Estonia Military - 2023


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Military and security forces

Estonian Defense Forces: Land Forces, Navy, Air Force, Estonian Defense League (Reserves)

Ministry of Interior: Police, Border Guard Board, Internal Security Service (2023)

Military expenditures

2.7% of GDP (2023 est.)

2.2% of GDP (2022 est.)

2% of GDP (2021)

2.3% of GDP (2020)

2% of GDP (2019)

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 7,000 active-duty personnel; approximately 15,000 Defense League (2023)

note: the Estonian Defense Forces rely largely on reservists who have completed compulsory conscription in the previous 10 years to fill out its active duty and Territorial Defense units during a crisis; there are more than 40,000 trained reservists and approximately 230,000 Estonians are enrolled in the mobilization registry 

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Estonian military has a mix of Soviet-era and some more modern equipment, mostly from western European suppliers, as well as Israel, South Korea, and the US (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18-27 for compulsory military or governmental service for men; conscript service requirement 8-11 months depending on education; non-commissioned officers, reserve officers, and specialists serve 11 months; women can volunteer, and as of 2018 could serve in any military branch (2023)

note 1: conscripts comprise approximately 3,000-3,300 of the Estonian military's 7,000 active-duty personnel and serve in all branches, except for the Air Force; after conscript service, reservists are called up for training every 5 years; Estonia has had conscription since 1991

note 2: in 2020, women comprised about 10% of the full-time professional military force

Military - note

Estonia became a member of NATO in 2004

since 2017, Estonia has hosted a UK-led multi-national NATO ground force battlegroup as part of the Alliance’s Enhanced Forward Presence initiative; NATO has provided air protection for Estonia since 2004 through its Air Policing mission; NATO member countries that possess air combat capabilities voluntarily contribute to the mission on 4-month rotations; NATO fighter aircraft have been hosted at Estonia’s Ämari Air Base since 2014 (2023)

NOTE: The information regarding Estonia 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 Estonia 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Estonia 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.