Defence budget 2010
GDP 2009
Land area
Life expectancy
Population growth rate
5.4 million
Euros 3.3 billion (US$4.0 billion)
Euros 226 billion (US$275 billion)
42,400 sq kms (16,308 sq miles)
Copenhagen (Population 1 million)
76 years
0.3 per cent
Total Armed Forces  
Air Force
Joint Units and Staff
Home Guard

10,200 (including about 2,000 Conscripts)
3,200 (including about 200 conscripts)
3,250 (including about 150 conscripts)
6,000 (approx)
50,000 (approx)




Contact Details



Ministry of Defence
Holmens Kanal 42
DK-1060 Kobenhavn K

Conscripts serve for between 4 - 12 months




Army Strength: 10,200 (including about 6,000 conscripts)

Outline Army Structure:

In general terms Danish Army formations are grouped together under the overall framework of the Danish Division.

Operational force structure elements include:

Army Operational Command
Danish Divisional Command
Divisional Troops
1 Brigade (Professional)
2 Brigade (Response Force)
Special Forces (Jaeger Corps)
Training Group
Support Units
Army Materiel Command


Danish Army Structure

Divisional troops include:

1 x Standing Telegraph Battalion (Fredericia)
1 x Electronic Reconnaissance Company (Fredericia)
1 x Military Police Company - cadre (Aalborg)
1 x Engineer Battalion (Skive)
1 x Artillery Battery - target acquisition (Oksbøl)
1 x UAV Battery (Oksbøl)
1 x Air-defence Missile Battery (Varde)
1 x CIMIC Company (Vordingborg)
1 x Communications Unit and Communication Centre (Haderslev)

1 Brigade Structure

In the main this brigade is composed of professional soldiers and is dedicated to NATO at high readiness.

Brigade staff and brigade support company (Hadersley)
1 x Armoured Battalion (Holstebro)
1 x Mechanised Infantry Battalion (Hovelte)
1 x Reconnaissance Battalion (Slagelse)
1 x Light Reconnaissance Squadron (Bornholm)
1 x Logistics Battalion (Aalborg)
1 x Military Police Company (Aalborg)
1 x Armoured Engineer Company (Skive)
1 x Artillery Battery (Varde)

2 Brigade Structure

This brigade is composed mainly of personnel on response force contracts. 2 Brigade is also dedicated to NATO but at low readiness.

Brigade staff and brigade support company (Hadersley)
1 x Mechanised Infantry Battalion - cadre (Hovelte)
1 x Mechanised Infantry Battalion - cadre (Slagelse))
1 x Mechanised Infantry Battalion - cadre (Holstebro)
1 x Armoured Engineer Company - cadre (Skive)
1 x Artillery Battery - cadre (Varde)
1 x Logistics Battalion - cadre (Aalborg)
1 x Military Police Company - cadre (Aalborg)
1 x Light Reconnaissance Squadron - cadre (Bornholm)




Main Battle Tanks (MBT)

51 x Leopard 2A5

  40 x Leopard 1A5 (possibly active - probably 60 in store)
Reconnaissance (Recce) 30 x MOWAG Eagle (Wheeled)
Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicles (AIFV) 45 x CV 9035 III (being delivered)

Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC)

250 x M-113 (Tracked – possibly active - many more in store)

  118 x Pirhana III (Wheeled)
  85 x MOWAG Eagle IV (Wheeled - being delivered)
Self Propelled Artillery (SP ARTY) 24 x M-109 variants (probably 50 in store)
Towed Artillery 24 x 105 mm M-101 (estimate in service)
  80 x 155 mm M-114M-139 (in Store)
Multiple Rocket Launchers (MRL) 12 x 227 mm MLRS (in store)
Mortars (Mor) 100 x 120 mm Brandt (estimate)
  300 x 81 mm (estimate – includes about 50 x SP)
  50 x 60 mm (estimate)
Anti-Tank (Atk) 20 x TOW ATGW (with about 20 on M113 in store)
  500 x 84 mm Carl Gustav (estimate)
  5,000 x 84 mm AT-4 (estimate)
Low Level Air Defence (LLAD) 24 x Stinger (SAM – estimate in service)
Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) 6 x Sperwer (estimate)





Navy Strength: approximately 3,200 (including about 200 conscripts) 

Principal Units:

3 x Patrol Vessels (Corvettes)
  6 x Mine Countermeasures Vessels
10 x Smaller Patrol Vessels
  2 x Surveillance and Reconnaissance Vessels

Whilst having the ability to concentrate on littoral tasks the Danish Navy retains the operational capability to participate in NATO’s Standing Naval Forces. In addition, participation in the NATO Response Force is being prioritised.


Danish Navy outline structure


(1) Danish Task Group (DATG) is the coordinating HQ for combined and joint exercises/operations. In essence all Danish vessels can be assigned to the DATG.
(2) Special Forces (Frogmen Corps) consist of about 90 highly trained personnel.
(3) EOD – Explosive Ordnance Demolition Group.
(4) SRCC – Search and Rescue Coordination Centre.

1 Squadron assets

4 x Thetis Class offshore patrol vessels (Frederikshavn)
2 x Fishery protection vessels (Frederikshavn)
2 x Training vessels (Frederikshavn)
1 x Transport vessel (Frederikshavn)
3 x Ice breakers (Frederikshavn)
6 x Mk II units (Korsor)
2 x Surveillance vessels (Korsor)

2 Squadron assets

2 x Support vessels (Frederikshavn)
4 x Mine countermeasures vessels (Frederikshavn)
3 x Niel Juel Corvettes (Korsor)
10 x Standard Flex 300 vessels (Korsor)





Corvettes (FSG)

3 x Neil Juel

Patrol Craft Coastal (PCC)

4 x Barsoe


2 x Agdlek


2 x Diana

Patrol Craft Offshore (PCO)

4 x Thetis

Fast Patrol Craft (PFC)

8 x Flyvefisken

Mine Countermeasures (MHC)

4 x Flyvefisken


7 x Support Vessels

Naval Aviation

8 x Super Lynx Mk 90

Note: The Naval element of the Home Guard has 9 x patrol vessels



Air Force Strength: approximately 3,250 (including about 150 conscripts)

Outline Air Force Structure:

There are two major air force commands: Tactical Air Command and the Air Force Materiel Command.

Danish Air Force Commands


Danish Air Force - HQ Tactical Air Command

Operational combat aircraft (FGA) comprise 48 x F-16A/B Fighting Falcon from a total of 60. Of these aircraft eight are at high readiness, eight at lower readiness and both groups are designated for NATO operations.

There are both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft at high readiness and designated for NATO operations. The Royal Danish Air Force continues to participate in the Joint Strike Fighter project.

There is a NATO Air Defence Control Reporting Centre (CRC) based at Karup which coordinates information from four radar sites.


721 Sqn (Aalborg)

Lockheed C-130J, Canadair 604

722 Sqn (Karup)

EH101 Merlin

724 Sqn (Karup)

Hughes H500M, AS550C2 Fennec

726 Sqn (Aalborg)

Lockheed F-16A/B Fighting Falcon

727 Sqn (Skrydstrup)

Lockheed F-16A/B Fighting Falcon

730 Sqn (Skrydstrup)

Lockheed F-16A/B Fighting Falcon

Flying School (Karup)

Saab T 17 Supporter




Fighter Ground Attack (FGA) Approx 48 x F-16AM/F-16BM in service with some 22 in store
Transport (Tpt) 4 x C-130J-30 Hercules
  3 x Canadair CL-604
Training (Trg) 28 x T-17 SAAB Supporter
Helicopters (Hel) 8 x EH101 Merlin (6 more awaiting delivery)
  12 x AS 550C2 Fennec
  13 x Hughes H500M
Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV) 18 x B-Hunter
Air Launched Missiles (ALM) AMRAAM AIM-120 AAM
  Sidewinder AIM-9 AAM
  AGM-65 Maverick ASM
Surface to Air Missiles (SAM) 24 x Stinger SAM (estimate)



The Danish Home Guard (DHG) is a volunteer organisation can be mobilised to support the Armed Forces or the civilian authorities in either peace or war.

The DHG supports the armed forces with the following branches:

  • Army Home Guard

  • Naval Home Guard

  • Air Force Home Guard

  • Infrastructure Home Guard

The overall mission for the Home Guard is to reinforce and to support the Army, the Navy, and the Force in fulfilling their missions. Related to their overall mission, the common military tasks of the Home Guard are:

  • Surveillance and reporting

  • Guarding, securing, and protection activities

  • Limited involvement in combat operations

Latest figures suggest that the DHG has around 50,000 personnel with elements supporting the three armed services. About 3,500 are serving with infrastructure elements. Volunteers serve until the age of 50.

Note from the Danish Ministry of Defence:

“Denmark has since 1993 had an EU opt-out in the area of defence. The opt-out means that Denmark does not participate in EU decisions and actions which have defence implications. This includes participation in EU military operations and participation in EU military capability development efforts”.

(over platoon strength – 30 personnel. These are approximate figures)

NATO (ISAF) Afghanistan