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Esquadra 301

Armed Force
Força Aerea Portuguesa
BA5 Monte Real
F-16A/B MLU Fighting Falcon
Membership status
Full Member
Member since
Silver Tiger Tropy Wins
Cameri AB
Kleine Brogel AB
BA 103 Cambrai-Épinoy
BA 118 Mont-de-Marsan
Hosted Tiger Meets
BA6 Montijo
BA11 Beja
BA11 Beja
BA11 Beja
BA11 Beja

The heritage and history of this Squadron began in November 1968 with the creation of the Portuguese Air Force 502 Squadron 'Jaguares', located in Nacala, Mozambique (AB5), flying the FIAT G91. This Squadron received the jets from the 121 Squadron 'Tigres', which operated in Bissalanca, Guinea (AB12), since 1966. In October 1972 the Squadron was deactivated with some of the pilots and jets being transferred to the 93 Squadron “Magníficos”, located in Luanda, Angola (AB9), replacing the Republic F-84G. In August 1974 the FIAT G 91's stationed in BA 5 and the ones from 121 Squadron (Tigres) from Bissalanca - Guinea were sent to BA 6 (Air Base 6) Montijo, forming the 62 Squadron which was organized in accordance with the NATO regulations. 

Later on the 502 Squadron (Jaguares) from Nacala and the 702 (Escorpiões) from Tete, came from Mozambique to reinforce Squadron 62, giving place to today' patch and name – Jaguares. In 1978 the squadron was renumber to 301 the actual designation. At this time they were given the missions of Close Air Support, Battle Field Interdiction and Tactical Reconnaissance. On this same year the 301 Sqn participated for the first time in the Tiger Meet in Belgium. Full Member since 1979 the 301 Squadron has already won the 'Silver Tiger' twice (1980/1985) keeping well alive the tiger spirit. In 1980 the Squadron was able to detach some of it's G 91 R/3 to BA 4 located at Lajes - Azores. This detachment became later the 303 Squadron - Tigres were it operated for about 10 years. In 1987 the Nato Tiger Meet was first hosted by the Jaguares at Montijo Air Base. 

On 19 April 1988, The Ministry of Defense awarded the 301 Squadron with the Distinguished Services Gold Medal – one of the highest ranking medals ever given to a Portuguese Squadron. 

The G 91 made it's last official flight on June 27th 1993 having more that 75.000 flight hours with the Portuguese Air Force, and after that the Squadron was moved to BA 11 in Beja and received the Alpha Jet. Since the first flight in Alpha Jet on October 6th 1993 the Squadron flew more than 20.000 hours, had participated in several NATO exercises in Europe and hosted the NATO Tiger Meet in 1996 and in 2002. The last flight with the Alpha Jet took place in November 2005. 

Later on the 25th that same month the Squadron was transfered to BA 5 - Monte Real when it assumed its role as the first F-16 Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) Squadron in the Portuguese Air Force at AB5, Monte Real. Having been honored the distinction of flying the greatest jet ever in the Portuguese Air Force – the single seat, supersonic, multi-role, 9g F16 MLU – the 'Jaguares' have become the frontline All Weather, Day and Night, Air Defense, and Conventional Attack (Precision) Squadron