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The Portuguese Air Force participates in NATO exercises with modernized fighter jets

The Portuguese Air Force participates in NATO exercises with modernized fighter jets - Portugal news
The Portuguese Air Force participates in NATO exercises with modernized fighter jets - Portugal Business News

Portugal Defence news – The Portuguese Air Force participates in NATO exercise Ocean Sky 2023 with its modernized fighter jets F-16 Fighting Falcon operated by 2 Squadrons and the brand-new KC-390, operated by Squadron 506 Rhinos.

The Spanish fighter exercise Ocean Sky 23 is being carried-out for NATO member countries at the Gando Air Base in Gran Canaria, Spain, while the European Air Transport Command is carrying-out air-refueling training from the 16th to the 27th of October 2023 at the Lanzarote Air Base.

The Ocean Sky 23 exercise is focused on aerial combat missions that brings together Portuguese F-16M, Spanish EF-18 and Typhoon, as well as Greek and Turkish F-16C.

The Portuguese Air Force just bought brand-new Mid Life Update (MLU) upgrades for its Lockheed Martin F-16AM Fighting Falcon aircraft that became operational on June 26th, 2003. The MLU configuration comprises new equipment, upgraded radar and operating software, and an internal missile warning system, in line with NATO standards that increase the aircraft’s operational capabilities. The new configuration provides the F-16AM Fighting Falcon aircraft with additional capabilities for the detection of aerial and ground targets at long distances, for operations in any weather conditions both day and night, for the electronic identification of other aircraft, and for the integration into battlefield management networks.

Portuguese company OGMA carried out extensive work for the F16 upgrades in collaboration with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. for air combat fleet interoperability with other European participating Air Forces

Portugal’s F16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets with MLU upgrades have increased capabilities for both defensive and offensive aerial combat in combination with operations against surface targets, and are operated by two squadrons, namely the Squadron 201 Falcons and Squadron 301 Jaguars.

The European air to air refueling 2023 exercise, that is happening at the same time, is run in collaboration with France, Italy and Spain, and comprises tankers, crews and mentors for multi-tanker formation and tanker-to-tanker exercises with an emphasis on threat reactions and retrograde procedure.

Portugal Defence operates a range of Lockheed Martin military aircraft that include F-16 fighter jets and C-130H Hercules transports, while the Portuguese navy has antisubmarine warfare capabilities with a fleet of six P-3P Orion aircraft.


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