Portuguese Naval Aviation

Operator Profile

Key Facts

Current Title:
Marinha Portuguesa
English Title:
Portuguese Naval Aviation
First Established:
ICAO Code:


Narrative Summary

After evaluation of the Kaman SH-2 Seasprite, an order was placed with Westland for 5 Super Lynx helicopters in 1990, for operation from the new MEKO 200 class frigates then under construction. The Naval Air Arm was formally established in June 1992 for coastal SAR and shipboard support duties. The first two helicopters were handed over on 29 July 1993. The pilots and maintenance engineers were then trained on the type by the Royal Navy and Westland Helicopters. The EHM unit which operates the Super Lynx was officially formed in September 1993. It is self contained within BA 6 at Montijo and has no Air Force personnel.

Key Dates:
June 1992 Naval air arm formally established.
July 1993 First helicopters delivered.
September 1993 First naval helicopter squadron officially formed.

Current Status

Portuguese naval helicopters are used primarily for shipboard support and coastal Search & Rescue (SAR) missions.

Future Plans

An additional 3 Lynx helicopters are required, to bring the total to eight.


National Insignia

Main MarkingFin Flash
The main marking is displayed on the fuselage sides only on helicopters. The fin flash is displayed on the tailfin. Navy types carry the service title MARINHA on the fuselage sides.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Portuguese naval helicopters use the same serialling system as the air force – a unique five-figure number for each airframe.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.


Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Click on aircraft type for more details

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Westland Super Lynx Mk.95 5 5 0 ASW/ASV


All-Time Aircraft Used List

Click on aircraft type for more details

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Westland Super Lynx Mk.95 5 1993 current United Kingdom

Aircraft NOT Used

False reports of aircraft on order or in service – none known.


Main Headquarters:
Avendia Leite Vasconcelos 27, Alfagide, P-2700 Amodora.

Organisational Structure

All helicopters are operated by a single squadron, operating from one main base and onboard several ships.

Current Order of Battle

Click on unit name for more details

Squadron Type Base
EHM Super Lynx Mk.95 BA6 Montijo

EHM = Esquadrilha de Helicopteros da Marinha (unofficially 661 Esq.)

Historical Orders of Battle

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List


Air Bases

Current Air Bases

All naval helicopters are operated from BA6 Montijo.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

The only base used so far is Montijo.
Military Air Bases List
Aircraft & helicopter carrying ships

More Information


To be added


World Air Power Journal No.24 p.156
Air International April 1996


Official Portuguese Navy webpage

wikipedia: Portuguese Navy



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