Royal Brunei Armed Forces

Royal Brunei Armed Forces
Angkatan Bersenjata Diraja Brunei
Founded 31 May 1961
Current form 1 January 1984
Service branches Royal Brunei Land Forces
Royal Brunei Air Force
Royal Brunei Navy
Training Institute
Headquarters Bolkiah Garrison
Supreme Commander Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
Minister of Defence Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
Chief of Defense Major General Mohammad Tawih Abdullah
Military age 18 and over
Available for
military service
108,356 males, age 16-49,
110,153 females, age 16-49
Fit for
military service
92,543 males, age 16-49,
95,301 females, age 16-49
Reaching military
age annually
3,460 males,
3,399 females
Percent of GDP 4.5% (2006)
Foreign suppliers  Australia
 United Kingdom
 United States

The Royal Brunei Armed Forces was formed on 31 May 1961. Known as the Askar Melayu Brunei, (Brunei Malay Regiment in Malay) it was honoured with the royal title on 31 May 1965, when the word 'Diraja' (Royal in Malay) was added to the title. It was then known as Askar Melayu Diraja Brunei, (Royal Brunei Malay Regiment). Since Independence Day, 1 January 1984, the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment has been renamed as the Angkatan Bersenjata Diraja Brunei (Royal Brunei Armed Forces in Malay).[1]

Only Brunei citizens of the Malay ethnicity (Bumiputera) are allowed to enlist in the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.[2] The Malay ethnicity comprises the Belait, Bisaya, Brunei, Dusun, Kedayan, Murut, and Tutong indigenous races as defined in the Brunei constitution.[3] Military service is not compulsory for any segment of the population; there is no conscription.

The Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) use a wide range of foreign equipment, with a large percentage originating from the United Kingdom, France/Europe and the United States. The Royal Brunei Land Forces is the largest of the armed services, with a relatively small air force and navy. The Bruneian military lacks any recent combat experience but has been deployed regionally in humanitarian and peacekeeping missions. Brunei also has extensive military relations with Singapore. On 31 May 2011, Royal Brunei Armed Forces reached its golden jubilee.

Role and Organisation

The Role of Royal Brunei Armed Forces is to:[1]

The Royal Brunei Armed Forces is divided into four branches:[4]

List of the RBAF Commanders from 1984 till today

Royal Brunei Land Forces

The Royal Brunei Land Forces is a brigade sized formation that consists of three battalions and a support battalion. The role of the Royal Brunei Land Forces is to maintain the security of Brunei and to defend the sovereignty of the country. Its main responsibility is to oppose any threat from within or outside the country and to maintain peace and security in the country.[5]

Royal Brunei Air Force

Ministry of Defence of Brunei

The Royal Brunei Air Force is a small, mainly helicopter-based force which is tasked with supporting the other branches of the armed services and defending Bruneian air space. It was established in 1965 and consists of a range of helicopters, including: 10 Bell 212 and 4 Sikorsky S-70. The Bell 212s are to be replaced between 2013–15 by 12 Sikorsky S-70i.[6]

The Royal Brunei Air Force fixed-wing inventory is limited to around 4 Pilatus PC-7 training aircraft and Airbus CN-235 transport aircraft.[7] On 14 July 2014, the Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces announced plans to order the C-130J in the near future.[8] On 7 October 2014, Brunei purchased a single C-130J with spare parts and logistic support for 343 million dollars.

Royal Brunei Navy

Main article: Royal Brunei Navy

The Royal Brunei Navy (Malay: Tentera Laut Diraja Brunei, abbreviated TLDB) is the naval defence force of Brunei Darrussalam. It is a small but relatively well-equipped force whose main responsibility is to conduct search and rescue missions and to deter and defend the Brunei waters against attack mounted by sea borne forces.[9]

Support Services

The Support Services Royal Brunei Armed Forces had the responsibility of providing support services to units in the RBAF in all aspects pertaining to their administration, security, health, logistics, communication, transportation and technical equipment service support to all units in the Royal Brunei Armed Forces. The Support Services or the Royal Brunei Armed Forces also worked closely with other units in the Royal Brunei Armed Forces to undergo and help co-ordinate military training and operations

As part of the reorganisation of the RBAF, the Support Services was disbanded in early 2009 and its various units were relocated. .[10]

Training Institute

The Training Institute of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces is also known as the Military Training Institution. It provides basic military training to all new recruits to the Royal Brunei Armed Forces. Other military courses are also offered and conducted in the institution to personnel of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.[11]

See also


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