Portugal Military - 2023


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Military and security forces

Portuguese Armed Forces: Portuguese Army (Exercito Portuguesa), Portuguese Navy (Marinha Portuguesa; includes Marine Corps), Portuguese Air Force (Forca Aerea Portuguesa, FAP); National Republican Guard (Guarda Nacional Republicana, GNR) (2023)

note: the Ministries of Internal Administration and Justice have primary responsibility for internal security; the Ministry of Internal Administration oversees the Foreigners and Borders Service, Public Security Police, and GNR; the Foreigners and Borders Service has jurisdiction over immigration and border matters, the Public Security Police has jurisdiction in cities, and the GNR has jurisdiction in rural areas; the GNR is a national gendarmerie force comprised of military personnel with law enforcement, internal security, civil defense, disaster response, and coast guard duties; it is responsible to both the Ministry of Internal Administration and to the Ministry of National Defense; it is not part of the Armed Forces, but may be placed under the operational command of the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces in the event of a national emergency; the GNR describes itself as a hinge between the Armed Forces and the police forces and other security services

Military expenditures

1.5% of GDP (2023 est.)

1.4% of GDP (2022 est.)

1.5% of GDP (2021)

1.4% of GDP (2020)

1.4% of GDP (2019)

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 27,000 active duty personnel (14,000 Army; 7,000 Navy, including about 1,000 marines; 6,000 Air Force); 24,500 National Republican Guard (military personnel) (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the military's inventory includes mostly European- and US-origin weapons systems along with a smaller mix of domestically produced equipment; in recent years, leading foreign suppliers have included Germany and the US; Portugal's defense industry is primarily focused on shipbuilding (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18-30 years of age for voluntary or contract military service; no compulsory military service (abolished 2004) but conscription possible if insufficient volunteers available; women serve in the armed forces but are prohibited from serving in some combatant specialties; contract service lasts for an initial period of 2-6 years, and can be extended to a maximum of 20 years of service; initial voluntary military service lasts 12 months; reserve obligation to age 35 (2023)

note: as of 2019, women made up about 12% of the military's full-time personnel

Military deployments

200 Central African Republic (MINUSCA/EUTM); approximately 200 Lithuania (NATO); approximately 230 Romania (NATO) (2023)

note 1: in 2021, Portugal deployed about 80 troops to Mozambique to assist with the EU training mission

note 2: in response to Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, some NATO countries, including Portugal, have sent additional troops to the battlegroups deployed in NATO territory in eastern Europe

note 3: Portugal also participates in several NATO maritime and air policing operations, as well as some EU international missions

Military - note

Portugal is a member of NATO and was one of the original 12 countries to sign the North Atlantic Treaty (also known as the Washington Treaty) in 1949 (2023)

NOTE: The information regarding Portugal on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Portugal 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Portugal 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.