Country Listing

Portugal Table of Contents


National Security

Armed Forces (1992):Total personnel on active duty, 58,000, of which 33,000 conscripts; army 32,700 (24,800 conscripts); navy, 15,300 (5,000 conscripts); air force, 10,300 (3,000 conscripts). Reserves (all services), 190,000.

Major Units: Army had six territorial commands with one composite brigade, three infantry brigades, and one special forces brigade; navy had three commands (mainland, Azores, Madeira), and 2,500 marines organized into three battalions (two infantry and one police); air force of one operational command of eighteen squadrons, including three attack squadrons.

Military Equipment (1992) : Army had about 130 tanks, 250 armored personnel carriers, variety of other combat vehicles; 300 pieces of towed artillery; forty-eight TOW (tube-launded, optically tracked, wire-guided) missiles, forty-five Milan wire guided missiles, and seventeen SAM (surface-to-air) missiles; and 240 recoilless launchers. Navy had three submarines, eleven frigates (including three MIKO 200s), and twenty-nine patrol and coastal boats. Air force had ten Alpha Jets, about seventy A-7 and A-7P Corsairs, and six Lockheed P-3B Orion maritime reconnaissance aircraft. Major transport aircraft included six C130H Hercules and fifty-two CASA C-212 planes of various types.

Military Budget 1991: US$1.7 billion, 2.8 percent of GDP.

Foreign Military Treatries: Founding member of NATO. Treaty signed in 1951 and periodically renewed permits United States use of Lajes Air Base on Terceira Island in Azores.

Internal Security Forces: National Republican Guard (Guarda Nacional Republicana--GNR), heavily armed paramilitary constabulary) consisted in 1990 of about 19,000 personnel organized into battalions in major cities and companies in district capitals. Equipped with Commando armored cars and Alouette II helicopters, it available to quell demonstrations and labor unrest. Public Security Police (Polícia de Segurança Pública--PSP), paramilitary force responsible for security in urban areas, consisted of 17,000 personnel in 1990. Subsection, Intervention Police, could be deployed anywhere in the country. Fiscal Guard (Guarda Fiscal), border control force with staff of 8,500 in 1990. It also investigated tax evasion and financial fraud.

Data as of January 1993