Portuguese Naval Aviation

Operator Profile


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



Air Bases and Airfields
Portuguese Naval Aviation

This page gives details of some of the air bases and airfields which are, or have been, used by the Portuguese Navy.

BA6 Montijo (ICAO code: LPMT)
Air Base 6 (BA6) is located directly across the bay from Lisbon, at the end of a peninsula that projects into the bay, about 5 km from the town of Montijo. It was originally constructed in 1953 for the original Portuguese Naval Air Arm, and became an FAP Air Base when the Army and Navy air arms merged on 12 June 1954. The present Esquadrilha de Helicopteros da Marinha was formed here in 1993.
Runway data: Location: N38° 42′ 13.90″ W009° 02′ 09.30″, Elev: 46 ft (14 m), Rwy 08/26, Size: 8005 x 148 ft (2440 x 45 m), Rwy 01/19, Size: 7044 x 148 ft (2147 x 45 m).

Aircraft-Carrying Ships
Portuguese Naval Aviation

This page gives details of the ships which were, or are, used by the aircraft and helicopters of the Portuguese Navy since 1993.

‘Baptista de Andrade’-class (Corvette)
Aft helicopter deck for Super Lynx helicopter.

Pennant Number NRP (Name) Commissioned Decommissioned Deck Code
F486 Baptista de Andrade Nov 1974 current ??
F487 João Roby Mar 1975 current ??
F488 Alfonso Cerquiera June 1975 current ??
F489 Oliveira e Carmo Feb 1976 2002 ??

‘Rover’-class (Fleet Oiler)
Former Royal Fleet Auxiliary ‘Blue Rover’, with aft helicopter deck but no hangar.

Pennant Number NRP (Name) Commissioned Decommissioned Deck Code
A5210 Bérrio Feb 1976 current BE

‘Vasco da Gama’-class (Frigate)
MEKO 200 type. Hangar space for two Super Lynx helicopters, but normally only one each.

Pennant Number NRP (Name) Commissioned Decommissioned Deck Code
F330 Vasco da Gama Nov 1990 current VG
F331 Álvares Cabral Jan 1991 current A
F332 Corte-Real Feb 1992 current CR


Esquadrilha de Helicopteros da Marinha
Portuguese Naval Aviation


After training by the Royal Navy, the Esquadrilha de Helicopteros da Marinha (EHM, Naval Helicopter Flight) was officially established on 24 September 1993, (not 1995 as other sources state). The helicopters are individually deployed to Vasco da Gama-class Frigates and operate as an integrated part of the Frigate’s weapons system. Specifically, the helicopters carry out Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) and naval interdiction missions. They can also perform Search and Rescue, patrol and VIP transport duties. The EHM is unofficially referred to as 661 Esquadrilha, using the FAP’s unit designation system.

Subordinate Units



Type Qty Service Example Serials
Super Lynx Mk.95 5 Sept 1993 – Present xx

Unit Markings


Main Bases

Base Duration
BA6 Montijo Sept 1993 – Present


None at present.

More Information


  • To be added.

Other Sources

To be added.

Westland Super Lynx Mk.95
Portuguese Naval Aviation


Five Super Lynx Mk.95 ordered in 1990 and delivered from June 1993. The first two were converted ex-Royal Navy HAS.3 machines and the other three new-build. Used for shipboard fishery protection and rescue duties. Initially serialled 9201-9205.

Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
19201 WA336 ZH580 29 June 1993*  
19202 WA338 ZH581 29 June 1993*  
19203 WA375 ZH582 11 Nov 1993  
19204 WA376 ZH583 13 Nov 1993  
19205 WA377 ZH584 13 Nov 1993  

* Demobbed Aircraft says 24 Aug 1993.


None available at present.

More Information


Other Sources

To be added.