Portuguese Armed Forces

The Portuguese Armed Forces (Portuguese: Forças Armadas) are the military of Portugal. They include the General Staff of the Armed Forces, the other unified bodies and the three service branches: Portuguese Navy, Portuguese Army and Portuguese Air Force.[11]

Portuguese Armed Forces
Forças Armadas
Portuguese military colors
Founded12th century
Current form1950
Service branchesPortuguese Army
Portuguese Navy
Portuguese Air Force
National Republican Guard
Supreme commanderMarcelo Rebelo de Sousa
Prime MinisterAntónio Costa
Minister of National DefenceJoão Gomes Cravinho[1]
Chief of the General StaffAdmiral António Manuel Fernandes da Silva Ribeiro[2]
Available for
military service
2,566,264 males, age 18–35 (2010[3]),
2,458,297 females, age 18–35 (2010[4])
Fit for
military service
2,103,080 males, age 18–35 (2010[5]),
2,018,004 females, age 18–35 (2010[6])
Reaching military
age annually
62,208 males (2010[7]),
54,786 females (2010[8])
Active personnel32,992 (88% males, 12% females) (2016[9])
Deployed personnel600
Budget€2.928 billion ($3.358 billion) (2019)[10]
Percent of GDP1.41% (2019)[10]
Domestic suppliersidD - Portugal Defence
Foreign suppliers
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Bulgaria
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • South Africa
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Related articles
HistoryMilitary history of Portugal
RanksMilitary ranks of Portugal

The President of the Republic is the head of the Portuguese military, with the title of "Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces" (Comandante Supremo das Forças Armadas).[12] The management of the Armed Forces and the execution of the national defense policy is however done by the government (chaired by the Prime Minister) via its Minister of National Defense.[13] The highest-ranking officer in the military is the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, which has operational control of the Armed Forces during peacetime and assumes their full control when a state of war exists.

The Armed Forces are charged with protecting Portugal as well as supporting international peacekeeping efforts when mandated by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the United Nations and/or the European Union.

Portugal was ranked the 3rd most peaceful country in the World in the Global Peace Index 2017, presently not having significant national security issues. The Portuguese Armed Forces have been thus focused in non military public service activities and in external military operations. Recent external operations include anti-piracy action in the Gulf of Aden, the conflicts in the Central African Republic and in Afghanistan, the peacekeeping missions in East-Timor, Lebanon, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the air policing of Iceland and the Baltic States.[14]

Military units and other bodies are stationed throughout all the Portuguese territory, including Continental Portugal, Madeira and the Azores.

The Portuguese Armed Forces were opened regular for women during the early-1990s. Portugal had mandatory conscription for all able-bodied men until November 2004.[15]