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Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    Spanish-made military equipment on display during annual Spanish Armed Forces Day parade, Valladolid, May 29, 1984
    Courtesy United States Department of Defense



    Armored vehicles at military garrison near Se
    Courtesy United States Department of Defense

    Spanish industry manufactured a significant share of the material requirements of the armed forces, notably light arms, vehicles, ships, and light transport aircraft. As a member of NATO, Spain had joined in the planning of several coproduction projects with other West European countries. Nearly 150 firms were engaged principally in defense production, and about 4,000 Spanish firms were linked in some way with the industry. Four large munitions manufacturers were directly controlled by the Ministry of Defense. A number of other major firms were part of the state holding company, the National Industrial Institute (Instituto Nacional de Industria--INI). A large group of purely private companies formed a third category. The ultimate intention of the Ministry of Defense was to transfer the four arms factories to the INI.

    According to a 1986 survey of firms doing business with the Ministry of Defense, the manufacture of electronics accounted for about 20 percent of Spanish defense production; military vehicles for about 14 percent, supply of arms for approximately 13.0 percent, naval construction for about 8.0 percent, and aircraft construction for approximately 6.0 percent. Production of components and ancillary equipment made up the remaining approximately 39 percent.

    Among the leading producers of army equipment was Empresa Nacional de Autocamiones S.A. (ENASA), generally known by the trade name of Pegaso, which manufactured a range of trucks and armored vehicles. Its basic BLR four-wheeled armored car was used primarily by the Spanish army; the six-wheeled BMR also was exported to Saudi Arabia and to Egypt. Most of the army's ordnance was produced by Empresa Nacional de Santa Barbara de Industrias Militares (Santa Barbara), including the CETME 5.56mm rifle, in general use by the Spanish army, and the AMX-30E tank, based on French technology. Santa Barbara also manufactured the truck-mounted 140mm Teruel multiple rocket launcher. Larger naval vessels, including Spain's new aircraft carrier, French-designed submarines of the Daphne and the Agosta classes, and FFG-7 frigates of United States design, were constructed by Empresa Nacional Bazan de Construcciones Navales Militares (Bazan) at San Fernando near Cadiz.

    The predominant aircraft manufacturer, Construcciones Aeronauticas S.A. (CASA), was best known for the C-212, a short takeoff and landing utility plane with a three-ton payload. The company also produced the C-101, a trainer and light fighter, with assistance from West German and American aircraft companies that owned minority interests in CASA. The CN-235 turboprop, a forty-seat airliner with a military version, was being built in cooperation with an Indonesian firm. CASA also was reported in 1987 to be at the design stage of a plane--the Avion Experimental (AX)--that might be selected to replace the F-5 tactical fighters obtained from the United States. This would be an advanced version, of the C-101 with an engine of much greater horsepower. CASA also assembled French-supplied kits for Aerospatiale Super Puma helicopters. It was the principal Spanish firm involved with British, West German, and Italian firms in the Eurofighter consortium planning an entirely new fighter aircraft for the latter half of the 1990s that was expected to replace the Mirages in the existing Spanish inventory.

    Among other more advanced systems either being produced or in the planning phase were the French-designed Roland and the Italian Aspide air defense missile systems and the European attack helicopter AB-129. The latter was being developed in collaboration with Britain, Italy, and the Netherlands, with production foreseen for the 1990s.

    The relatively small scale of Spain's own military orders spurred the Spanish armaments industry to develop its export potential and to increase its share of the international arms market. By 1987 it had risen to eighth rank as a world exporter, with a number of clients in the Middle East and in Latin America. In an analysis of 1985 results by an industry group, the Spanish Arms Manufacturers Association, export sales by member firms (125 billion pesetas) exceeded sales to the Ministry of Defense (90 billion pesetas).

    As of 1988, Spain enforced sales embargoes against countries accused of human rights violations (e.g., South Africa, Chile, and Paraguay), Warsaw Pact and other communist countries, and active belligerents (e.g., Iran and Iraq). The Spanish press has, however, reported widespread violations of these controls, especially in the form of munitions shipments to Iran and to Iraq. Spain also had joined with other North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries and Japan in controlling the export of militarily sensitive goods to communist destinations through the Paris-based Co-ordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM).

    Data as of December 1988

    NOTE: The information regarding Spain on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Spain DEFENSE PRODUCTION information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Spain DEFENSE PRODUCTION should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 10-Nov-04
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