Portugal to acquire five light helicopters

20 March 2017
During its 54 years of Portuguese military service, the Alouette III has logged more than 300,000 flight hours. Source: Victor Barreira

The Portuguese Ministry of National Defence has authorised the Portuguese Air Force to acquire a number of single-engine, lightweight multi-purpose helicopters.

The procurement, worth a maximum of EUR20.5 million (USD22 million) in line with the Portuguese Military Programming Law 2015-26, comes under the project 'Substituição de aeronaves de instrução de pilotagem' and will see the acquisition of five helicopters, spares, training, and support equipment between 2018 and 2020. Up to two additional aircraft could be ordered as an option.

This future fleet will replace the existing six Sud Aviation SE 3160 Alouette III helicopters fielded by Squadron 552 'Zangões' from Beja Air Base. The type will lose its certificate of airworthiness in 2018.

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