Portuguese Air Force

Operator Profile

Key Facts

Current Title:
Forca Aerea Portuguesa
English Title:
Portuguese Air Force
First Established:
ICAO Code:


Narrative Summary

Air Force History

Key Dates

Air Force Timeline

Current Status

The aircraft of the FAP are fully operational.

Future Plans

None known.


National Insignia

National Markings

Aircraft Serial Numbers

From 1952 FAP serial numbers comprised a four digit number, the first number indicating the aircraft class, the second the aircraft type and the last two the individual identity – Republic F-84G 5121 being the 21st example of class 5 (fighters) type 1.

In 1993 a revision to the numbering system meant that the prefix ‘1’ was placed in front of the old serial of existing aircraft as each airframe came up for in-depth maintenance.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used


Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

False reports of aircraft on order or in service


Main Headquarters

Avenida Leite Vasconcelos, 27 Alfragide, 2700 Amadora.

Organisational Structure

FAP is divided into three commands:-
COFA – Comando Operacional da Força Aérea (Air Force Operational Command)
CLAFA – Comando Logístico-Administrativo da Força Aérea (Air Force Logistics and Administration Command)
CPESFA – Comando de Pessoal da Força Aérea (Air Force Personnel Command)

COFA is distributed geographically to Base Aéreas (BA, air bases), each of which comprises three Grupos (Groups):-
Operacional (Operational) – flying units & airfield services
Material (Material) – maintenance & supply
Sustentação (Support) – base infrastructure

The basic flying unit is the Esquadra (Squadron).

Current Order of Battle

Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle

List of Historical Orders of Battle – to be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

Units List

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The main air bases currently used are Sintra, Lajes, Monte Real, Montijo, Beja and Ovar. In addition, aircraft are detached from the parent units to another one or two air bases.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

In addition to the main bases, there are also a number of smaller airports and airfields around the country which are sometimes used by the Air Force.
Military Air Bases Listing – to be added.

More Information


Portguese Military Aviation Bibliography – to be added.


World Air Power Journal No.1 p.146
World Air Power Journal No.24 p.148-157
Air Forces Research Nos.11
Air International April 1996
Air Enthusiast No.73 Jan-Feb 1998
Air Enthusiast No.75 May-Jun 1998


Aeroflight Pictorial – Portuguese Air Force

Portuguese Air Force Homepage

wikipedia: Portuguese Air Force

Scramble: Portuguese Air Force



Photos of Portugal Air Force and Navy aircrafts

Air-Britain Photos: Portugal Air Force


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