Country Listing

Spain Table of Contents



In spite of new procurement programs, introduced in the mid-1980s, arms and equipment were not in sufficient supply, and they were not up to the standards of other NATO armies. The inventory of medium tanks was made up of nearly 700 United States models dating back to the Korean War, as well as about 300 AMX-30s of French design but manufactured mostly in Spain between 1974 and 1983. Although the military felt that it was essential to adopt a new main battle tank for the 1990s, economic considerations led to a postponement of the decision and the upgrading of the AMX-30s with new West German-designed diesel engines and transmissions, reactive armor panels, and laser firecontrol systems.

Armored troop carriers included about 1,200 American-made M-113s as well as AML-60s and AML-90s of French design. The Spanish army was in the process of being equipped with more than 1,200 BMRs, a six-wheeled armored vehicle manufactured in Spain under French license. A variety of towed and self-propelled artillery was available, ranging from 105mm to 203mm guns and howitzers. The main antitank weapons were recoilless rifles; 88.9mm rocket launchers; Milan, Cobra, and Dragon missiles; and a small number of TOW (tube-launched, optically tracked, wireguided ) and HOT (high subsonic, optically guided, tube-launched) antitank missile systems. A considerable quantity of additional antitank missiles and rocket launchers was on order. The army aircraft inventory included about 180 helicopters, about 40 of which were armed with 20mm guns or HOT antitank missiles (see table 16, Appendix).

The air defense of ground forces depended largely on outdated Bofors guns and on aging Hawk and Nike missiles. As of 1987, a start had been made on overcoming deficiencies in this area by acquiring French Roland missiles, to be mounted on AMX-30 chassis, and Italian Aspide missiles for fixed defense.

Data as of December 1988