Portuguese Naval Aviation
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Naval Aviation

Current Title: Marinha Portuguesa
Title in English: Portuguese Navy
Abbreviation: MP


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 Numbering System(s):
Portuguese naval helicopters use the same serialling system as the air force - a unique five-figure number for each airframe.

Unit/Base Aircraft Code System(s):
Coding system not used


Aircraft Designation System(s):
None - Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory:
Click on aircraft type for more details
Aircraft Type Total
Role Origin
Westland Super Lynx Mk.95 5 5 ASW/ASV. UK

All-Time Aircraft Used List:
Click on aircraft type for more details
Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Retirement Origin
Westland Super Lynx Mk.95 5 1993 current UK

Aircraft NOT Used:
False reports of aircraft on order or in service - none known.


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

Current 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:
Not applicable.

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 Listing
Aircraft & helicopter carrying ships listing

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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First Created: 11 November 1995 - Last Revised: 16 November 2008
Copyright 1995 John Hayles.    e-mail: john@aeroflight.co.uk