ARMS PRODUCTION AND MILITARY COOPERATION
During the 1970s some efforts were launched toward greater self-reliance
in military materiél, but little has resulted from these initiatives.
Although Libya has supplied weapons and equipment to other governments
in direct pursuit of its foreign policy, these weapons have been
from Soviet-supplied stocks in the vast Libyan inventory.
In 1978 Yugoslavia agreed to build a large plant in Libya to
manufacture ammunition and spare parts for Soviet weapons. In
early 1987, the extent to which this commitment was implemented
was unknown, but even repair and maintenance workshops have remained
wholly inadequate to service the Soviet-supplied equipment and
must be operated largely by foreign technicians. A plan to assemble
in Libya some of the SF-260 training planes acquired from Italy
did not materialize. Consequently, Libya's manufacturing capacity
remains limited to the production of basic quartermaster items,
uniforms, and some small arms and ammunition.
In addition to supplying arms to dissident and rebel forces in
several countries of Africa and other parts of the world, Libya
assisted friendly regimes with surplus equipment, but generally
not on a consistent or long-term basis. In the two years after
the Tripartite Agreement was signed with Ethiopia and the People's
Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen) in August 1981, Libyan
aid to Ethiopia in the form of weapons and financial backing amounted
to half of all Libya's international aid. Libya and Syria have
somewhat parallel aims in the Middle East, and Libya has financed
much of Syria's arms acquired directly from the Soviet Union.
Among African nations, Benin and Ghana have been recipients of
weapons and matériel, in part in recognition for voting with Libya
in international forums and in part because Libya has been permitted
to use them as transit and recruitment points for its activities
in other countries of Africa.
In late 1984, a five-year cooperation agreement was entered into
with Malta under which Libya was to provide a military training
team and helicopters and would consign some of its naval units
for maintenance in Maltese shipyards. A military agreement was
also concluded with Sudan in 1985 after the government of Jaafar
al Numayri was overthrown by a group less hostile to Libya. Libya
pledged to supply a quantity of trucks, trailers, and spares for
Soviet equipment already in the Sudanese inventory. In return,
the Libyans reportedly were permitted to set up a base in the
western region of Darfur where several hundred Libyan troops joined
with Chadian insurgents fighting to topple the Chadian government.
Although Sudan later claimed that it was severing these new ties
with Libya, as of late 1986 Libya reportedly had not fully evacuated
In spite of Libya's and Iran's differing goals and mutual suspicions,
Libya supported the Iranian Revolution and, unlike other Arab
regimes (apart from Syria), backed Iran in its war against Iraq.
Qadhafi has provided the Tehran government with T-55 tanks, antitank
and antiaircraft artillery, ammunition, and Scud missiles.
Data as of 1987