Spain Military - 2021


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Military and security forces

Spanish Armed Forces: Army (Ejercito de Tierra), Spanish Navy (Armada Espanola, AE, includes Marine Corps), Spanish Air Force (Ejercito del Aire Espanola, EdA); Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) (2021)

note: the Civil Guard is a military force with police duties (including coast guard) under both the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of the Interior; it also responds to the needs of the Ministry of Finance

Military expenditures

1.17% of GDP (2020 est.)

0.91% of GDP (2019)

0.93% of GDP (2018)

0.91% of GDP (2017)

0.81% of GDP (2016)

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Spanish Armed Forces have approximately 120,000 active duty troops (75,000 Army; 25,000 Navy, inc about 5,000 marines; 20,000 Air Force); 80,000 Guardia Civil (2021)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the inventory of the Spanish military is comprised of domestically-produced and imported Western weapons systems; France, Germany, and the US are the leading suppliers of military hardware since 2010; Spain's defense industry manufactures land, air, and sea weapons systems and is integrated within the European defense-industrial sector (2020)

Military deployments

approximately 200 Iraq (training mission, counter-ISIS coalition); 350 Latvia (NATO); 625 Lebanon (UNIFIL); approximately 400 Mali (EUTM); 150 Turkey (NATO) (2021)

Military service age and obligation

18-26 years of age for voluntary military service by a Spanish citizen or legal immigrant, 2-3 year obligation; women allowed to serve in all SAF branches, including combat units; no conscription (abolished 2001), but Spanish Government retains right to mobilize citizens 19-25 years of age in a national emergency (2019)

Military - note

Spain joined NATO in 1982, but refrained from participating in the integrated military structure until 1996

NOTE: The information regarding Spain 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 Spain 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Spain 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.