The stealthy F-35 can replace the Portuguese fleet of F-16 AM/BM

Spain procrastinates on acquiring the Lockheed-Martin F-35 as other European countries move forward, with Portugal possibly swapping its fleet of F-16 AM/BM aircraft for these modern fighter-bombers.

The roar of engines modifies the European war panorama

In the vantage point of modern warfare, Lockheed-Martin scanned the horizon in 2017, anticipating that Spain, Belgium and Switzerland would soon be ready to adorn their hangars with F-35 fighter-bombers. After six years of waiting, Spain remains in the turbulence zone, but a change in altitude seems imminent.

The Spanish fleet periodically prowls the runway, waiting for a modern replacement for its veteran AV-8B Harrier II. In a favorable move for Lockheed-Martin, other countries on the European board have made their moves.

F-35A planes take off in the heart of Europe

The F-35A fighter jet has emerged on the front line in tenders in Belgium, Switzerland and Finland. The fire outbreak in Ukraine has even instigated countries such as Germany, the Czech Republic, Greece and  Romania to paint Lockheed-Martin aircraft in their camouflage schemes. And the NATO squad is growing, including  Canada, and with possible Portuguese gear.

Portugal changes its flight course towards F-35 fighter-bombers

Previously, Portugal seemed to lean towards other latitudes. Its Portuguese Air Force would soon replace its twenty-seven F-16 AM.

Spain procrastinates on acquiring the Lockheed-Martin F-35 as other European countries move forward, with Portugal possibly swapping its fleet of F-16AM/BM aircraft for these modern fighter-bombers.

The roar of engines modifies the European war panorama

In the vantage point of modern warfare, Lockheed-Martin scanned the horizon in 2017, anticipating that Spain, Belgium and Switzerland would soon be ready to adorn their hangars with F-35 fighter-bombers. After six years of waiting, Spain remains in the turbulence zone, but a change in altitude seems imminent.

The Spanish fleet periodically prowls the runway, waiting for a modern replacement for its veteran AV-8B Harrier II. In a favorable move for Lockheed-Martin, other countries on the European board have made their moves.

F-35A planes take off in the heart of Europe

The F-35A fighter jet has emerged on the front line in tenders in Belgium, Switzerland and Finland. The fire outbreak in Ukraine has even instigated countries such as  Germany, the  Czech Republic, Greece and  Romania to paint Lockheed-Martin aircraft in their camouflage schemes. And the NATO squad is growing, including  Canada, and with possible Portuguese gear.

Portugal changes its flight course towards F-35 fighter-bombers

Previously, Portugal seemed to lean towards other latitudes. Its Portuguese Air Force would soon replace its twenty-seven F-16AM/BMs in circulation with a newer model. Many were betting on a possible deal with the JAS-39 Gripen E/F, given the good relationship between Saab and Embraer. However, the wind blew in another direction.

And so it came on November 27, General João Cartasho Alves, commander of the Lusitanian air forces, ironed out the  “Air Force 5.3” plan, deployed in three wings: acquisition of MALE drones, light attack aircraft and fifth-generation fighter-bombers. If we follow the map of the “Air Force 5.3” plan, the drone in the crosshairs is the  MQ-9 SkyGuardian, born from the famous American firm  General Atomics, promising an eye in the sky for Portugal.

New purchasing projects in Portugal take off toward promising horizons

In this new flight sheet, we find the light attack aircraft, written in the purchase order proposed by the military law adopted by Lisbon last August. Embraer’s A-29N “Super Tucano”  is presented as the squadron’s leader.

The fate of the  F-16AM/BM has been under review since 2019. Signs suggest that the venerable steel birds will remain in their nests until younger ones arrive. A decision is planned for the coming years.

After putting the choice of the  F-35  on the table, General Alves now gives the go-ahead to refine the conditions of this acquisition, probably enough for two squadrons, some 24 steel birds flying under the Portuguese flag. Because the new purchase of fighter jets is not included in Portugal’s latest military planning law, we can expect a new direction when it is reviewed in 2027.

Many were betting on a possible deal with the JAS-39 Gripen E/F, given the good relationship between Saab and Embraer. However, the wind blew in another direction.

And so it came on November 27, General João Cartasho Alves, commander of the Lusitanian air forces, ironed out the  “Air Force 5.3” plan, deployed in three wings: acquisition of MALE drones, light attack aircraft and fifth-generation fighter-bombers. If we follow the map of the “Air Force 5.3” plan, the drone in the crosshairs is the  MQ-9 SkyGuardian, born from the famous American firm  General Atomics, promising an eye in the sky for Portugal.

New purchasing projects in Portugal take off toward promising horizons

In this new flight sheet, we find the light attack aircraft, written in the purchase order proposed by the military law adopted by Lisbon last August. Embraer’s A-29N “Super Tucano”  is presented as the squadron’s leader.

The fate of the  F-16 AM/BM has been under review since 2019. Signs suggest that the venerable steel birds will remain in their nests until younger ones arrive. A decision is planned for the coming years.

After putting the choice of the F-35 on the table, General Alves now gives the go-ahead to refine the conditions of this acquisition, probably enough for two squadrons, some 24 steel birds flying under the Portuguese flag. Because the new purchase of fighter jets is not included in Portugal’s latest military planning law, we can expect a new direction when it is reviewed in 2027.