301st esquadra (FAP)

"Jaguars (Jaguares)" 

301 esq "Jaguars (Jaguares)" (FAP)
Version: F-16A/B block 20 MLU
Tailband: N/A
Motto: De nada a forte gente se temia (Strong people don’t fear anything)
Badge: A jaguars head.

Sideways profile for esq 301 in 2007.

F-16 History

The F-16s who were to be delivered to this squadron had already been in Portuguese hands from 1999 onwards. They were bought under the Peace Atlantis II program and first had to go through the MLU program before being delivered to a newly formed squadron, which eventually became Esq. 301. The delivery of the upgraded F-16s has been seriously delayed over the past years. The contract was already signed in 1997, even before the aircraft were delivered from the USAF stocks. Up until 2008, only nine aircraft were redelivered to the squadron with the MLU package installed.

With the introduction of the MLU F-16, a new set of weapons was acquired to be used with them. This greatly enhanced the PoAF’s capability to achieve a full day and night fighter capability.

Back in 1997, only 20 upgrade kits were ordered for an F-16 fleet counting 40 airframes. All MLU F-16s will be delivered to Esq. 301, while its sister squadron – Esq. 201 – will keep the non-upgraded vipers. Rumors have gone around that Portugal intends to sell its non-MLU F-16s. If and when this sale will go through is still highly uncertain. The impact it will have on the composition of the Portuguese F-16 squadrons is also still a vague mystery.

PoAF F-16AM #15133 from Esq 301 seen taking off from Los Llanos AB, Albacete during the NATO Tiger Meet adorned with the 2006 paint scheme on September 28th, 2006. [Photo by Karl Drage]

Aircraft Markings History

2005 - present

No specific unit markings have been applied yet, so just the serial number and Portuguese flag is shown on the tail.

Unit History

  • 1968: Activation of the squadron in Nacala ‘BA-5’, Mozambique (as Esq. 502)
  • 1968: G-91R4
  • 1972: Disbanded
  • 1974: Activation of the squadron in Montijo ‘BA-6’ (as Esq. 62)
  • 1974: G-91R4
  • 1978: G-91R4 (re-designated Esq. 301)
  • 1993: Alpha Jet A (Beja ‘BA-11’)
  • 2005: F-16AM 'Fighting Falcon' (Monte Real ‘BA-5’)


'Air Policing Baltic States'
Siauliai AB, Lithuania (November 1st, 2007 to December 15th, 2007)
This is the first deployment of the Portuguese Air Force to the three Baltic states (Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia). A six-week rotation will see the Portuguese F-16s patrol the skies over the Baltic States.
'Iceland Air Policing and Surveillance'
Keflavik AB, Iceland (August 7th, 2012 to September 20th, 2012)
For the first time the PoAF deploys to Iceland to perform the defense of the countries' airspace. This was a combined operation together with its sister squadron, the 201st.
'Air Policing Baltic States'
Siauliai AB, Lithuania (September 1st, 2014 to December 31st, 2014)
This marks the second deployment of the PoAF into the Baltics to take their NATO responsibility.

F-16 Airframe Inventory


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