Military of Denmark

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Det Danske Forsvar
Image:Danske Forsvars logo.png
The joint badge:
Royal Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force.
Military manpower
(males age 15-49)
1,276,087 (2004 est.)
Fit for military service
(males age 15-49)
1,088,751 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures
Kroner figure (FY04)DKK:19,8 billion
Percent of GDP1.4% (2004)
Military structure (peace)
Air Force6,050
Home Guard155,000+
Military structure (wartime)
Army 45,000+
Air Force9,500
Home Guard155,000+

The armed forces of the Kingdom of Denmark, known as The Danish Defence (Danish: Det Danske Forsvar) is charged with the defense of the Kingdom of Denmark.

The Chief of Defence is the head of the Danish Armed Forces, and is head of the Defence Command which is managed by the Ministry of Defence. Constitutionally, the Commander-in-Chief is the head of state (Queen Margrethe II); practically, it is the Cabinet.

Denmark also has a concept of Total Defence.


[edit] Purpose and task

The purpose and task of the armed forces of Denmark is defined in Law no. 122 of February 27, 2001 and in force since March 1, 2001. It defines 3 purposes and 6 tasks.

Its primary purpose is to prevent conflicts and war, preserve the sovereignty of Denmark, secure the continuing existence and integrity of the independent Kingdom of Denmark and further a peaceful development in the world with respect to human rights.

Its primary tasks are; NATO participate in accordance with the strategy of the alliance, detect and repel any sovereignty violation of Danish territory (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), defence cooperation with non-NATO members, especially central- and East European countries, international missions in the area of conflict prevention, crises-control, humanitarian, peacemaking, peacekeeping, participate in Total Defence in cooperation with civilian resources and finally maintain a sizable force to execute these tasks at all times.

[edit] Defense budget

Since 1988, Danish defense budgets and security policy have been set by multi-year agreements supported by a wide parliamentary majority including government and opposition parties. However, public opposition to increases in defense spending – during a period when economic constraints require reduced spending for social welfare – has created differences among the political parties regarding a broadly acceptable level of new defense expenditure.

The latest Defence agreement ("Defence agreement 2005-2009") was signed June 10, 2004, and calls for a significant re-construction of the entire military. From now about 60% support structure and 40% combat operational capability, it is to be 40% support structure and 60% combat operational capability. E.g. more combat soldiers and less 'paper'-soldiers. The reaction speed is increased, with an entire brigade on standby readiness; the military retains the capability to continually deploy 2.000 soldiers in international service or 5.000 over a short time span. The standard mandatory conscription is modified. Generally this means lesser conscripts, lesser service time for them and only those who choose to will continue into the reaction force system.

[edit] Expenditures

The Danish military economy is the fifth largest single economy in the Danish Government (the 2005 Finance law), significantly less than that of the Ministry of Social Affairs (~100 billion DKK), Ministry of Employment (~90 billion DKK), Ministry of the Interior and Health (~50 billion DKK) and Ministry of Education (~30 billion DKK) and only slightly larger than that of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (~13 billion DKK). This list lists the complete expenditures for the Danish Ministry of Defence.

The Danish defence, counting all branches and all departments, itself has an income equal to about 1-5% of its expenditures, depending on the year. They are not deducted in this listing.

Approximately 95% of the budget goes directly to running the Danish military including the Home guard. Depending on year, 50-53% accounts for payment to personnel, roughly 14-21% on acquiring new material, 2-8% for larger ships, building projects or infrastructure and about 24-27% for others, including purchasing of goods, renting, maintenance, services and taxes.

The remaining 5% is special expenditures to NATO, branch shared expenditures, special services and civil structures, here in including running the Farvandsvæsen, Danish national rescue preparedness and the Militærnægteradministrationen.

Year Percentage of GNP Complete expenditures
(Ministry of Defence)
in millions of DKK
Year Percentage of GNP Complete expenditures
(Ministry of Defence)
in millions of DKK
1970  ?  ? 1990  ?  ?
1971  ?  ? 1991  ?  ?
1972  ?  ? 1992  ?  ?
1973  ?  ? 1993  ?  ?
1974  ?  ? 1994  ?  ?
1975  ?  ? 1995  ?  ?
1976 2,2% 5.910 1996 1.7% 17.012,6
1977 2,3% 6.390 1997 1,7% 17.615,1
1978 2,3% 7.082 1998 1,6% 18.221,4
1979 2,2% 7.525 1999 1.4% 17.384,9
1980 2,6% 9.545 2000 1,4% 17.496,5
1981 2,6% 10.612 2001 1,4% 18.310,4
1982 2,5% 11.836 2002 1,4% 18.665,9
1983 2,5% 12.783 2003 1.4% 18.857,9
1984 2,3% 13.163 2004 1,4% 19.841,3
1985 2,2% 13.355 2005 1,3% (expected) 19.156,9 (expected)
1986 2,0% 13.142 2006 na 20.372,7 (expected)
1987 2,1% 14.443 2007 na 19.723,4 (expected)
1988 2,2% 15.800 2008 na 19.613,1 (expected)
1989 2,1% 15.767 2009 na 19.086,1 (expected)


Denmark has a small and highly specialist military industry, thus rely mostly on foreign import, the vast majority of the equipment is imported from NATO- and the nordic countries.

[edit] Branches

1The Danish Home Guard is not under the Defence Command during peacetime, but directly under the Ministry of Defence, only in times of tension and war will the Defence Command assume command over the Home Guard.

[edit] Structure

[edit] Current Deployments

Denmark has deployed over 360 troops to Afghanistan since the 2001 war there. Denmark has also deployed approximately 550 troops to help Coalition forces in Iraq. Denmark has also 380 soldiers, who participate in KFOR.


[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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