United States M1 Abraham tanks during Trident Juncture

NATO Defence Spending: Which Member Countries Put Most Towards Equipment?

The alliance has released its latest data estimates for member nations.

United States M1 Abraham tanks during Trident Juncture

The United Kingdom ranks 16th out of all NATO members, when it comes to the amount of defence outlay which goes towards equipment.

Latest NATO data estimates suggest 23% of the UK's military spending goes towards kit, putting the country behind the likes of France, Italy, Spain and the United States in the list.

Eighteen NATO members meet the alliance's guideline spend of 20% of defence outlay on equipment, with Luxembourg topping the chart with 52.5% going on kit.

Meanwhile, the number of NATO nations meeting or exceeding the alliance's target of spending 2% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on defence has increased, according to the latest official estimates.

The UK is placed fourth on that list, estimated at spending 2.32% of GDP on defence for 2020.

The latest data also suggest there has been an 11.6% increase in 'major equipment' spend since last year, across NATO Europe and Canada.

NATO defence equipment spend graph 160321 CREDIT NATO
NATO's latest estimates for equipment spending, as a share of defence outlay (Picture: NATO).

The NATO Secretary General has said the alliance's spending increased in 2020 for the sixth consecutive year.

Presenting his annual report, Jens Stoltenberg said: "Despite the economic effect of COVID-19, 2020 was the sixth consecutive year of increase in defence spending across EU allies and Canada, with an increase in real terms in 2020 of 3.9%."

NATO is made up of 30 countries, an increase of one after the Republic of North Macedonia joined in 2020.

Iceland, which does not have any armed forces, does not feature in the NATO estimate charts.

Formed in the aftermath of the Second World War, NATO's original goals were to secure peace in Europe, promote cooperation among its members and to counter the threat posed by the USSR, also known as the Soviet Union.

Cover image: US Department of Defense.