The defense is based on NATO membership. Portugal's
territory is part of NATO's restructured Southern Command
with staff in Naples, Italy. A regional NATO planning
agency, Joint HQ in Lisbon, has been created, among others.
for planning together with the newly created Allied Command
Transformation (ACT) in Norfolk, Virginia (formerly
SACLANT). Under the CFE agreement of 1990, Portugal's army
and air combat forces can reach 75,000 men.
The defense, which is increasingly voluntary, includes
(2008) 43,000 men. It has 3 brigades with 1 submarine, 12
frigates/corvette vessels, 17 patrol boats as well as 2
naval infantry battalions and 25 fighter aircraft. The
territorial defense is based on the mobilization of 210,000
men, including three brigades. Semi-military security forces
amount to 47,000 men. The equipment is semi-modern. In
connection with NATO's restructuring and adaptation to the
CFE agreement, Portugal was supplied with 80 modern tanks
from the US surplus.
Defense of Portugal costs decreased in 1985-2006 from 3.1% to 1.6% of
GDP. Portugal participates in UN peacekeeping activities in
Afghanistan (ISAF), Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR), Chad
(EUFOR), Lebanon (UNFIL) and Serbia (KFOR). The United
States has people stationed in Lajes on the Azores
archipelago. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that PRT stands for Portugal.
Portugal has been a member of NATO since its formation in
1949. The total force for Portugal's armed forces is 27,200
active personnel, with a reserve of 211,950 (2018, IISS). In
addition, the semi-military Republican Guard has a force of
24,700 personnel. The United States has 250 personnel in the
The Army has 13,700 active personnel. Materials include
37 tanks of a Leopard 2, 30 reconnaissance vehicles, 397
armored personnel carriers, 26 armored fighters, and 24
self-propelled artillery. In addition, the Army has heavy
artillery, short-range air defense missiles and
The Air Force has a workforce of 5900 active personnel.
Material comprising 30 fighters of a F-16, five patrol
central Orion seven reconnaissance and surveillance, 13
transport, 16 trainers and 18 helicopters.
The Navy has a workforce of 7600 active personnel,
including 1250 Marines. The fleet included two tactical
underwater boats, five frigates, 20 patrol vessels, and 11
logistics and auxiliary vessels. In addition, the Navy has
five Super Lynx helicopters.
Portugal participated in 2018 including the NATO
operation in Afghanistan (Operation Resolute Support)
with 195 personnel, in the UN operation in the Central
African Republic (MINUSCA) with 165 personnel, the EU
operation in the Central African Republic (EUTM RCA) with 45
Portugal also had 34 personnel in Iraq (Operation