Italy Military - 2021


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Military and security forces

Italian Armed Forces: Army (Esercito Italiano, EI), Navy (Marina Militare Italiana, MMI; includes aviation, marines), Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana, AMI); Carabinieri Corps (Arma dei Carabinieri, CC) (2021)

note(s): the Carabinieri is the national gendarmerie; for its civil police functions, the Carabinieri falls under the control of the Ministry of the Interior; the Financial Guard (Guardia di Finanza) under the Ministry of Economy and Finance is a force with military status and nationwide remit for financial crime investigations, including narcotics trafficking, smuggling, and illegal immigration

Military expenditures

1.39% of GDP (2020 est.)

1.18% of GDP (2019)

1.23% of GDP (2018)

1.2% of GDP (2017)

1.18% of GDP (2016)

country comparison to the world: 99

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Italian Armed Forces have approximately 170,000 active personnel (100,000 Army; 30,000 Navy; 40,000 Air Force); approximately 107,000 Carabinieri (2020)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Italian Armed Forces' inventory includes a mix of domestically-produced, jointly-produced, and imported European and US weapons systems; the US is the leading supplier of weapons to Italy since 2010, followed by Germany; the Italian defense industry is capable of producing equipment across all the military domains with particular strengths in naval vessels and aircraft; it also participates in joint development and production of advanced weapons systems with other European countries and the US (2020)

Military deployments

120 Djibouti; 1,100 Middle East/Iraq/Kuwait (NATO, counter-ISIS campaign, European Assistance Mission Iraq); 630 Kosovo (NATO/KFOR); 200 Latvia (NATO); 1,200 Lebanon (UNIFIL); 400 Libya; 290 Niger; 150 Somalia (EUTM) (2021)

Military service age and obligation

18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; women may serve in any military branch; Italian citizenship required; 1-year service obligation; conscription abolished 2004 (2019)

Military - note

Italy 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

NOTE: The information regarding Italy on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Italy 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Italy 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.