The Congolese Republican Army (CRA, fr. Armée républicaine congolaise) is one of the four branches of the Armed Forces of the Congolese Republic. The Republican Army is currently 100.000 men strong and is the biggest branch of the Armed Forces which have a total manpower of 159.000.
The majority of the equipment which was all the equipment of the eastern german NVA including MBTs, Artillery, Air-Defense and even Ballistic Missiles was shipped into the country during the 2nd congolese civil war is still in use, although completely refurbished and fitted with the latest upgrades. Some of the older equipment was sold to other countries and with the available money, newer equipment was bought which comes from russian, belarus and ukraine storage that is retired there. All equipment is fitted with the latest upgrades, often upgrades of various countries are combined for an ultimate upgrade and done as a multi-national project.
The special forces use western standard gear, either bought or captured from warzones by allies and donated to the CRA by countries like Mexico or Syria.
The congolese govt and ministry of defense announched a complete modernization and reform of the Armed Forces in February 2000 which will last until 2014. Every single bit of hardware will be modernized, re-organization of all structures, new doctrine for all branches and more efficient training are the goals.
In July 2014 the ministry of defense announced that the military reform is completed and all goals were reached with the extensive help of the Russian Federation and China.
Equipment in 2000
851 BMP-1P, 24 BMP-2, 100 BRDM-2, 260 BTR-60PA, 2000 BTR-60PB, 885 BTR-70, 170 PT-76B, 1766 T-55/A, 362 VT-55, 254 T-72, 31 T-72M, 136 T-72M1
After the modernization in 2014
789 BMP-1P: 62 were sold to Syria in favour for BMP-2Ds from Poland which should be originally sold to Angola.
24 BMP-2, 62 BMP-2D: 62 BMP-2D were additionally bought from Poland who retired them.
2000 BTR-60PB: Only the PB variants remains in service, all 260 PA variants along with 170 PT-76B were sold to Syria.
513 T-55A: 1253 sold, mostly the older T-55 variant, in favour of T-64B and T-72M1 tanks from Russia and Finland.
206 T-72M1: 70 additional T-72M1 were bought from Finland who retired them.
300 T-64B: Late production (after 1985) T-64B were bought from Russia who retired them and originally planned to scrap them.
To be continued...