None of these five military forces reaches 8,000 active soldiers

These are the five smallest armies in the NATO, two of them in a zone of high tension

NATO is a defensive military organization made up of a total of 31 countries. The best known are the most powerful, like the USA.

The firearms used by the Pontifical Swiss Guard, the smallest army in the world
LKOV Valuk: the Slovenian 'relative' of the Spanish BMR delivered to the Ukrainian Army

However, in NATO there are also small countries that have very small armed forces. There is even a country that doesn't even have an armed force: Iceland. Here we are going to see some data on the military strength of the five smallest countries in the Alliance, two of which (Latvia and Estonia) are in a zone of maximum tension as they have borders with Belarus and Russia . For the data indicated below, "The Military Balance 2023" of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) has been taken as a reference.

Soldiers of the Luxembourg Army (Photo: Lëtzebuerger Arméi).

1. Luxembourg

Military force personnel: 1,010 (410 in the Army and 600 in the Gendarmerie). It is one of the founding countries of NATO, which is why it has belonged to the organization since April 4, 1949. The combat vehicles of its land force are limited to 48 armored tactical vehicles ATF Dingo. It has a small Air Force with one Airbus A400M (purchased and operated jointly with Belgium) and two Airbus H145M helicopters.

Soldiers from the Army of Montenegro next to an Achleitner RCV Survivor (Photo: Kopnene Snage).

2. Montenegro

Personnel of its military force: 2,350 (Army: 1,275; Navy: 350: Air Force: 225; others: 500). Its ground combat vehicles are limited to 8 Serbian-sourced BOV M-86 armored vehicles, 4 Austrian Achleitner RCV Survivor tactical vehicles, and 20 US-sourced Oshkosh JLTVs. Its Navy has two small patrol boats of Yugoslav origin and a logistics ship. Their Air Force only has helicopters: 16 Bell 412EP, 2 Bell 412EPI, 13 Gazelles and 2 Bell 505.

3. Slovenia

Personnel of its military force: 6,400 , all of them framed in the only branch: the Army, on which its river force and its air force also depend. This country has been part of NATO since March 29, 2004. Its ground force has 14 M-84A4 Sniper tanks (Yugoslav variant of the Soviet T-72), plus another 32 in storage; 85 LKOV Valuk 6x6 armored personnel carriers (derived from the Finnish Patria) and 30 Svarun 8×8 (also derived from the Patria); and 38 Oskosh JLTV. Its river force has 2 patrol boats, and its air force has 9 Pilatus PC-9 turboprops (used as attack aircraft), one L-410 Turbolet transport plane, a Falcon 2000EX business jet, 6 Pilatus PC-6 transport planes, 4 Eurocopter AS532 Cougar medium helicopters, 8 Bell 412 medium helicopters and 4 Bell 206 light helicopters.

Latvian Army soldiers during a military parade (Photo: Latvijas Armija).

4. Latvia

Military force personnel: 6,600 (Army: 1,800; Navy: 500; Air Force: 500; General Staff: 2,300; National Guard: 1,200; others: 300). Latvia has been a member of NATO since March 29, 2004. Its ground combat vehicles are 3 T-55 tanks, 170 FV107 Scimitar reconnaissance vehicles, 8 Patria 6×6 armored vehicles and 59 self-propelled howitzers M109A5ÖE. Its Navy is made up of 5 patrol boats, 4 anti-mine ships and a logistic support ship. His Air Force has an old An-2 Colt plane of Soviet origin, 3 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters (recently received) and two Pelegrin Tarragon training planes.

Soldiers of the Estonian Army (Photo: Eesti Kaitsevägi).

5. Estonia

Personnel of its military force: 7,200 (Army: 4,100; Navy: 400; Air Force: 400; others: 2,300). The country has been a member of NATO since March 29, 2004. Its land force has been improving considerably in recent years, currently with 44 CV9035EE infantry fighting vehicles, 56 XA- 180 Sisu and 80 XA-188 Sisu (both derived from the Finnish Patria 6x6) and 6 South Korean K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers. Its Navy has 4 anti-mine vessels and 6 patrol boats. Its Air Force has 2 Polish M28 Skytruck transport planes, a Czech Aero L-39C advanced trainer plane and 3 small Robinson R44 helicopters.


Main photo: Latvijas Armija. A Latvian Army soldier with a Heckler & Koch G-36 assault rifle during maneuvers.

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