leonadis (Tracked)

  112 x VAB variants (Wheeled)
Self Propelled Artillery (SP ARTY) 12 x 155 mm Mark F3
  12 x 155 mm Zuzana
Towed Artillery 70 x 105 mm M-56
  12 x 155 mm TR-F-1
Multiple Rocket Launchers (MRL) 18 x 128 mm M-63
Mortars (Mor) 100 x 120 mm (estimate)
  200 x 81 mm (estimate)
  20 x 107 mm (estimate)
Anti-Tank (Atk) 22 x HOT possibly 15 SP (ATGW)
  40 x Milan possibly 18 SP (ATGW)
  50 x 106 mm (RCL) (estimate)
  40 x EM-67 (RCL) (estimate)

Approx 1,500 rocket launchers (66 mm to 112 mm)

Low Level Air Defence (LLAD)

6 x TorM1 (SAM)


100 x SA-7B (SAM)


12 x Mistral/Atlas (SAM)

  18 x Mistral Manpads (SAM)
  12 x Aspide (SAM) (12 more on order)

24 x GDF-003 with Skyguard radar (AAA)


Approx 50-60 other 20 mm or 40 mm guns (AAA)




Maritime Wing Strength: approximately 100

Outline Maritime Wing Structure:

6 x Small coastal patrol vessels
1 x Coastal defence battery with 3 x Exocet MM-40 (SSM) launchers and 24 x missiles

This extremely small maritime unit is equipped for inshore patrolling and a basic search and rescue role. Main bases are at Limasol and Paphos.



Air Wing Strength:
approximately 300

Outline Air Wing Structure:

The role of the GCNF Aviation Wing is to provide aviation support to the land forces, and where necessary provide patrol duties (including maritime patrol) plus liaison and transport.

There are two main aviation bases:

449 Squadron – Lakatamia
5 x SA-342L, 2 x UH-1H and 2 x Bell 206L-3

450 Squadron – Paphos
1 x PC-9, 11 x Mi-35P and 1 x BN-2B

The Cyprus Police operates 1 x BN.2B and 2 x Bell 412SP from Larnica.




Transport (TPT)

1 x PC-9

  1 x BN-2B-21 Maritime Defender
Helicopters (Hel) 5 x SA-432L (some with HOT ATGW)
  2 x UH-1H
  1 x Bell 206L
  11 x Mi-35P Hind F (attack)