Military of the Maldives

Military of the Maldives

National Defence Force

The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) is the combined security organisation responsible for defending the security and sovereignty of the Maldives, having the primary task of being responsible for attending to all internal and external security needs of the Maldives, including the protection of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the maintenance of peace and security.

The MNDF component branches are the Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Special Forces, Service Corps and the Corps of Engineers.

Coast Guard

As a water-bound nation much of the security concerns lie at sea. Almost 99% of the country is covered by sea and the remaining 1% land is scattered over an area of 800 km (497 mi) × 120 km (75 mi), with the largest island being not more than 8 km2 (3 sq mi). Therefore the duties assigned to the MNDF of maintaining surveillance over Maldives' waters and providing protection against foreign intruders poaching in the EEZ and territorial waters, are immense tasks from both logistical and economic view points. Hence, for carrying out these functions, it is the Coast Guard that plays a vital role. To provide timely security its patrol boats are stationed at various MNDF Regional Headquarters.

Coast Guard is also assigned to respond to the maritime distress calls and to conduct search and rescue operations in a timely manner. Maritime pollution control exercises are conducted regularly on an annual basis for familiarisation and handling of such hazardous situations.

Coast Guards also undertake armed sea transport of troops and military equipment around the country.

Marine Corps

Marine Corps is the frontline ground combat force of the MNDF. Marine Corps are established at various strategic locations and vulnerable areas to enhance the force projection to provide their services throughout the country. It is a lethal and a mobile force, with a high physical strength and combat capability.

The primary task of the Marine Corps is to protect the land territory of the country by defending the critical infrastructure and the key state installations of the state and importantly acting as a standby force to react on ‘Be Prepared Missions’.

Special Forces


The Special Forces Team is the elite Special Forces and Airborne unit of the MNDF capable of planning and conducting a broad range of special operations across the operational continuum. They are specialized in carrying unconventional warfare, counter-terrorism, counter insurgency, hostage rescues operations.