North Macedonia plans to increase its defence spending from $317m in 2022 to $542m by 2027 to facilitate the transition from the ageing Soviet-era equipment, some of which has been donated to Ukraine, to more modern systems.
According to GlobalData’s “North Macedonia Defence Market 2022-2027” report, while North Macedonia’s current spending of $317m is low compared to other NATO nations, the country is spending a high percentage of its GDP on defence (2.6%) – higher than some countries with greater economies such as a France and Germany, who spend a respective 1.9% and 1.8%.
William Davies, aerospace, defence, and security analyst at GlobalData, commented: “The increased spending by North Macedonia is still low in real terms, however, it is admirable in terms of its GDP spend compared to NATO allies. North Macedonia has made equipment purchase commitments, including armoured vehicles, and the country is increasing acquisition spending across sectors such as electronic warfare.”
The conflict in Ukraine will make spare parts for North Macedonia’s largely Soviet-era military equipment harder to come by – compounding the need for an increase in defence spending.
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Focussing its upgrade efforts largely in land warfare capabilities, North Macedonia’s existing modernisations programmes include the acquisition of Joint Light Tactical Vehicles and Stryker armoured vehicles, showing the country’s desire to modernise its armed forces and replace what has given to Ukraine.
Davis concluded: “Despite the fact that North Macedonia has increased defence spending in recent years and is forecast to continue doing so, it has a number of domestic problems that will act as barriers for companies seeking to enter the market. This includes issues with corruption and mismanagement, as well as the fact that the budget has significant limitations.”