Corsair II for Portugal

Last revised December 12, 2001


The Forca Aerea Portuguesa (Portuguese Air Force) has operated a version of the Corsair II since the early 1980s. The designation A-7P (P for Portugal) was assigned to this version. The A-7P was created by converting ex-US Navy A-7As that were in storage at AMARC.   The A-7A airframes were re-engined with TF30-P-408 turbofans and were provided with the avionics suite of the A-7E. However, they were still armed with the pair of Mk 12 20-mm cannon that were provided for the A-7A.

20 A-7Ps (plus 3 spare airframes) were delivered to the FAP in December of 1981, where they were issued to Escuadra 302 and 304 based at Monte Real. A single TA-7C was loaned to the FAP for 3 years.

A second batch of A-7Ps was ordered in September of 1982. 24 A7Ps and six TA-7Ps were provided. Deliveries of the A-7Ps began in October of 1984, where they were issued to the newly-established Esq. 303. The TA-7Ps followed in May of 1985. Prior to that, only a single leased TA-7C was available.

The A-7Ps served for a time with the FAP in the interceptor role, and carried AIM-7P Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. However, this role has now been taken over by the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The A-7Ps now provide tactical air support for maritime operations and offensive and defensive air support with a range of iron bombs. They are also equipped to carry the AGM-65A Maverick air-to-surface missile. They are provided with rear warning receivers and chaff/flare dispensers, and can carry AN/ALQ-131 jamming pods. 

The A-7Ps have suffered a relatively high attrition rate in FAP service, and spares support has been provided by 20 non-flyable ex-USN A-7As.

Sources:


  1. Corsair--Sterling Ending To a Glorious Naval Career, Stephane Nocolaou, Air Fan International, Vol 1, No. 6, September 1996.

  2. Portugal--An Air Power Analysis, World Air Power Journal, Vol 24, Spring 1996;