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F-5 Freedom Fighter

F-5 Freedom Fighter

Encyclopedia


The Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter and the F-5E/F Tiger II are part of a family of widely-used light supersonic
Supersonic
Supersonic speed is a rate of travel of an object that exceeds the speed of sound . For objects traveling in dry air of a temperature of 20 °C this speed is approximately 343 m/s, 1,125 ft/s, 768 mph or 1,235 km/h. Speeds greater than five times the speed of sound are often...

 fighter aircraft
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

, designed and built by Northrop
Northrop Corporation
Northrop Corporation was a leading United States aircraft manufacturer from its formation in 1939 until its merger with Grumman to form Northrop Grumman in 1994. The company is known for its development of the flying wing design, although only a few of these have entered service.-History:Jack...

. Hundreds remain in service in air forces around the world in the early 21st century, and the type has also been the basis for a number of other aircraft.

The F-5 started life as a privately-funded light fighter program by Northrop in the 1950s. The first-generation F-5A Freedom Fighter entered service in the 1960s. During the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, over 800 were produced through 1972 for U.S. allies, and Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. The USAF had no need for a light fighter but specifed a requirement for a supersonic trainer, procuring about 1,200 of a derivative airframe for this purpose, the Northrop T-38 Talon.

The improved second-generation F-5E Tiger II was also primarily used by American Cold War allies and, in limited quantities, served in US military aviation as a training and aggressor aircraft; Tiger II production amounted to 1,400 of all versions, with production ending in 1987. Many F-5s continuing in service into the 1990s and 2000s have undergone a wide variety of upgrade programs to keep pace with the changing combat environment.

The F-5 was also developed into a dedicated reconnaissance version, the RF-5 Tigereye. The F-5 also served as a starting point for a series of design studies which resulted in the twin-tailed Northrop YF-17 and the F/A-18
F/A-18 Hornet
The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a supersonic, all-weather carrier-capable multirole fighter jet, designed to dogfight and attack ground targets . Designed by McDonnell Douglas and Northrop, the F/A-18 was derived from the latter's YF-17 in the 1970s for use by the United States Navy and...

 series of carrier-based fighters. The Northrop F-20 Tigershark was an advanced version of the F-5E that did not find a market. The F-5N/F variants remain in service with the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 and United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 as an adversary trainer
Dissimilar air combat training
Dissimilar air combat training was introduced as a formal part of US air combat training after disappointing aerial combat exchange rates in the Vietnam War.Traditionally, pilots would undertake air combat training against similar aircraft...

.

Origins


In the mid-1950s, Northrop
Northrop Corporation
Northrop Corporation was a leading United States aircraft manufacturer from its formation in 1939 until its merger with Grumman to form Northrop Grumman in 1994. The company is known for its development of the flying wing design, although only a few of these have entered service.-History:Jack...

 started development on a low-cost, low-maintenance fighter, with the company designation N-156, partly to meet a US Navy requirement for a jet fighter to operate from its Escort Carriers, which were too small to operate the Navy's existing jet fighters. That requirement disappeared when the Navy decided to withdraw the Escort Carriers, but Northrop continued development of the N-156, with both a two seat advanced trainer (the N-156T), and a single-seat fighter (the N-156F) planned.

The N-156 was based on the use of a pair of an afterburning version of the General Electric J85
General Electric J85
-External links:**...

 engine
Jet engine
A jet engine is a reaction engine that discharges a fast moving jet to generate thrust by jet propulsion and in accordance with Newton's laws of motion. This broad definition of jet engines includes turbojets, turbofans, rockets, ramjets, pulse jets...

, which was originally designed to power the tiny McDonnell ADM-20 Quail
ADM-20 Quail
The McDonnell ADM-20 Quail was a subsonic, jet powered, air-launched decoy cruise missile built by McDonnell Aircraft Corporation. The Quail was designed to be launched by the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber and its original Air Force designation was GAM-72 .-Development:In 1955 the...

 decoy, which was then carried by the B-52 bomber. This requirement created a very small engine with a very high thrust-to-weight ratio. The N-156T was selected by the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 as a replacement for the T-33
T-33 Shooting Star
The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star is an American-built jet trainer aircraft. It was produced by Lockheed and made its first flight in 1948, piloted by Tony LeVier. The T-33 was developed from the Lockheed P-80/F-80 starting as TP-80C/TF-80C in development, then designated T-33A. It was used by the...

 in July 1965, allowing development of the trainer to progress at full speed, the first example, later designated YT-38 Talon, flying on 12 June 1959 with a total of 1,158 Talons being built by the time production ended in January 1972.

Development of the N-156F continued at a lower priority as a private venture by Northrop, which was rewarded by an order for three prototypes on 25 February 1958 as a prospective low-cost fighter that could be supplied under the Military Assistance Program for distribution to less-developed nations. The first N-156F flew at Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located on the border of Kern County, Los Angeles County, and San Bernardino County, California, in the Antelope Valley. It is southwest of the central business district of North Edwards, California and due east of Rosamond.It is named in...

 on 30 July 1959, exceeding the speed of sound on its first flight.

Although testing of the N-156F was successful, demonstrating unprecedented reliability and proving superior in the ground-attack role to the USAF's existing North American F-100 Super Sabres, official interest in the Northrop type waned, and by 1960 it looked as if the program was a failure. Interest revived in 1961, but when the US Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 tested it, (along with the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk and Fiat G.91) for reconnaissance and close-support, although all three types proved capable during Army testing, operating fixed-wing combat aircraft was legally the responsibility of the Air Force, which would not agree to operate the N-156 or allow the Army to operate fixed-wing combat aircraft, a situation repeated with the C-7 Caribou
De Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou
The de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou is a Canadian-designed and produced specialized cargo aircraft with short takeoff and landing capability...

.

In 1962, however, the Kennedy Administration revived the requirement for a low-cost export fighter, selecting the N-156F as winner of the F-X competition on 23 April 1962 subsequently becoming the "F-5A", being ordered into production in October that year. It was named under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system
1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system
The 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system is a unified designation system introduced by the United States Department of Defense on 18 September 1962 for all the U.S. military aircraft. Prior to this date, each armed service used their own nomenclature system...

, which included a re-set of the fighter number series (the General Dynamics F-111 was the highest sequentially numbered P/F-aircraft to enter service under the old number sequence).

Northrop built 636 F-5As (including the YF-5A prototype) before production ended in 1972. These were accompanied by 200 two-seat F-5B aircraft. These were operational trainers, lacking the nose-mounted cannon but otherwise combat-capable, while 86 RF-5A reconnaissance variants of the F-5A, fitted with a four-camera nose were also built. In addition, Canadair built 240 first generation F-5s under license, with CASA
CASA
- Aviation :* Civil Aviation Safety Authority - Australian statutory authority responsible for the regulation of Civil Aviation* Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA- Spanish aircraft manufacturer, became EADS CASA in 1999...

 in Spain adding a further 70 aircraft.

F-5E and F-5F Tiger II


In 1970, Northrop won a competition for an improved International Fighter Aircraft (IFA) to replace the F-5A, with better air-to-air performance against aircraft like the Soviet MiG 21
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It was popularly nicknamed "balalaika", from the aircraft's planform-view resemblance to the Russian stringed musical instrument or ołówek by Polish pilots due to...

. The resultant aircraft, initially known as F-5A-21, subsequently became the F-5E. It had more powerful (5,000 lbf) General Electric J85
General Electric J85
-External links:**...

-21 engines, and had a lengthened and enlarged fuselage, accommodating more fuel. Its wings were fitted with enlarged leading edge extension
Leading edge extension
A leading edge extension is a small extension to an aircraft wing surface, forward of the leading edge. Different kinds of extensions have been used for different reasons.-Leading edge slats:...

s, giving an increased wing area and improved maneuverability. The aircraft's avionics
Avionics
Avionics are electronic systems used on aircraft, artificial satellites and spacecraft.Avionic systems include communications, navigation, the display and management of multiple systems and the hundreds of systems that are fitted to aircraft to meet individual roles...

 were more sophisticated, crucially including a radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

 (initially the Emerson Electric AN/APQ-153) (the F-5A and B had no radar). It retained the gun armament of two M39 cannon
M39 cannon
The M39 cannon was a 20 mm caliber single-barreled revolver cannon developed for the United States Air Force in the late 1940s. It was used on a number of fighter aircraft from the early 1950s through the 1980s.-Development:...

, one on either side of the nose) of the F-5A. Various specific avionics fits could be accommodated at customer request, including an inertial navigation system
Inertial navigation system
An inertial navigation system is a navigation aid that uses a computer, motion sensors and rotation sensors to continuously calculate via dead reckoning the position, orientation, and velocity of a moving object without the need for external references...

, TACAN and ECM equipment.

The first F-5E flew on 11 August 1972. A two-seat combat-capable trainer, the F-5F, was offered, first flying on 25 September 1974, with a new, longer nose, which, unlike the F-5B that did not mount a gun, allowed it to retain a single M39 cannon, albeit with a reduced ammunition capacity. The two-seater was equipped with the Emerson AN/APQ-157 radar, which is a derivative of the AN/APQ-153 radar, with dual control and display systems to accommodate the two-men crew, and the radar has the same range of AN/APQ-153, around 10 nmi
Nautical mile
The nautical mile is a unit of length that is about one minute of arc of latitude along any meridian, but is approximately one minute of arc of longitude only at the equator...

.
A reconnaissance
Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

 version, the RF-5E Tigereye, with a sensor package in the nose displacing the radar and one cannon, was also offered. The latest radar upgrade included the Emerson AN/APG-69, which was the successor of AN/APQ-159, incorporating mapping capability. However, most nations chose not to upgrade for financial reasons, and the radar saw very little service in USAF aggressor squadrons and Swiss air force.

The F-5E eventually received the official name Tiger II. The F-5E experienced numerous upgrades in its service life, with the most significant one being adopting a new planar array radar, Emerson AN/APQ-159 with a range of 20 nmi
Nautical mile
The nautical mile is a unit of length that is about one minute of arc of latitude along any meridian, but is approximately one minute of arc of longitude only at the equator...

 to replace the original AN/APQ-153. Similar radar upgrades were also proposed for F-5F, with the derivative of AN/APQ-159, the AN/APQ-167, to replace the AN/APQ-157, but that was cancelled.

Northrop built 792 F-5Es, 140 F-5Fs and 12 RF-5Es. More were built under license overseas: 91 F-5Es and -Fs in Switzerland, 68 by Korean Air
Korean Air
Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. , operating as Korean Air, is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of South Korea, with global headquarters located in Seoul, South Korea. Korean Air's international passenger division and related subsidiary cargo division together serve 130 cities in 45...

 in South Korea, and 308 in Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

. The F-5 proved to be a successful combat aircraft for US allies, but had little combat service with the US Air Force. The F-5E evolved into the single-engine F-5G, which was rebranded the F-20 Tigershark. It lost out on export sales to the F-16 in the 1980s.

Upgrades


Various F-5 versions remain in service with many nations.

Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 has approximately 49 modernized and re-designated F-5S (single-seat) and F-5T (two-seat) aircraft. Upgrades include new FIAR Grifo-F X-band radar from Galileo Avionica (similar in performance to the AN/APG-69), updated cockpits with multi-function displays, and compatibility with the AIM-120 AMRAAM
AIM-120 AMRAAM
The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM , is a modern beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. Designed with the same form-factor as the previous generation of semi-active guided Sparrow missiles, it is a fire-and-forget...

 and Rafael Python air-to-air missile
Air-to-air missile
An air-to-air missile is a missile fired from an aircraft for the purpose of destroying another aircraft. AAMs are typically powered by one or more rocket motors, usually solid fuelled but sometimes liquid fuelled...

s.

Similar programs have been carried out in Chile and Brazil with the help of Elbit. The Chilean upgrade, called the F-5 Tiger III Plus, incorporated a new Elta EL/M-2032
EL/M-2032
The EL/M-2032 is an advanced pulse Doppler, multimode Fire Control Radar intended for multi-role fighter aircraft originated from the Lavi project. It is suitable for air-to-air and air-to-surface modes....

 radar and other improvements. The Brazilian program, whose product is called the F-5M (Modernized), is armed with Python V coupled to the DASH helmet-mounted cue system, and new GRIFO radar, cockpit displays and navigation electronics. The Brazilian F-5M is also equipped with the Israeli Derby missile and can operate in a BVR
Beyond Visual Range missile
A beyond-visual-range missile usually refers to an air-to-air missile that is capable of engaging at ranges beyond . This range has been achieved using dual pulse rocket motors or booster rocket motor and ramjet sustainer motor....

 environment.
In the Cruzex 2006 multinational war games, a Brazilian F-5 made simulated kills on two French Dassault Mirage 2000N aircraft, which were supported by an E-3 Sentry
E-3 Sentry
The Boeing E-3 Sentry is an airborne warning and control system developed by Boeing as the prime contractor. Derived from the Boeing 707, it provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications, and is used by the United States Air Force , NATO, Royal Air Force , French Air Force...

 and escorted by other two Mirage 2000C. This result was achieved by using the Derby and the information relayed by datalink from an AEW&C plane, the Embraer R-99, fitted with the Erieye AESA radar.

Another upgrade program was carried out for the Royal Thai Air Force
Royal Thai Air Force
The Royal Thai Air Force or RTAF is the air force of the Kingdom of Thailand. Since its establishment in 1913, as one of the earliest air forces of Asia, the Royal Thai Air Force had engaged in many major and minor battles. During the Vietnam war era, the air force has been developed with USAF-aid...

 (RTAF) by Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, designated the F-5T Tigris; it was armed with Python III and 4 (with the Dash helmet-mounted cueing system). Unlike other F-5s which have undergone updates, the RTAF aircraft cannot use BVR
Beyond Visual Range missile
A beyond-visual-range missile usually refers to an air-to-air missile that is capable of engaging at ranges beyond . This range has been achieved using dual pulse rocket motors or booster rocket motor and ramjet sustainer motor....

 missiles.

One NASA F-5E was given a modified fuselage shape for its employment in the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration
Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration
The NASA Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, also known as the Shaped Sonic Boom Experiment, was a two-year program that used a Northrop F-5E with a modified fuselage to demonstrate that the aircraft's shock wave, and accompanying sonic boom, can be shaped, and thereby reduced...

 program carried out by DARPA. It is preserved in the Valiant Air Command Museum at Titusville
Titusville
-United States of America:*Titusville, Birmingham, Alabama*Titusville, Florida*Titusville, New Jersey*Titusville, a former community in Malone , New York*Titusville, Pennsylvania...

, Florida.

United States


The first contract for the production F-5A was issued in 1962, the first overseas order coming from the Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

 on 28 February 1964. It entered service with the 4441st Combat Crew Training School of the USAF, which had the role of training pilots and ground crew for customer nations, on 30 April that year, it still not being intended that the aircraft be used in significant numbers by the USAF itself.
This changed with testing and limited deployment in 1965. Preliminary combat evaluation of the F-5A began at the Air Proving Ground Center, Eglin AFB, Florida, during the summer of 1965 under project Sparrow Hawk, with one airframe lost through pilot error on 24 June. In October 1965, the USAF began a five-month combat evaluation of the F-5A titled Skoshi Tiger. Twelve aircraft were delivered for trials to the 4503rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, and after modification with probe and drogue aerial refueling
Aerial refueling
Aerial refueling, also called air refueling, in-flight refueling , air-to-air refueling or tanking, is the process of transferring fuel from one aircraft to another during flight....

 equipment, armor and improved instruments, were redesignated as the F-5C. Over the next six months, they performed combat duty in Vietnam
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, flying more than 2,600 sorties, both from the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing
3d Wing
The 3d Wing is a unit of the United States Air Force, assigned to the Pacific Air Forces Eleventh Air Force. It is stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska....

 at Bien Hoa
Bien Hoa
Biên Hòa is a city in Dong Nai province, Vietnam, about east of Ho Chi Minh City , to which Bien Hoa is linked by Vietnam Highway 1.- Demographics :In 1989 the estimated population was over 300,000. In 2005, the population wss 541,495...

 over South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

, and from Da Nang Air Base
Da Nang Air Base
Da Nang Air Base was a Republic of Vietnam Air Force facility. The United States used it as a major base during the Vietnam War , stationing Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine units there...

 where operations were flown over Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

. One aircraft was lost in combat. Although declared a success, with the aircraft generally rated as capable a ground-attack aircraft as the F-100, but suffering from a shorter range, the program was considered a political gesture intended to aid the export of more F-5s than a serious consideration of the type for U.S. service. From April 1966 the aircraft continued operations as 10th Fighter Commando Squadron with their number boosted to 17 aircraft. (Following Skoshi Tiger the Philippine Air Force
Philippine Air Force
The Philippine Air Force is the air force of the Republic of the Philippines, and one of the three main services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Its official name in Filipino is Hukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas....

 acquired 23 F-5A and B models in 1965. These aircraft, along with remanufactured Vought F-8 Crusaders, eventually replaced the Philippine Air Force's North American F-86 Sabre in the air defense and ground attack roles.)
In June 1967, the 10th FCS's surviving aircraft were turned over to the air force of South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

, which previously had only A-37 Dragonfly
A-37 Dragonfly
The Cessna A-37 Dragonfly, or Super Tweet, is a United States light attack aircraft developed from the T-37 Tweet basic trainer in the 1960s and 1970s...

 and A-1 Skyraider
A-1 Skyraider
The Douglas A-1 Skyraider was an American single-seat attack aircraft that saw service between the late 1940s and early 1980s. It became a piston-powered, propeller-driven anachronism in the jet age, and was nicknamed "Spad", after a French World War I fighter...

 attack aircraft. This new VNAF squadron was titled the 522nd. The president of Vietnam had originally asked for F-4 Phantoms used by the Americans, but the VNAF flew primarily ground support as the communist forces employed no opposing aircraft over South Vietnam, MiG or otherwise. Ironically, when Bien Hoa
Bien Hoa
Biên Hòa is a city in Dong Nai province, Vietnam, about east of Ho Chi Minh City , to which Bien Hoa is linked by Vietnam Highway 1.- Demographics :In 1989 the estimated population was over 300,000. In 2005, the population wss 541,495...

 was later overrun by Communist forces, several of the aircraft were captured and used operationally by the NVAF, in particular against Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

. In view of the performance, agility and size of the F-5, it might have appeared to be a good match against the similar MiG-21 in air combat; however, US doctrine was to use heavy, faster and longer-range aircraft like the Republic F-105 Thunderchief and McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II over North Vietnam. Several of the F-5s left over from the Vietnam war were sent to Poland and Russia, for advanced study of US aviation technology, while others were decommissioned and put on display at museums in Vietnam.

Although the United States does not use the F-5 in a front line role, it was adopted for an opposing forces (OPFOR) "aggressor" for dissimilar training role because of its small size and performance similarities to the Soviet MiG-21.
The F-5E saw service with the US Air Force from 1975 until 1990, serving in the 64th Aggressor Squadron
64th Aggressor Squadron
The 64th Aggressor Squadron ' is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 57th Adversary Tactics Group and stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.-Overview:...

 and 65th Aggressor Squadron
65th Aggressor Squadron
The 65th Aggressor Squadron ' is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 57th Adversary Tactics Group and stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.-Overview:...

 at Nellis Air Force Base
Nellis Air Force Base
Nellis Air Force Base is a United States Air Force Base, located approximately northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. It is under the jurisdiction of Air Combat Command .-Overview:...

 in Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

, and with the 527th Aggressor Squadron at RAF Alconbury in the UK and the 26th Aggressor Squadron at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. The US Marines purchased ex-USAF models in 1989 to replace their F-21s
IAI Kfir
The Israel Aircraft Industries Kfir is an Israeli-built all-weather, multirole combat aircraft based on a modified Dassault Mirage 5 airframe, with Israeli avionics and an Israeli-made version of the General Electric J79 turbojet engine.-Background:...

, which served with VMFT-401
VMFT-401
Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401 is a United States Marine Corps Reserve fighter squadron flying the F-5N Tiger II. Known as the "Snipers", the squadron is the only adversary squadron in the Marine Corps. They are based at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and fall under the command of the 4th...

 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma or MCAS Yuma is a United States Marine Corps air station which is the home to multiple squadrons of AV-8B Harrier IIs of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 and Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401 , an air combat adversary...

. The U.S. Navy used the F-5E extensively at the Naval Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) when it was located at NAS Miramar, California. When TOPGUN relocated to become part of the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center
Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center
The Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center at Naval Air Station Fallon located in the city of Fallon in western Nevada is the center of excellence for naval aviation training and tactics development...

 at NAS Fallon, Nevada, the command divested itself of the F-5, choosing to rely on VC-13 (redesignated VFC-13
VFC-13
Fighter Squadron Composite Saints is a US Navy fighter squadron that provides adversary training for U.S. Navy air wings at NAS Fallon, Nevada.VFC-13 uses "Bogey" as its main radio callsign.-History:...

 and which already used F-5s) to employ their F-5s as adversary aircraft. Former adversary squadrons such as VF-43 at NAS Oceana, VF-45 at NAS Key West, VF-126 at NAS Miramar, and VFA-127 at NAS Lemoore have also operated the F-5 along with other aircraft types in support of Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT).

The U.S. Navy F-5 fleet continues to be modernized with 36 low-hour F-5E/Fs purchased from Switzerland in 2006. These were updated as F-5N/Fs with modernized avionics and other improved systems. Currently, the only U.S. Navy units flying the F-5 are VFC-13 at NAS Fallon, Nevada and VFC-111
VFC-111
Composite Fighter Squadron 111 Sundowners is a US Navy Reserve adversary squadron based at Naval Air Station Key West, Florida...

 at NAS Key West, Florida. Currently, VFC-111 operates 18 Northrop F-5N/F Tiger-IIs, of which 17 are single-seater F-5Ns and the remainder being a twin-seater F-5F, which was dubbed "FrankenTiger" and is one of only three in service with the USN, being a product of grafting the older front half fuselage of the F-5Fs into the back half fuselage of the newer low-hours F-5Es acquired from the Swiss Air Force.

According to the FAA, there are 18 privately owned F-5s in the US, including Canadair CF-5Ds.

Mexico



In 1982, Mexico received 12 F-5E/F after the purchase of 24 IAI Kfir C.1 were blocked by the U.S, because the Kfir used the American-produced J79 engine. These fighters accompanied the T-33 and Vampire MkIII (procured much earlier), two of the first combat jet aircraft in Mexico. The subsonic T-33 and Vampire were introduced in the early 60's. The F-5 gave Mexico it's first supersonic platform and saw the formation of Air Squadron 401. In 1995 after more than 30 military parade flights without incident, on September 16, 1995 during the military parade of the Independence of Mexico an F-5E collided in the air with three T-33. A total of 10 deaths occurred. Since then, flyovers in Mexico were smaller in participation, for safety. In 2007 the F-5 had its 25 year anniversary in Mexican Air Force service. Mexico is currently looking at the Lockheed Martin F-16 as a much-needed replacement for the aging F-5's by 2015. Air Squadron 402 are also looking to replace their Lockheed T-33's that were retired in 2007.

Republic of China (Taiwan)


The Republic of China Air Force received its first batch of seven F-5As and two F-5Bs under the US Military Assistance Program in 1965. By 1971, the ROCAF was operating 72 F-5As and 11 F-5Bs. During 1972, the US decided to borrow 48 F-5As from Taiwan to boost the South Vietnam Air Force strength before withdrawing US forces from South Vietnam. By 1973 most of those loaned F-5As in South Vietnam were not in flying shape consequently the US decided to return 20 F-5As to Taiwan by drawing nine F-5As from US reserves while repairing a further 11 from those still in flying shape in South Vietnam. These were sent to Taiwan to make necessary repairs, with gave 28 F-5Es issued to Taiwan by May 1975 in return. By 1973, Taiwan's AIDC started local production of a first batch of 100 F-5Es in Taiwan, the first of six Peace Tiger production batches. By end of 1986 when the production line closed after completing Peace Tiger 6, the AIDC had produced 242 F-5Es and 66 F-5Fs. Adding the 28 original US-made F-5E/Fs, this made Taiwan the largest F-5E/F operator at one time, with 336 F-5E/Fs in inventory. A bit of F-20 influence can be seen in the last batch of F-5E/Fs by AIDC in Taiwan that featured the F-20's shark nose.

With the introduction of 150 F-16s, 60 Mirage 2000-5s and 130 F-CK-1s in mid- to late-1990s, the F-5E/F series became second line fighters in ROCAF service and mostly are now withdrawn from service as squadrons converted to new fighters entering ROCAF service. Seven low airframe hours F-5Es were sent to ST Aerospace
ST Aerospace
Singapore Technologies Aerospace is a subsidiary of ST Engineering based in Singapore, with international offices and facilities located in key aviation hubs in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the US...

 to convert them to RF-5E standard to fulfill a reconnaissance role previously undertaken by the retiring RF-104G in ROCAF service. As of 2009, only about 40 ROCAF F-5E/Fs still remain in service in training roles with about 90-100 F-5E/Fs held in reserve. The other retired F-5E/F are either scrapped, or used as decoys painted in colors representing the main front line F-16, Mirage 2000-5 or F-CK-1 fighters, and deployed around major air bases.

Taiwan also tried to upgrade the F-5E/F fleet with AIDC's Tiger 2000/2001 program. The first flight took place on 24 July 2002. The program would replace the F-5E/F's radar with F-CK-1's GD-53 radar and allow the fighter to carry a single TC-2 BVRAAM on the centerline. But lack of interest from the Taiwan/ROC Air Force eventually killed the program. The only prototype is on display in AIDC in Central Taiwan.

The only air combat actions ROCAF F-5E/F pilots saw, were not over Taiwan, but in North Yemen. In 1979, a flareup between North and South Yemen prompted the US to sell 14 F-5E/Fs to North Yemen to boost its air defense. Since no one in North Yemen knew how to fly the F-5E/F (only MiG-15s were operational at the time), US and Saudi Arabia arranged to have 80+ ROCAF F-5E pilots (eight pilots per year) plus ground crew and anti-air defense units sent to North Yemen as part of North Yemen Air Force's 115th Squadron at Sana‘a operating initially just six F-5E/Fs and then from April 1979 to May 1990, added eight more. The ROCAF piloted F-5E/F scored a few kills in a few air battles, but the ground early warning radar crews and anti-air units also suffered from air attacks from South Yemen, the aircraft being piloted by Soviet crews.

Iran



The Imperial Iranian Air Force received extensive US equipment in the 1960s and 1970s. Iran received its first 11 F-5A and two F-5Bs in February 1965 which were then declared operational in June 1965. Ultimately, Iran received 104 F-5A and 23 F-5Bs by 1972. From January 1974 with the first squadron of 28 F-5Fs, Iran received a total of 166 F-5E/F and 15 additional RF-5Es with deliveries ending in 1976. While receiving the F-5E and F, Iran started selling its F-5A and Bs to other countries including Ethiopia, Turkey, Greece and South Vietnam; by 1976, they were all sold apart from some F-5Bs retained for training.

After the revolution, the new Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force was partially successful keeping Western fighters in service during the war with Iraq in the 1980s and the simple F-5 had a good service readiness until late in the war. Initially Iran took spare parts from foreign sources, later it was able to have its new aircraft industry keep the aircraft flying.

During the war with Iraq, IRIAF F-5s were heavily involved, flying air-to-air and air-to-ground sorties. Iranian F-5s took part in many air combats with Iraqi MiG-21, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 is a variable-geometry fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau in the Soviet Union. It is considered to belong to the Soviet third generation jet fighter category, along with similarly aged Soviet fighters such as the MiG-25 "Foxbat"...

, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 is a supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft that was among the fastest military aircraft to enter service. Designed by the Soviet Union's Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau the first prototype flew in 1964 with entry into service in 1970...

, Su-20/22
Sukhoi Su-17
The Sukhoi Su-17 is a Soviet attack aircraft developed from the Sukhoi Su-7 fighter-bomber. It enjoyed a long career in Soviet, later Russian, service and was widely exported to communist and Middle Eastern air forces, under names Su-20 and Su-22.-Development:Seeking to improve low-speed and...

, Mirage F-1 and Super Etendards scoring many victories but also suffering many losses. However the exact combat record is not known with many different claims from Iraqi, Iranian and even Western and Russian sources. Adding to the haze surrounding the F-5's combat record is that many of the IRIAF's confirmed air-to-air kills were, for political reasons, attributed to the Revolutionary Guards. Nonetheless, there are reports that an F-5E, piloted by Major Yadollah Javadpour, managed to shoot down a MiG-25 on 6 August 1983. Additionally, his five claimed aerial victories, with two confirmed kills make Javadpour an ace and the world's most successful F-5 combat pilot.

From a general standpoint, during the first years of service, Iranian F-5 fighter aircraft had the advantage in missile technology, using advanced versions of the IR seeking Sidewinder, later lost with deliveries of new missiles and fighters to Iraq.

Iran currently produces an indigenous aircraft titled, "Saegeh", which is built on the same platform as the F-5, and probably armed with Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n-made or Chinese
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

-made munitions such as AA-10 Alamo, AA-11 Archer or C-802
C-802
The Yingji-82 or YJ-82 is a Chinese anti-ship missile first unveiled in 1989 by the China Haiying Electro-Mechanical Technology Academy , also known as the Third Academy...

.

Ethiopia


Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 received 10 F-5As and two F-5Bs from the US starting in 1966. In addition to these, Ethiopia had a training squadron equipped with at least eight Lockheed T-33 Shooting Stars. In 1970, Iran transferred at least three F-5As and Bs to Ethiopia. In 1975, another agreement was reached with the US to deliver a number of military aircraft, including 14 F-5Es and three F-5Fs; later in the same year eight F-5Es were transferred while the others were embargoed and delivered to a USAF aggressor Squadron due to the changed political situation. The US also withdrew its personnel and cut diplomatic relations. Ethiopian officers contracted a number of Israelis to maintain American equipment.

The Ethiopian F-5 fighters saw combat action against Somali forces during the Ogaden War
Ogaden War
The Ogaden War was a conventional conflict between Somalia and Ethiopia in 1977 and 1978 over the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. In a notable illustration of the nature of Cold War alliances, the Soviet Union switched from supplying aid to Somalia to supporting Ethiopia, which had previously been...

 (1977–1978). The main Somali fighter aircraft was the MiG-21MF delivered in the 1970s, supported by Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 is a high-subsonic fighter aircraft produced in the USSR from 1952 and operated by numerous air forces in many variants. Most MiG-17 variants cannot carry air-to-air missiles, but shot down many aircraft with its cannons...

s delivered in the 1960s by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. Ethiopian F-5E aircraft were used to gain air superiority because they could use the AIM-9B air to air missile, while the F-5As were kept for air interdiction
Air interdiction
Air interdiction is the use of aircraft to attack tactical ground targets that are not in close proximity to friendly ground forces. It differs from close air support because it does not directly support ground operations and is not closely coordinated with ground units...

 and air strike. During this period Ethiopian F-5Es went on training against Ethiopian F-5As and F-86 Sabres (simulating Somali MiG-21s and MiG-17s).

On 17 July 1977, two Ethiopian F-5s were on combat air patrol near Harer, when four Somali MiG-21MFs were detected nearby. In the engagement, two MiG-21s were shot down while the other two had a midair collision while avoiding a AIM-9B missile. The better-trained Ethiopian Air Force
Ethiopian Air Force
The Ethiopian Air Force is the air arm of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and is tasked with protecting the air space, providing support to the ground forces as well as assisting during national emergencies.- Early years :...

 F-5 pilots swiftly gained air superiority over the Somali Air Force, shooting down a number of aircraft, while other Somali aircraft were lost to air defense and to incidents. However at least three F-5s were shot down by air defense forces during attacks against supply bases in western Somalia.

Morocco


F-5As and F-5Bs took part in the Polisario War in Western Sahara
Western Sahara
Western Sahara is a disputed territory in North Africa, bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its surface area amounts to . It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly...

 in the 1980s. During the war, the Polisario Front
Polisario Front
The POLISARIO, Polisario Front, or Frente Polisario, from the Spanish abbreviation of Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro is a Sahrawi rebel national liberation movement working for the independence of Western Sahara from Morocco...

 was aided by East European, Cuban and Algerian advisers. They were armed with heavy weapons and even with sophisticated heavy SA-6 anti-aircraft systems. Some 14 F-5s were lost during combat. A total of 24 F-5Es have been upgraded to F-5TIII standard.

Saudi Arabia


During the Gulf War, Saudi F-5Es flew close air support and aerial interdiction missions against Iraqi units in Kuwait. One RSAF F-5E was lost to ground fire on 13 February 1991. The pilot was killed in action. In Saudi Arabian service, approximately 20 Tigers have been lost to various causes over the years.

Norway


The Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

 received 108 Freedom Fighters: 16 RF-5A, 78 F-5A and 14 F-5B. The first 64 were received as military aid. They were in use by several squadrons, the first and last being 336 Squadron receiving the first aircraft in February 1966 (formal handing-over ceremony a month later), and deactivating in August 2000. Three aircraft were kept flying until 2007, serving with Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk's Eye of the Tiger-project, developing the Naval Strike Missile
Naval Strike Missile
The Naval Strike Missile is an anti-ship and land-attack missile developed by the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace , and whose initial serial production contract was signed in June 2007. It has been chosen by the Royal Norwegian Navy for its new Fridtjof Nansen class frigates and...

. The aircraft received under military aid were handed off to Greece and Turkey. Of the aircraft bought by the Norwegian Government, nine were used in exchange with US authorities for submarines of the Kobben class. Five F-5s were given to aircraft maintenance schools
Aircraft Maintenance Technician
Aircraft maintenance technician, as used in the United States, refers to an individual who holds a mechanic certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration; the rules for certification, and for certificate-holders, are detailed in Subpart D of Part 65 of the Federal Aviation Regulations ,...

 in October 2011. The remaining 10 are being stored at Rygge. Three survivors are exhibited at the Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection
Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection
Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection is a military aviation museum located in Gardermoen, near Oslo, Norway. The museum was established in 1967, with a Heinkel He 111 and a Northrop N-3PB as one of the first objects. However, the museum was not opened for the public until 1984...

, and two at Norsk Luftfartsmuseum in Bodø.

Philippines


The Philippines has decommissioned their remaining F-5A/B fleet that were transferred from Taiwan and South Korea, although six to eight F-5s remain in flyable condition in case of a national emergency, with two F-5s being an upgraded variant.

Singapore


Singapore is an important operator of the F-5E/F variant, first ordering the aircraft in 1976 during a massive expansion of the city-state's armed forces; delivery of this first batch of 18 F-5Es and three F-5Fs was completed by late February 1979, equipping the newly formed-up No. 144 Black Kite Squadron
144 Squadron, Republic of Singapore Air Force
The 144 Squadron "Blackite" of the Republic of Singapore Air Force is a fighter-bomber squadron based at Paya Lebar Air Base, the squadron goes by the motto "Dare To Excel" with the Black Kite adopted as its mascot.-History:...

 at Tengah Air Base. At the end of 1979, an order was placed for six more F-5Es, these were was delivered by 1981. In 1982, an order for three more F-5Fs was placed, these were forward delivered in September 1983 to RAF Leuchars
RAF Leuchars
RAF Leuchars is the most northerly air defence station in the United Kingdom. It is located in Leuchars, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland, near to the university town of St Andrews.-Operations:...

 in Scotland where they were taken over by pilots of the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

 (RSAF). In 1983, the type took over the duties of airborne interception
Interceptor aircraft
An interceptor aircraft is a type of fighter aircraft designed specifically to prevent missions of enemy aircraft, particularly bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. Interceptors generally rely on high speed and powerful armament in order to complete their mission as quickly as possible and set up...

 from RAAF's Mirage IIIO
Dassault Mirage III
The Mirage III is a supersonic fighter aircraft designed by Dassault Aviation during the late 1950s, and manufactured both in France and a number of other countries. It was a successful fighter aircraft, being sold to many air forces around the world and remaining in production for over a decade...

s detachment stationed at Tengah.

Another order for six more F-5Es was placed in 1985, these were delivered the same year and would go on to equip the newly formed-up No. 149 Shikra Squadron
149 Squadron, Republic of Singapore Air Force
The 149 Squadron "Shikra" of the Republic of Singapore Air Force is a fighter-bomber squadron based at Paya Lebar Air Base, the squadron goes by the motto "Steadfast" with the Shikra adopted as its mascot.-History:...

 at Tengah. The following year, the RSAF placed an order for its final batch of three F-5Fs and five F-5Es, these were delivered in December 1987 and July 1989, respectively. In a bid to modernise their air force, the Royal Jordanian Air Force put up seven F-5Es for sale in 1994, these were later acquired by Singapore.

From 1990 to 1991, using jigs and toolings purchased from Northrop, Singapore Aircraft Industries (SAI, now ST Aerospace
ST Aerospace
Singapore Technologies Aerospace is a subsidiary of ST Engineering based in Singapore, with international offices and facilities located in key aviation hubs in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the US...

) converted 8 existing F-5Es into RF-5E Tigereye variant. Subsequently, these were used to requipped No. 141 Merlin Squadron, which had traded in their older Hawker Hunter
Hawker Hunter
The Hawker Hunter is a subsonic British jet aircraft developed in the 1950s. The single-seat Hunter entered service as a manoeuvrable fighter aircraft, and later operated in fighter-bomber and reconnaissance roles in numerous conflicts. Two-seat variants remained in use for training and secondary...

 FR.74S for the newer Tigereyes in 1992 and was by then based at Paya Lebar Air Base, after the 144 Squadron had relocated there in 1986. By June 1993, all three squadrons had been relocated to the base, thus consolidating Singapore's F-5E/F operations at Paya Lebar.

In late 1991, SAI was further awarded a contract by RSAF to mordernise and upgrade all the F-5E/F in RSAF's inventory (including the 7 ex-Jordanian F-5Es), with main-sub contractor Elbit Systems
Elbit Systems
Elbit Systems Ltd. is one of the world's largest defense electronics manufacturers and integrators. Established in 1967, and based in Haifa, Israel, Elbit employs 11,000 people worldwide....

 responsible for systems integration. Included in the package was a new X band
X band
The X band is a segment of the microwave radio region of the electromagnetic spectrum. In some cases, such as in communication engineering, the frequency range of X band is rather indefinitely set at approximately 7.0 to 11.2 gigahertz . In radar engineering, the frequency range is specified...

 multi-mode radar (the Italian FIAR Grifo-F, with Beyond-visual-range missile and Look-down/shoot-down
Look-down/shoot-down
Look-down/shoot-down is a capability a radar system is said to possess if it is able to detect, track and put a weapon onto an air target moving below the horizon as seen by the radar...

 capabilities), a revamped cockpit with new MIL-STD-1553R databuses, GEC/Ferranti
Ferranti
Ferranti or Ferranti International plc was a UK electrical engineering and equipment firm that operated for over a century from 1885 until it went bankrupt in 1993. Known primarily for defence electronics, the Company was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but ceased trading in 1993.The...

 4510 Head-up display
Head-Up Display
A head-up display or heads-up display is any transparent display that presents data without requiring users to look away from their usual viewpoints...

/weapons delivery system, two BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

 MED-2067 Multi-function display
Multi-function display
A Multi-function display is a small screen in an aircraft surrounded by multiple buttons that can be used to display information to the pilot in numerous configurable ways. Often an MFD will be used in concert with a Primary Flight Display. MFDs are part of the digital era of modern planes or...

s, Litton
Litton Industries
Named after inventor Charles Litton, Sr., Litton Industries was a large defense contractor in the United States, bought by the Northrop Grumman Corporation in 2001.-History:...

 LN-93 inertial navigation system
Inertial navigation system
An inertial navigation system is a navigation aid that uses a computer, motion sensors and rotation sensors to continuously calculate via dead reckoning the position, orientation, and velocity of a moving object without the need for external references...

 (similar to all those found on ST Aerospace A-4SU Super Skyhawks) and Hands On Throttle-And-Stick controls (HOTAS)
HOTAS
HOTAS, an abbreviation for Hands On Throttle-And-Stick, is the name given to the concept of placing buttons and switches on the throttle stick and flight control stick in an aircraft's cockpit, allowing the pilot to access vital cockpit functions and fly the aircraft without having to remove his...

 to reduce pilot workload. Reportedly, the Elisra SPS2000 radar warning receiver
Radar warning receiver
Radar warning receiver systems detect the radio emissions of radar systems. Their primary purpose is to issue a warning when a radar signal that might be a threat is detected. The warning can then be used, manually or automatically, to evade the detected threat...

 and countermeasure system was also installed. Additionally, the starboard M-39 20mm cannon mounted in the nose was removed to make way for additional avionics (the sole cannon fitted to the two-seaters was removed because of this), and to improve maneuverability, all the upgraded aircraft were also fitted with larger leading edge root extensions (LERX). The process of rebuilding and upgrading began in March 1996 and was completed by 2001. As a result, they received the new designation of F-5S/T. In 1998, the eight RF-5Es were also upgraded, receiving the full upgrade except for the radar, these were later redesignated as RF-5S.

By end of 2009, the type had accumulated more than 170,000 hours of flight hours in Singapore service with only two F-5Es being lost in separate accidents (in 1984 and 1991, respectively). In a 2009 interview in the air force's newsletter, Singapore's former Chief of Air Force and F-5 pilot, Major General Ng Chee Khern
Ng Chee Khern
Major General Ng Chee Khern 黄志勤 is currently the Director of Singapore's Security and Intelligence Division. He was formerly the Chief of the Republic of Singapore Air Force ....

 commented that:

As of June 2011, only 141 and 144 Squadron are left operating the RF-5S and F-5S/T, as 149 Squadron has since formally transitioned to the McDonnell Douglas F-15SG Strike Eagles on 5 April 2010.

Single-seat versions



N-156F: Single-seat fighter prototype. Only three aircraft were built.

YF-5A: The three prototypes were given the US Air Force designation YF-5A.

F-5A: Single-seat fighter version of F-5, originally without radar, but was later equipped with AN/APQ-153 radar during upgrades.

F-5A (G): Single-seat fighter version of the F-5A for the Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

.

XF-5A: This designation was given to one aircraft used for static tests.

A-9: Designation of Spanish built F-5A which served in the Ejército del Aire

F-5C Skoshi Tiger: 12 F-5A Freedom Fighters, were tested by the US Air Force for four and a half months in Vietnam.

F-5E Tiger II: Single-seat fighter version with AN/APQ-159 replacing earlier AN/APQ-153 in F-5A.

F-5E Tiger III: Upgraded version of the F-5E in use by the Chilean Air Force
Chilean Air Force
The Chilean Air Force is the air force of Chile, a branch of the Chilean military.-History:The first step towards the current FACh was taken by Teniente Coronel Pedro Pablo Dartnell, when he founded the Servicio de Aviación Militar de Chile on December 20, 1910, being trained as a pilot in France...

, with EL/M-2032
EL/M-2032
The EL/M-2032 is an advanced pulse Doppler, multimode Fire Control Radar intended for multi-role fighter aircraft originated from the Lavi project. It is suitable for air-to-air and air-to-surface modes....

 radar replacing the original AN/APQ-159.

F-5E/F: A single Swiss Air Force F-5E with F-5F Wings. Currently (2011), this aircraft is part of the Museum at Meiringen AFB

F-5G: The temporary designation given to the F-20 Tigershark
F-20 Tigershark
The Northrop F-20 Tigershark was a privately-financed light fighter, designed and built by Northrop. Its development began in 1975 as a further evolution of Northrop's F-5E Tiger II, featuring a new engine that greatly improved overall performance, and a modern avionics suite including a powerful...

, armed with General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

 AN/APG-67 radar.

F-5N: Ex-Swiss Air Force F-5Es used by the US Navy as "aggressor" aircraft, with AN/APG-69 replacing the original AN/APQ-159. Intended to replace high-time USN/USMC F-5Es in the adversary role, and see service through to 2015.

F-5S: Upgraded version of the F-5E in use by the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

, equipped with the Galileo Avionica's FIAR Grifo-F X-band radar and are capable of firing the AIM-120 AMRAAM
AIM-120 AMRAAM
The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM , is a modern beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. Designed with the same form-factor as the previous generation of semi-active guided Sparrow missiles, it is a fire-and-forget...

.

F-5T Tigris: Upgraded version of the F-5E of Royal Thai Air Force
Royal Thai Air Force
The Royal Thai Air Force or RTAF is the air force of the Kingdom of Thailand. Since its establishment in 1913, as one of the earliest air forces of Asia, the Royal Thai Air Force had engaged in many major and minor battles. During the Vietnam war era, the air force has been developed with USAF-aid...

 by Israel, also armed with EL/M-2032.

F-5EM: Upgraded version of the F-5E of Brazilian Air Force
Brazilian Air Force
The Brazilian Air Force is the air branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces and one of the three national uniformed services. The FAB was formed when the Army and Navy air branch were merged into a single military force initially called "National Air Forces"...

 armed with Italian Grifo-F radar.
F-5TIII: Upgraded version of the F-5E,in service with the Royal Moroccan Air Force.

Reconnaissance versions


RF-5A: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5A fighter. Approximately 120 were built.

RF-5A (G): Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5A fighter for the Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

.

RF-5E Tigereye: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5E fighter. The RF-5E Tigereye was exported to Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and Malaysia.

RF-5E Tigergazer: Seven upgraded single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5E for Taiwan by ST Aerospace
ST Aerospace
Singapore Technologies Aerospace is a subsidiary of ST Engineering based in Singapore, with international offices and facilities located in key aviation hubs in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the US...

.

RF-5S Tigereye: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5S for the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

.

AR-9: Spanish reconnaissance aircraft

Two-seat versions




F-5-21
Temporarily designation given to the YF-5B.

YF-5B
One F-5B was fitted with a 5,000 lbf (2,268 kgf) General Electric J85-GE-21 engine, and used as a prototype for the F-5E Tiger II.

F-5B
Two-seat fighter version for the Republic of Korea Air Force
Republic of Korea Air Force
The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

, armed with AN/APQ-157 radar.

F-5B(G)
Two-seat trainer version of the F-5B for the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

F-5B M
Two-seat trainer version in use by the Spanish Air Force
Spanish Air Force
-The early stages:Hot air balloons had been used with military purposes in Spain as far back as 1896. In 1905, with the help of Alfredo Kindelán, Leonardo Torres y Quevedo directed the construction of the first Spanish dirigible in the Army Military Aerostatics Service, created in 1896 and located...

 for air combat training.

F-5D
Unbuilt trainer version.

F-5F Tiger II
Two-seat trainer version of F-5E Tiger II, AN/APQ-167 radar tested, intended to replace AN/APQ-157, but not carried out.

F-5F Tiger III
Upgraded trainer version of the F-5F in use by the Chilean Air Force.

F-5T
Upgraded F-5F in use by the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

.

F-5FM
Upgraded trainer version of the F-5F for the Brazilian Air Force
Brazilian Air Force
The Brazilian Air Force is the air branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces and one of the three national uniformed services. The FAB was formed when the Army and Navy air branch were merged into a single military force initially called "National Air Forces"...

.

Licensed versions


CF-5: Fighter versions for the Canadian Forces Air Command
Canadian Forces Air Command
The Royal Canadian Air Force , formerly Canadian Forces Air Command, is one of three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces...

 built under license by Canadair
Canadair
Canadair Ltd. was a civil and military aircraft manufacturer in Canada. It was a subsidiary of other aircraft manufacturers, then a nationalized corporation until privatized in 1986, and became the core of Bombardier Aerospace....

. Its Canadian designation is CF-116.

NF-5A: Single-seat fighter version of the CF-5A for the Royal Netherlands Air Force
Royal Netherlands Air Force
The Royal Netherlands Air Force , Dutch Koninklijke Luchtmacht , is the military aviation branch of the Netherlands Armed Forces. Its ancestor, the Luchtvaartafdeling of the Dutch Army was founded on 1 July 1913, with four pilots...

; 75 built.

NF-5B: Two-seat training version of the CF-5D for the Royal Netherlands Air force; 30 built.

SF-5A: Single-seat fighter version of the F-5A for the Spanish Air Force
Spanish Air Force
-The early stages:Hot air balloons had been used with military purposes in Spain as far back as 1896. In 1905, with the help of Alfredo Kindelán, Leonardo Torres y Quevedo directed the construction of the first Spanish dirigible in the Army Military Aerostatics Service, created in 1896 and located...

; built under licence in Spain by CASA
Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA
Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA , was a Spanish aircraft manufacturer. It became EADS CASA the Spanish branch of EADS in 1999, but was absorbed by Airbus Military in 2009...

.

SRF-5A: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the RF-5A for the Spanish Air force; built under license in Spain By CASA.

SF-5B: Two-seat training version of the F-5B for the Spanish Air Force. Built under license in Spain by CASA.

VF-5A: Single-seat version of the CF-5A for the Venezuelan Air Force. This designation was given to some Canadair CF-116s which were sold to the Venezuelan Air Force.

VF-5D: Two-seat training version of the CF-5D for the Venezuelan Air Force.

KF-5E: F-5E built in South Korea for Republic of Korea Air Force
Republic of Korea Air Force
The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

. First introduction: September, 1982; 48 built.

KF-5F: F-5F built in South Korea for Republic of Korea Air Force
Republic of Korea Air Force
The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

. First introduction: September, 1982; 20 built.

Chung Chen: F-5E/F built in Taiwan for Republic of China Air Force
Republic of China Air Force
The Republic of China Air Force is the aviation branch of the Republic of China Armed Forces. The ROCAF's primary mission is the defense of the airspace over and around Taiwan...

 by AIDC. First introduction: October 30, 1974, one day before the late President Chiang Kai Shek's 88th birthday, and was thus christened "Chung Chen", an alias of President Chiang; 308 built.

Unlicensed versions


Azarakhsh :F-5E built in Iran with unknown modifications and a mid wing.

Sa'eqeh :F-5E modified in Iran with canted, twin vertical stabilizers.

F-20 Tigershark


Northrop attempted to develop an advanced version of the F-5E, originally designated F-5G, as an export competitor for the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The F-5G was later redesignated the F-20 Tigershark. It received favorable reviews as a less expensive but capable alternative to early-block variants of the F-16 (and superior to the similarly never-purchased export variant F-16/79), but it never had the appeal of the much newer fighter design even at a lower cost.

Northrop YF-17


The Northrop YF-17's aircraft's main design elements date from the F-5 based internal Northrop project N-300. The N-300 featured a longer fuselage, small leading-edge root extensions (LERX), and more powerful GE15-J1A1 turbojets. The wing was moved higher on the fuselage to increase ordnance flexibility. The N-300 further evolved into the P-530 Cobra. The P-530's wing planform and nose section was similar to the F-5, with a trapezoidal shape formed by a sweep of 20° at the quarter-chord line, and an unswept trailing edge, but was over double the area. While the YF-17 lost its bid for the USAF lightweight fighter, it would be developed into the larger McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.

Operators


  • Bahrain Air Force received eight F-5Es and two F-5Fs in between 1985 and 1987.

  • Botswana Air Force purchased 10 upgraded CF-5As and 3 CF-5Ds from Canada in 1996. A further two CF-5Ds were purchased in 2000.

  • Brazilian Air Force
    Brazilian Air Force
    The Brazilian Air Force is the air branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces and one of the three national uniformed services. The FAB was formed when the Army and Navy air branch were merged into a single military force initially called "National Air Forces"...

     operates 57 custom upgraded F-5Es. To be retired in 2015.

  • Chilean Air Force
    Chilean Air Force
    The Chilean Air Force is the air force of Chile, a branch of the Chilean military.-History:The first step towards the current FACh was taken by Teniente Coronel Pedro Pablo Dartnell, when he founded the Servicio de Aviación Militar de Chile on December 20, 1910, being trained as a pilot in France...

    : Chile purchased 15 F-Es and three F-5Fs in the 1970s, these being upgraded to Tigre III standard from 1993. In 1995, it supplemented its fleet with 10 F-5Es and two F-5Fs from Honduras. A total of 16 F-5Es were replaced in 2009 by 16 F-16 MLU T5s. A total of 10 F-5s remain operational as of 2009.

  • Republic of China Air Force
    Republic of China Air Force
    The Republic of China Air Force is the aviation branch of the Republic of China Armed Forces. The ROCAF's primary mission is the defense of the airspace over and around Taiwan...

    : Received 115 F-5A and B from 1965, 48 were transferred to South Vietnam before 1975. From 1973 to 1986, Taiwan produced 308 F-5E/Fs under license. Later batches of locally AIDC licensed production of Tiger IIs were fitted with flare/chaff dispensers, plus handling qualities upgrades with enlarged LEX and F-20's shark nose, and radar warning receivers(RWR).

  • Honduran Air Force
    Honduran Air Force
    The Honduras Air Force is the air force of Honduras. As such it is the air power arm of the Honduras Armed Forces.-History:...


  • Indonesian Air Force
    Indonesian Air Force
    The Indonesian Air Force is the air force branch of the Indonesian National Armed Forces.The Indonesian Air Force has 34,930 personnel equipped with 110 combat aircraft including Su-27 and Su-30.-Before Indonesian independence :...

    : All 16 F-5Es have been retired since late 2005 but are in reserve in case of future use.

  • Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
    Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
    The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force ' is the aviation branch of the Iranian armed forces. The present Air Force came into being in the early 1980s when the former Imperial Iranian Air Force was renamed....

    : 60 or 75 F-5E and F operational; 140 originally delivered
  • Unknown numbers of HESA Saeqeh and HESA Azarakhsh fighters derived from the F-5 design

  • Royal Jordanian Air Force
    Royal Jordanian Air Force
    The Royal Jordanian Air Force is the air force branch of the Jordanian Armed Forces.-Early days:...


  • Kenya Air Force
    Kenya Air Force
    The Kenya Air Force is the national Air Force of Kenya.The main airbase operating fighters is Laikipia Air Base in Nanyuki, while Moi Air Base in Eastleigh, Nairobi is the HQ & operations Kenya Air Force. Other bases include FOB Mombasa The Kenya Air Force (KAF) is the national Air Force of...

    : In July 2008, it was reported that Kenya will spend 1.5 billion KSh
    Kenyan shilling
    The shilling is the currency of Kenya. It is divisible into 100 cents.-Coins:The first coins were issued in 1966 in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 shillings. Twenty-five cents coins were not minted after 1969; 2 shillings coins were last minted in 1971...

     to buy 15 former Jordanian Air Force F-5s, 13 F-5E and two F-5F (plus training and spare parts). They will be added or eventually replace the current F-5 fleet

  • Republic of Korea Air Force
    Republic of Korea Air Force
    The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

     received a total of 340 F-5s (88 F-5A, 30 F-5B, 8 RF-5A, 126 F-5E, 20 F-5F, 48 KF-5E, and 20 KF-5F).

  • Mexican Air Force
    Mexican Air Force
    The Mexican Air Force is the aviation branch of the Mexican Army and depends on the National Defense Secretariat . Since 2008, its commander is Gen...

     received 12 F-5s in 1982. The service currently operates eight F-5Es and two F-5Fs.

  • Royal Moroccan Air Force
    Royal Moroccan Air Force
    The Royal Moroccan Air Force is the air force branch of the Moroccan Armed Forces.-History:...

     operates 33 F-5A/Bs including nine F-5E/Fs and 24 upgraded F-5TIIIs.


  • Royal Saudi Air Force
    Royal Saudi Air Force
    The Royal Saudi Air Force , is the aviation branch of the Saudi Arabian armed forces. The RSAF has developed from a largely defensive military force into one with an advanced offensive capability...

    : 110 F-5E/Fs withdrawn from active service aside from in the trainer role, some squadrons such as #10 based in Taif will be replaced with Eurofighter Typhoon
    Eurofighter Typhoon
    The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole combat aircraft, designed and built by a consortium of three companies: EADS, Alenia Aeronautica and BAE Systems; working through a holding company, Eurofighter GmbH, which was formed in 1986...

    .

  • Republic of Singapore Air Force
    Republic of Singapore Air Force
    The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

    : operates 32× F-5S, 9× F-5T and 8× RF-5S.

  • Spanish Air Force
    Spanish Air Force
    -The early stages:Hot air balloons had been used with military purposes in Spain as far back as 1896. In 1905, with the help of Alfredo Kindelán, Leonardo Torres y Quevedo directed the construction of the first Spanish dirigible in the Army Military Aerostatics Service, created in 1896 and located...

    , operates 20 F-5Bs as trainers for fighter school.

 Sudan
  • Sudanese Air Force
    Sudanese Air Force
    The Sudanese Air Force is the air force operated by the Republic of the Sudan. As such it is part of the Sudanese Armed Forces.-History:The Sudanese Air Force was founded immediately after Sudan gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1956. The British assisted in the Air Force's...

    : 10 F-5Es and two F-5F were delivered in 1978, One of the F-5Fs was sold to Jordan
    Jordan
    Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

    . further two F-5s defected to Sudan from Ethiopia
    Ethiopia
    Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

     during the Ogaden crisis.


  • Swiss Air Force
    Swiss Air Force
    The Swiss Air Force is the air component of the Swiss Armed Forces, established on July 31, 1914, as part of the Army and as of January 1966 an independent service.In peacetime, Dübendorf is the operational Air Force HQ...

    : Operating 42 F-5E and 12 F-5F Tiger II.

  • Royal Thai Air Force
    Royal Thai Air Force
    The Royal Thai Air Force or RTAF is the air force of the Kingdom of Thailand. Since its establishment in 1913, as one of the earliest air forces of Asia, the Royal Thai Air Force had engaged in many major and minor battles. During the Vietnam war era, the air force has been developed with USAF-aid...

    : F-5A retired. Now operates F-5B/E/F/T, F-5B/E slated for retirement in 2011-2012, to be replaced by 12-JAS 39 Gripen
    JAS 39 Gripen
    The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a lightweight single-engine multirole fighter manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. It was designed to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen in the Swedish Air Force...

    . The last F-5 fleet, upgraded F-5T Tigris and F-5F will continue to serve to 2015-2020.

  • Tunisian Air Force
    Tunisian Air Force
    The Tunisian Air Force is one of the branches of the Tunisian Armed Forces.-Air Force:The Tunisian Air Force was established in 1959, three years after Tunisia regained its independence from France. It took deliveries of its first aircraft, eight Saab 91 Safirs, in 1960, later to be complemented...



  • Turkish Air Force
    Turkish Air Force
    The Turkish Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the Turkish Armed Forces. It ranks 3rd in NATO in terms of fleet size behind the USAF and Royal Air Force with a current inventory of 798 aircraft .-Initial stages:...

    : More than 200 F-5A/Bs and NF-5A/Bs were bought from various countries. Between 40 and 50 of them were upgraded to F-5/2000 standard during the 2000s; Turkish Stars
    Turkish Stars
    The Turkish Stars are the aerobatic demonstration team of the Turkish Air Force and the national aerobatics team of Turkey.The team was formed on November 7, 1992 and was named the Turkish Stars on January 11, 1993....

     aerobatic team. In total, 50 NF-5A and 25 NF-5B remain operational.

  • United States Marine Corps
    United States Marine Corps
    The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

  • United States Navy
    United States Navy
    The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...


  • Venezuelan Air Force

  • Yemen Air Force
    Yemen Air Force
    -North and South Yemen:The Yemen Air Force, known as al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Yamaniya, was established in 1926. During the mid-1950s, the Imam of Yemen established a private fleet that was run by the military. Later, the Russians delivered MiG-15 and MiG-17 fighters, followed by MiG-21s to the...

    : North Yemen Air Force's 14 F-5E/F fleet were initially piloted by ROCAF/Taiwan pilots as part of 115th Squadron at Sana‘a, from April 1979 to May 1990, to boost its air defense.

Former operators


  • Austrian Air Force
    Austrian Air Force
    The Austrian Air Force is a component part of the Austrian armed forces .-History:The Austrian Air Force was formed in May 1955 by the victorious Allied powers, subject to restrictions on its use of guided missiles...

    : On loan from Switzerland – all aircraft returned and replaced by Eurofighters

  • Canadian Forces
    Canadian Forces
    The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

     – see Canadair CF-5

  • Chilean Air Force
    Chilean Air Force
    The Chilean Air Force is the air force of Chile, a branch of the Chilean military.-History:The first step towards the current FACh was taken by Teniente Coronel Pedro Pablo Dartnell, when he founded the Servicio de Aviación Militar de Chile on December 20, 1910, being trained as a pilot in France...

    : Chile purchased 15 F-Es and 3 F-5Fs in the 1970s, these being upgraded to Tigre III standard from 1993. In 1995, it supplemented its fleet with 10 F-5Es and 2 F-5Fs from Honduras. 16 F-5Es were replaced in 2009 by 16 F-16 Fighting Falcon MLU T5. A total of 10 F-5s remain operational as of 2009.

  • Ethiopian Air Force
    Ethiopian Air Force
    The Ethiopian Air Force is the air arm of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and is tasked with protecting the air space, providing support to the ground forces as well as assisting during national emergencies.- Early years :...


  • Hellenic Air Force
    Hellenic Air Force
    The Hellenic Air Force, abbreviated to HAF is the air force of Greece. The mission of the Hellenic Air Force is to guard and protect Greek airspace, provide air assistance and support to the Hellenic Army and the Hellenic Navy, as well as the provision of humanitarian aid in Greece and around the...


  • Royal Libyan Air Force to 1969. 10 F-5s. May have been sold to Turkey after 1969.

  • Royal Netherlands Air Force
    Royal Netherlands Air Force
    The Royal Netherlands Air Force , Dutch Koninklijke Luchtmacht , is the military aviation branch of the Netherlands Armed Forces. Its ancestor, the Luchtvaartafdeling of the Dutch Army was founded on 1 July 1913, with four pilots...


  • Royal Norwegian Air Force
    Royal Norwegian Air Force
    The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...


  • Philippine Air Force
    Philippine Air Force
    The Philippine Air Force is the air force of the Republic of the Philippines, and one of the three main services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Its official name in Filipino is Hukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas....

     received 22 F-5A (single seat) and eight F-5B (two seater) aircraft in 1966. In 1988-89, the PAF received at least eight ex-Taiwanese F-5As. In 2001, five ex-South Korean F-5A/B were acquired. Although retired from service in 2006, two upgraded F-5Bs remain in flying condition.

 South Vietnam
  • Vietnam Air Force
    Vietnam Air Force
    The Vietnam Air Force began with a few hand-picked men chosen to fly alongside French pilots during the State of Vietnam era. It eventually grew into the world’s sixth largest air force at the height of its power, in 1974...

     received total of 24 F-5A Freedom Fighters, three F-5B trainers, and 12 F-5E Tiger IIs.

  • United States Air Force
    United States Air Force
    The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...


  • Vietnam People's Air Force
    Vietnam People's Air Force
    The Vietnam People's Air Force is the air force of Vietnam. It is the successor of the former North Vietnamese Air Force and the absorbed Republic of Vietnam Air Force following the re-unification of Vietnam in 1975.-Beginning-1964 :The first Vietnamese aircraft were two trainers, a de Havilland...

     (several captured ex-VNAF
    Vietnam Air Force
    The Vietnam Air Force began with a few hand-picked men chosen to fly alongside French pilots during the State of Vietnam era. It eventually grew into the world’s sixth largest air force at the height of its power, in 1974...

     aircraft). One F-5E (s/n 73-00867) was transferred to the Soviet Union for evaluation flights, i.e. against the MiG-21bis; 40+ F-5E/F/C were in VNAF's service.

Evaluation only user


  • F-5Es were received from Vietnam and the Derg
    Derg
    The Derg or Dergue was a Communist military junta that came to power in Ethiopia following the ousting of Haile Selassie I. Derg, which means "committee" or "council" in Ge'ez, is the short name of the Coordinating Committee of the Armed Forces, Police, and Territorial Army, a committee of...

     regime in Ethiopia for performance tests and evaluation flights. They were tested in mock combat against MiG-21 and MiG-23 aircraft, ultimately aiding in the development of the MiG-23MLD and the MiG-29
    Mikoyan MiG-29
    The Mikoyan MiG-29 is a fourth-generation jet fighter aircraft designed in the Soviet Union for an air superiority role. Developed in the 1970s by the Mikoyan design bureau, it entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1983, and remains in use by the Russian Air Force as well as in many other...

    .

Specifications (F-5E Tiger II)




The Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter and the F-5E/F Tiger II are part of a family of widely-used light supersonic
Supersonic
Supersonic speed is a rate of travel of an object that exceeds the speed of sound . For objects traveling in dry air of a temperature of 20 °C this speed is approximately 343 m/s, 1,125 ft/s, 768 mph or 1,235 km/h. Speeds greater than five times the speed of sound are often...

 fighter aircraft
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

, designed and built by Northrop
Northrop Corporation
Northrop Corporation was a leading United States aircraft manufacturer from its formation in 1939 until its merger with Grumman to form Northrop Grumman in 1994. The company is known for its development of the flying wing design, although only a few of these have entered service.-History:Jack...

. Hundreds remain in service in air forces around the world in the early 21st century, and the type has also been the basis for a number of other aircraft.

The F-5 started life as a privately-funded light fighter program by Northrop in the 1950s. The first-generation F-5A Freedom Fighter entered service in the 1960s. During the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, over 800 were produced through 1972 for U.S. allies, and Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. The USAF had no need for a light fighter but specifed a requirement for a supersonic trainer, procuring about 1,200 of a derivative airframe for this purpose, the Northrop T-38 Talon.

The improved second-generation F-5E Tiger II was also primarily used by American Cold War allies and, in limited quantities, served in US military aviation as a training and aggressor aircraft; Tiger II production amounted to 1,400 of all versions, with production ending in 1987. Many F-5s continuing in service into the 1990s and 2000s have undergone a wide variety of upgrade programs to keep pace with the changing combat environment.

The F-5 was also developed into a dedicated reconnaissance version, the RF-5 Tigereye. The F-5 also served as a starting point for a series of design studies which resulted in the twin-tailed Northrop YF-17 and the F/A-18
F/A-18 Hornet
The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a supersonic, all-weather carrier-capable multirole fighter jet, designed to dogfight and attack ground targets . Designed by McDonnell Douglas and Northrop, the F/A-18 was derived from the latter's YF-17 in the 1970s for use by the United States Navy and...

 series of carrier-based fighters. The Northrop F-20 Tigershark was an advanced version of the F-5E that did not find a market. The F-5N/F variants remain in service with the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 and United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 as an adversary trainer
Dissimilar air combat training
Dissimilar air combat training was introduced as a formal part of US air combat training after disappointing aerial combat exchange rates in the Vietnam War.Traditionally, pilots would undertake air combat training against similar aircraft...

.

Origins


In the mid-1950s, Northrop
Northrop Corporation
Northrop Corporation was a leading United States aircraft manufacturer from its formation in 1939 until its merger with Grumman to form Northrop Grumman in 1994. The company is known for its development of the flying wing design, although only a few of these have entered service.-History:Jack...

 started development on a low-cost, low-maintenance fighter, with the company designation N-156, partly to meet a US Navy requirement for a jet fighter to operate from its Escort Carriers, which were too small to operate the Navy's existing jet fighters. That requirement disappeared when the Navy decided to withdraw the Escort Carriers, but Northrop continued development of the N-156, with both a two seat advanced trainer (the N-156T), and a single-seat fighter (the N-156F) planned.

The N-156 was based on the use of a pair of an afterburning version of the General Electric J85
General Electric J85
-External links:**...

 engine
Jet engine
A jet engine is a reaction engine that discharges a fast moving jet to generate thrust by jet propulsion and in accordance with Newton's laws of motion. This broad definition of jet engines includes turbojets, turbofans, rockets, ramjets, pulse jets...

, which was originally designed to power the tiny McDonnell ADM-20 Quail
ADM-20 Quail
The McDonnell ADM-20 Quail was a subsonic, jet powered, air-launched decoy cruise missile built by McDonnell Aircraft Corporation. The Quail was designed to be launched by the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber and its original Air Force designation was GAM-72 .-Development:In 1955 the...

 decoy, which was then carried by the B-52 bomber. This requirement created a very small engine with a very high thrust-to-weight ratio. The N-156T was selected by the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 as a replacement for the T-33
T-33 Shooting Star
The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star is an American-built jet trainer aircraft. It was produced by Lockheed and made its first flight in 1948, piloted by Tony LeVier. The T-33 was developed from the Lockheed P-80/F-80 starting as TP-80C/TF-80C in development, then designated T-33A. It was used by the...

 in July 1965, allowing development of the trainer to progress at full speed, the first example, later designated YT-38 Talon, flying on 12 June 1959 with a total of 1,158 Talons being built by the time production ended in January 1972.

Development of the N-156F continued at a lower priority as a private venture by Northrop, which was rewarded by an order for three prototypes on 25 February 1958 as a prospective low-cost fighter that could be supplied under the Military Assistance Program for distribution to less-developed nations. The first N-156F flew at Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located on the border of Kern County, Los Angeles County, and San Bernardino County, California, in the Antelope Valley. It is southwest of the central business district of North Edwards, California and due east of Rosamond.It is named in...

 on 30 July 1959, exceeding the speed of sound on its first flight.

Although testing of the N-156F was successful, demonstrating unprecedented reliability and proving superior in the ground-attack role to the USAF's existing North American F-100 Super Sabres, official interest in the Northrop type waned, and by 1960 it looked as if the program was a failure. Interest revived in 1961, but when the US Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 tested it, (along with the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk and Fiat G.91) for reconnaissance and close-support, although all three types proved capable during Army testing, operating fixed-wing combat aircraft was legally the responsibility of the Air Force, which would not agree to operate the N-156 or allow the Army to operate fixed-wing combat aircraft, a situation repeated with the C-7 Caribou
De Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou
The de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou is a Canadian-designed and produced specialized cargo aircraft with short takeoff and landing capability...

.

In 1962, however, the Kennedy Administration revived the requirement for a low-cost export fighter, selecting the N-156F as winner of the F-X competition on 23 April 1962 subsequently becoming the "F-5A", being ordered into production in October that year. It was named under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system
1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system
The 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system is a unified designation system introduced by the United States Department of Defense on 18 September 1962 for all the U.S. military aircraft. Prior to this date, each armed service used their own nomenclature system...

, which included a re-set of the fighter number series (the General Dynamics F-111 was the highest sequentially numbered P/F-aircraft to enter service under the old number sequence).

Northrop built 636 F-5As (including the YF-5A prototype) before production ended in 1972. These were accompanied by 200 two-seat F-5B aircraft. These were operational trainers, lacking the nose-mounted cannon but otherwise combat-capable, while 86 RF-5A reconnaissance variants of the F-5A, fitted with a four-camera nose were also built. In addition, Canadair built 240 first generation F-5s under license, with CASA
CASA
- Aviation :* Civil Aviation Safety Authority - Australian statutory authority responsible for the regulation of Civil Aviation* Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA- Spanish aircraft manufacturer, became EADS CASA in 1999...

 in Spain adding a further 70 aircraft.

F-5E and F-5F Tiger II


In 1970, Northrop won a competition for an improved International Fighter Aircraft (IFA) to replace the F-5A, with better air-to-air performance against aircraft like the Soviet MiG 21
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It was popularly nicknamed "balalaika", from the aircraft's planform-view resemblance to the Russian stringed musical instrument or ołówek by Polish pilots due to...

. The resultant aircraft, initially known as F-5A-21, subsequently became the F-5E. It had more powerful (5,000 lbf) General Electric J85
General Electric J85
-External links:**...

-21 engines, and had a lengthened and enlarged fuselage, accommodating more fuel. Its wings were fitted with enlarged leading edge extension
Leading edge extension
A leading edge extension is a small extension to an aircraft wing surface, forward of the leading edge. Different kinds of extensions have been used for different reasons.-Leading edge slats:...

s, giving an increased wing area and improved maneuverability. The aircraft's avionics
Avionics
Avionics are electronic systems used on aircraft, artificial satellites and spacecraft.Avionic systems include communications, navigation, the display and management of multiple systems and the hundreds of systems that are fitted to aircraft to meet individual roles...

 were more sophisticated, crucially including a radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

 (initially the Emerson Electric AN/APQ-153) (the F-5A and B had no radar). It retained the gun armament of two M39 cannon
M39 cannon
The M39 cannon was a 20 mm caliber single-barreled revolver cannon developed for the United States Air Force in the late 1940s. It was used on a number of fighter aircraft from the early 1950s through the 1980s.-Development:...

, one on either side of the nose) of the F-5A. Various specific avionics fits could be accommodated at customer request, including an inertial navigation system
Inertial navigation system
An inertial navigation system is a navigation aid that uses a computer, motion sensors and rotation sensors to continuously calculate via dead reckoning the position, orientation, and velocity of a moving object without the need for external references...

, TACAN and ECM equipment.

The first F-5E flew on 11 August 1972. A two-seat combat-capable trainer, the F-5F, was offered, first flying on 25 September 1974, with a new, longer nose, which, unlike the F-5B that did not mount a gun, allowed it to retain a single M39 cannon, albeit with a reduced ammunition capacity. The two-seater was equipped with the Emerson AN/APQ-157 radar, which is a derivative of the AN/APQ-153 radar, with dual control and display systems to accommodate the two-men crew, and the radar has the same range of AN/APQ-153, around 10 nmi
Nautical mile
The nautical mile is a unit of length that is about one minute of arc of latitude along any meridian, but is approximately one minute of arc of longitude only at the equator...

.
A reconnaissance
Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

 version, the RF-5E Tigereye, with a sensor package in the nose displacing the radar and one cannon, was also offered. The latest radar upgrade included the Emerson AN/APG-69, which was the successor of AN/APQ-159, incorporating mapping capability. However, most nations chose not to upgrade for financial reasons, and the radar saw very little service in USAF aggressor squadrons and Swiss air force.

The F-5E eventually received the official name Tiger II. The F-5E experienced numerous upgrades in its service life, with the most significant one being adopting a new planar array radar, Emerson AN/APQ-159 with a range of 20 nmi
Nautical mile
The nautical mile is a unit of length that is about one minute of arc of latitude along any meridian, but is approximately one minute of arc of longitude only at the equator...

 to replace the original AN/APQ-153. Similar radar upgrades were also proposed for F-5F, with the derivative of AN/APQ-159, the AN/APQ-167, to replace the AN/APQ-157, but that was cancelled.

Northrop built 792 F-5Es, 140 F-5Fs and 12 RF-5Es. More were built under license overseas: 91 F-5Es and -Fs in Switzerland, 68 by Korean Air
Korean Air
Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. , operating as Korean Air, is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of South Korea, with global headquarters located in Seoul, South Korea. Korean Air's international passenger division and related subsidiary cargo division together serve 130 cities in 45...

 in South Korea, and 308 in Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

. The F-5 proved to be a successful combat aircraft for US allies, but had little combat service with the US Air Force. The F-5E evolved into the single-engine F-5G, which was rebranded the F-20 Tigershark. It lost out on export sales to the F-16 in the 1980s.

Upgrades


Various F-5 versions remain in service with many nations.

Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 has approximately 49 modernized and re-designated F-5S (single-seat) and F-5T (two-seat) aircraft. Upgrades include new FIAR Grifo-F X-band radar from Galileo Avionica (similar in performance to the AN/APG-69), updated cockpits with multi-function displays, and compatibility with the AIM-120 AMRAAM
AIM-120 AMRAAM
The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM , is a modern beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. Designed with the same form-factor as the previous generation of semi-active guided Sparrow missiles, it is a fire-and-forget...

 and Rafael Python air-to-air missile
Air-to-air missile
An air-to-air missile is a missile fired from an aircraft for the purpose of destroying another aircraft. AAMs are typically powered by one or more rocket motors, usually solid fuelled but sometimes liquid fuelled...

s.

Similar programs have been carried out in Chile and Brazil with the help of Elbit. The Chilean upgrade, called the F-5 Tiger III Plus, incorporated a new Elta EL/M-2032
EL/M-2032
The EL/M-2032 is an advanced pulse Doppler, multimode Fire Control Radar intended for multi-role fighter aircraft originated from the Lavi project. It is suitable for air-to-air and air-to-surface modes....

 radar and other improvements. The Brazilian program, whose product is called the F-5M (Modernized), is armed with Python V coupled to the DASH helmet-mounted cue system, and new GRIFO radar, cockpit displays and navigation electronics. The Brazilian F-5M is also equipped with the Israeli Derby missile and can operate in a BVR
Beyond Visual Range missile
A beyond-visual-range missile usually refers to an air-to-air missile that is capable of engaging at ranges beyond . This range has been achieved using dual pulse rocket motors or booster rocket motor and ramjet sustainer motor....

 environment.
In the Cruzex 2006 multinational war games, a Brazilian F-5 made simulated kills on two French Dassault Mirage 2000N aircraft, which were supported by an E-3 Sentry
E-3 Sentry
The Boeing E-3 Sentry is an airborne warning and control system developed by Boeing as the prime contractor. Derived from the Boeing 707, it provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications, and is used by the United States Air Force , NATO, Royal Air Force , French Air Force...

 and escorted by other two Mirage 2000C. This result was achieved by using the Derby and the information relayed by datalink from an AEW&C plane, the Embraer R-99, fitted with the Erieye AESA radar.

Another upgrade program was carried out for the Royal Thai Air Force
Royal Thai Air Force
The Royal Thai Air Force or RTAF is the air force of the Kingdom of Thailand. Since its establishment in 1913, as one of the earliest air forces of Asia, the Royal Thai Air Force had engaged in many major and minor battles. During the Vietnam war era, the air force has been developed with USAF-aid...

 (RTAF) by Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, designated the F-5T Tigris; it was armed with Python III and 4 (with the Dash helmet-mounted cueing system). Unlike other F-5s which have undergone updates, the RTAF aircraft cannot use BVR
Beyond Visual Range missile
A beyond-visual-range missile usually refers to an air-to-air missile that is capable of engaging at ranges beyond . This range has been achieved using dual pulse rocket motors or booster rocket motor and ramjet sustainer motor....

 missiles.

One NASA F-5E was given a modified fuselage shape for its employment in the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration
Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration
The NASA Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, also known as the Shaped Sonic Boom Experiment, was a two-year program that used a Northrop F-5E with a modified fuselage to demonstrate that the aircraft's shock wave, and accompanying sonic boom, can be shaped, and thereby reduced...

 program carried out by DARPA. It is preserved in the Valiant Air Command Museum at Titusville
Titusville
-United States of America:*Titusville, Birmingham, Alabama*Titusville, Florida*Titusville, New Jersey*Titusville, a former community in Malone , New York*Titusville, Pennsylvania...

, Florida.

United States


The first contract for the production F-5A was issued in 1962, the first overseas order coming from the Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

 on 28 February 1964. It entered service with the 4441st Combat Crew Training School of the USAF, which had the role of training pilots and ground crew for customer nations, on 30 April that year, it still not being intended that the aircraft be used in significant numbers by the USAF itself.
This changed with testing and limited deployment in 1965. Preliminary combat evaluation of the F-5A began at the Air Proving Ground Center, Eglin AFB, Florida, during the summer of 1965 under project Sparrow Hawk, with one airframe lost through pilot error on 24 June. In October 1965, the USAF began a five-month combat evaluation of the F-5A titled Skoshi Tiger. Twelve aircraft were delivered for trials to the 4503rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, and after modification with probe and drogue aerial refueling
Aerial refueling
Aerial refueling, also called air refueling, in-flight refueling , air-to-air refueling or tanking, is the process of transferring fuel from one aircraft to another during flight....

 equipment, armor and improved instruments, were redesignated as the F-5C. Over the next six months, they performed combat duty in Vietnam
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, flying more than 2,600 sorties, both from the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing
3d Wing
The 3d Wing is a unit of the United States Air Force, assigned to the Pacific Air Forces Eleventh Air Force. It is stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska....

 at Bien Hoa
Bien Hoa
Biên Hòa is a city in Dong Nai province, Vietnam, about east of Ho Chi Minh City , to which Bien Hoa is linked by Vietnam Highway 1.- Demographics :In 1989 the estimated population was over 300,000. In 2005, the population wss 541,495...

 over South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

, and from Da Nang Air Base
Da Nang Air Base
Da Nang Air Base was a Republic of Vietnam Air Force facility. The United States used it as a major base during the Vietnam War , stationing Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine units there...

 where operations were flown over Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

. One aircraft was lost in combat. Although declared a success, with the aircraft generally rated as capable a ground-attack aircraft as the F-100, but suffering from a shorter range, the program was considered a political gesture intended to aid the export of more F-5s than a serious consideration of the type for U.S. service. From April 1966 the aircraft continued operations as 10th Fighter Commando Squadron with their number boosted to 17 aircraft. (Following Skoshi Tiger the Philippine Air Force
Philippine Air Force
The Philippine Air Force is the air force of the Republic of the Philippines, and one of the three main services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Its official name in Filipino is Hukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas....

 acquired 23 F-5A and B models in 1965. These aircraft, along with remanufactured Vought F-8 Crusaders, eventually replaced the Philippine Air Force's North American F-86 Sabre in the air defense and ground attack roles.)
In June 1967, the 10th FCS's surviving aircraft were turned over to the air force of South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

, which previously had only A-37 Dragonfly
A-37 Dragonfly
The Cessna A-37 Dragonfly, or Super Tweet, is a United States light attack aircraft developed from the T-37 Tweet basic trainer in the 1960s and 1970s...

 and A-1 Skyraider
A-1 Skyraider
The Douglas A-1 Skyraider was an American single-seat attack aircraft that saw service between the late 1940s and early 1980s. It became a piston-powered, propeller-driven anachronism in the jet age, and was nicknamed "Spad", after a French World War I fighter...

 attack aircraft. This new VNAF squadron was titled the 522nd. The president of Vietnam had originally asked for F-4 Phantoms used by the Americans, but the VNAF flew primarily ground support as the communist forces employed no opposing aircraft over South Vietnam, MiG or otherwise. Ironically, when Bien Hoa
Bien Hoa
Biên Hòa is a city in Dong Nai province, Vietnam, about east of Ho Chi Minh City , to which Bien Hoa is linked by Vietnam Highway 1.- Demographics :In 1989 the estimated population was over 300,000. In 2005, the population wss 541,495...

 was later overrun by Communist forces, several of the aircraft were captured and used operationally by the NVAF, in particular against Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

. In view of the performance, agility and size of the F-5, it might have appeared to be a good match against the similar MiG-21 in air combat; however, US doctrine was to use heavy, faster and longer-range aircraft like the Republic F-105 Thunderchief and McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II over North Vietnam. Several of the F-5s left over from the Vietnam war were sent to Poland and Russia, for advanced study of US aviation technology, while others were decommissioned and put on display at museums in Vietnam.

Although the United States does not use the F-5 in a front line role, it was adopted for an opposing forces (OPFOR) "aggressor" for dissimilar training role because of its small size and performance similarities to the Soviet MiG-21.
The F-5E saw service with the US Air Force from 1975 until 1990, serving in the 64th Aggressor Squadron
64th Aggressor Squadron
The 64th Aggressor Squadron ' is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 57th Adversary Tactics Group and stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.-Overview:...

 and 65th Aggressor Squadron
65th Aggressor Squadron
The 65th Aggressor Squadron ' is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 57th Adversary Tactics Group and stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.-Overview:...

 at Nellis Air Force Base
Nellis Air Force Base
Nellis Air Force Base is a United States Air Force Base, located approximately northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. It is under the jurisdiction of Air Combat Command .-Overview:...

 in Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

, and with the 527th Aggressor Squadron at RAF Alconbury in the UK and the 26th Aggressor Squadron at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. The US Marines purchased ex-USAF models in 1989 to replace their F-21s
IAI Kfir
The Israel Aircraft Industries Kfir is an Israeli-built all-weather, multirole combat aircraft based on a modified Dassault Mirage 5 airframe, with Israeli avionics and an Israeli-made version of the General Electric J79 turbojet engine.-Background:...

, which served with VMFT-401
VMFT-401
Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401 is a United States Marine Corps Reserve fighter squadron flying the F-5N Tiger II. Known as the "Snipers", the squadron is the only adversary squadron in the Marine Corps. They are based at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and fall under the command of the 4th...

 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma or MCAS Yuma is a United States Marine Corps air station which is the home to multiple squadrons of AV-8B Harrier IIs of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 and Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401 , an air combat adversary...

. The U.S. Navy used the F-5E extensively at the Naval Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) when it was located at NAS Miramar, California. When TOPGUN relocated to become part of the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center
Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center
The Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center at Naval Air Station Fallon located in the city of Fallon in western Nevada is the center of excellence for naval aviation training and tactics development...

 at NAS Fallon, Nevada, the command divested itself of the F-5, choosing to rely on VC-13 (redesignated VFC-13
VFC-13
Fighter Squadron Composite Saints is a US Navy fighter squadron that provides adversary training for U.S. Navy air wings at NAS Fallon, Nevada.VFC-13 uses "Bogey" as its main radio callsign.-History:...

 and which already used F-5s) to employ their F-5s as adversary aircraft. Former adversary squadrons such as VF-43 at NAS Oceana, VF-45 at NAS Key West, VF-126 at NAS Miramar, and VFA-127 at NAS Lemoore have also operated the F-5 along with other aircraft types in support of Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT).

The U.S. Navy F-5 fleet continues to be modernized with 36 low-hour F-5E/Fs purchased from Switzerland in 2006. These were updated as F-5N/Fs with modernized avionics and other improved systems. Currently, the only U.S. Navy units flying the F-5 are VFC-13 at NAS Fallon, Nevada and VFC-111
VFC-111
Composite Fighter Squadron 111 Sundowners is a US Navy Reserve adversary squadron based at Naval Air Station Key West, Florida...

 at NAS Key West, Florida. Currently, VFC-111 operates 18 Northrop F-5N/F Tiger-IIs, of which 17 are single-seater F-5Ns and the remainder being a twin-seater F-5F, which was dubbed "FrankenTiger" and is one of only three in service with the USN, being a product of grafting the older front half fuselage of the F-5Fs into the back half fuselage of the newer low-hours F-5Es acquired from the Swiss Air Force.

According to the FAA, there are 18 privately owned F-5s in the US, including Canadair CF-5Ds.

Mexico



In 1982, Mexico received 12 F-5E/F after the purchase of 24 IAI Kfir C.1 were blocked by the U.S, because the Kfir used the American-produced J79 engine. These fighters accompanied the T-33 and Vampire MkIII (procured much earlier), two of the first combat jet aircraft in Mexico. The subsonic T-33 and Vampire were introduced in the early 60's. The F-5 gave Mexico it's first supersonic platform and saw the formation of Air Squadron 401. In 1995 after more than 30 military parade flights without incident, on September 16, 1995 during the military parade of the Independence of Mexico an F-5E collided in the air with three T-33. A total of 10 deaths occurred. Since then, flyovers in Mexico were smaller in participation, for safety. In 2007 the F-5 had its 25 year anniversary in Mexican Air Force service. Mexico is currently looking at the Lockheed Martin F-16 as a much-needed replacement for the aging F-5's by 2015. Air Squadron 402 are also looking to replace their Lockheed T-33's that were retired in 2007.{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}}{{Clarify|date=August 2011}}

Republic of China (Taiwan)


The Republic of China Air Force received its first batch of seven F-5As and two F-5Bs under the US Military Assistance Program in 1965. By 1971, the ROCAF was operating 72 F-5As and 11 F-5Bs. During 1972, the US decided to borrow 48 F-5As from Taiwan to boost the South Vietnam Air Force strength before withdrawing US forces from South Vietnam. By 1973 most of those loaned F-5As in South Vietnam were not in flying shape consequently the US decided to return 20 F-5As to Taiwan by drawing nine F-5As from US reserves while repairing a further 11 from those still in flying shape in South Vietnam. These were sent to Taiwan to make necessary repairs, with gave 28 F-5Es issued to Taiwan by May 1975 in return. By 1973, Taiwan's AIDC started local production of a first batch of 100 F-5Es in Taiwan, the first of six Peace Tiger production batches. By end of 1986 when the production line closed after completing Peace Tiger 6, the AIDC had produced 242 F-5Es and 66 F-5Fs. Adding the 28 original US-made F-5E/Fs, this made Taiwan the largest F-5E/F operator at one time, with 336 F-5E/Fs in inventory. A bit of F-20 influence can be seen in the last batch of F-5E/Fs by AIDC in Taiwan that featured the F-20's shark nose.

With the introduction of 150 F-16s, 60 Mirage 2000-5s and 130 F-CK-1s in mid- to late-1990s, the F-5E/F series became second line fighters in ROCAF service and mostly are now withdrawn from service as squadrons converted to new fighters entering ROCAF service. Seven low airframe hours F-5Es were sent to ST Aerospace
ST Aerospace
Singapore Technologies Aerospace is a subsidiary of ST Engineering based in Singapore, with international offices and facilities located in key aviation hubs in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the US...

 to convert them to RF-5E standard to fulfill a reconnaissance role previously undertaken by the retiring RF-104G in ROCAF service. As of 2009, only about 40 ROCAF F-5E/Fs still remain in service in training roles with about 90-100 F-5E/Fs held in reserve. The other retired F-5E/F are either scrapped, or used as decoys painted in colors representing the main front line F-16, Mirage 2000-5 or F-CK-1 fighters, and deployed around major air bases.

Taiwan also tried to upgrade the F-5E/F fleet with AIDC's Tiger 2000/2001 program. The first flight took place on 24 July 2002. The program would replace the F-5E/F's radar with F-CK-1's GD-53 radar and allow the fighter to carry a single TC-2 BVRAAM on the centerline. But lack of interest from the Taiwan/ROC Air Force eventually killed the program. The only prototype is on display in AIDC in Central Taiwan.

The only air combat actions ROCAF F-5E/F pilots saw, were not over Taiwan, but in North Yemen. In 1979, a flareup between North and South Yemen prompted the US to sell 14 F-5E/Fs to North Yemen to boost its air defense. Since no one in North Yemen knew how to fly the F-5E/F (only MiG-15s were operational at the time), US and Saudi Arabia arranged to have 80+ ROCAF F-5E pilots (eight pilots per year) plus ground crew and anti-air defense units sent to North Yemen as part of North Yemen Air Force's 115th Squadron at Sana‘a operating initially just six F-5E/Fs and then from April 1979 to May 1990, added eight more. The ROCAF piloted F-5E/F scored a few kills in a few air battles, but the ground early warning radar crews and anti-air units also suffered from air attacks from South Yemen, the aircraft being piloted by Soviet crews.

Iran



The Imperial Iranian Air Force received extensive US equipment in the 1960s and 1970s. Iran received its first 11 F-5A and two F-5Bs in February 1965 which were then declared operational in June 1965. Ultimately, Iran received 104 F-5A and 23 F-5Bs by 1972. From January 1974 with the first squadron of 28 F-5Fs, Iran received a total of 166 F-5E/F and 15 additional RF-5Es with deliveries ending in 1976. While receiving the F-5E and F, Iran started selling its F-5A and Bs to other countries including Ethiopia, Turkey, Greece and South Vietnam; by 1976, they were all sold apart from some F-5Bs retained for training.

After the revolution, the new Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force was partially successful keeping Western fighters in service during the war with Iraq in the 1980s and the simple F-5 had a good service readiness until late in the war. Initially Iran took spare parts from foreign sources, later it was able to have its new aircraft industry keep the aircraft flying.

During the war with Iraq, IRIAF F-5s were heavily involved, flying air-to-air and air-to-ground sorties. Iranian F-5s took part in many air combats with Iraqi MiG-21, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 is a variable-geometry fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau in the Soviet Union. It is considered to belong to the Soviet third generation jet fighter category, along with similarly aged Soviet fighters such as the MiG-25 "Foxbat"...

, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 is a supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft that was among the fastest military aircraft to enter service. Designed by the Soviet Union's Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau the first prototype flew in 1964 with entry into service in 1970...

, Su-20/22
Sukhoi Su-17
The Sukhoi Su-17 is a Soviet attack aircraft developed from the Sukhoi Su-7 fighter-bomber. It enjoyed a long career in Soviet, later Russian, service and was widely exported to communist and Middle Eastern air forces, under names Su-20 and Su-22.-Development:Seeking to improve low-speed and...

, Mirage F-1 and Super Etendards scoring many victories but also suffering many losses. However the exact combat record is not known with many different claims from Iraqi, Iranian and even Western and Russian sources. Adding to the haze surrounding the F-5's combat record is that many of the IRIAF's confirmed air-to-air kills were, for political reasons, attributed to the Revolutionary Guards. Nonetheless, there are reports that an F-5E, piloted by Major Yadollah Javadpour, managed to shoot down a MiG-25 on 6 August 1983. Additionally, his five claimed aerial victories, with two confirmed kills make Javadpour an ace and the world's most successful F-5 combat pilot.

From a general standpoint, during the first years of service, Iranian F-5 fighter aircraft had the advantage in missile technology, using advanced versions of the IR seeking Sidewinder, later lost with deliveries of new missiles and fighters to Iraq.

Iran currently produces an indigenous aircraft titled, "Saegeh", which is built on the same platform as the F-5, and probably armed with Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n-made or Chinese
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

-made munitions such as AA-10 Alamo, AA-11 Archer or C-802
C-802
The Yingji-82 or YJ-82 is a Chinese anti-ship missile first unveiled in 1989 by the China Haiying Electro-Mechanical Technology Academy , also known as the Third Academy...

.{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}}

Ethiopia


Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 received 10 F-5As and two F-5Bs from the US starting in 1966. In addition to these, Ethiopia had a training squadron equipped with at least eight Lockheed T-33 Shooting Stars. In 1970, Iran transferred at least three F-5As and Bs to Ethiopia. In 1975, another agreement was reached with the US to deliver a number of military aircraft, including 14 F-5Es and three F-5Fs; later in the same year eight F-5Es were transferred while the others were embargoed and delivered to a USAF aggressor Squadron due to the changed political situation. The US also withdrew its personnel and cut diplomatic relations. Ethiopian officers contracted a number of Israelis to maintain American equipment.

The Ethiopian F-5 fighters saw combat action against Somali forces during the Ogaden War
Ogaden War
The Ogaden War was a conventional conflict between Somalia and Ethiopia in 1977 and 1978 over the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. In a notable illustration of the nature of Cold War alliances, the Soviet Union switched from supplying aid to Somalia to supporting Ethiopia, which had previously been...

 (1977–1978). The main Somali fighter aircraft was the MiG-21MF delivered in the 1970s, supported by Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 is a high-subsonic fighter aircraft produced in the USSR from 1952 and operated by numerous air forces in many variants. Most MiG-17 variants cannot carry air-to-air missiles, but shot down many aircraft with its cannons...

s delivered in the 1960s by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. Ethiopian F-5E aircraft were used to gain air superiority because they could use the AIM-9B air to air missile, while the F-5As were kept for air interdiction
Air interdiction
Air interdiction is the use of aircraft to attack tactical ground targets that are not in close proximity to friendly ground forces. It differs from close air support because it does not directly support ground operations and is not closely coordinated with ground units...

 and air strike. During this period Ethiopian F-5Es went on training against Ethiopian F-5As and F-86 Sabres (simulating Somali MiG-21s and MiG-17s).

On 17 July 1977, two Ethiopian F-5s were on combat air patrol near Harer, when four Somali MiG-21MFs were detected nearby. In the engagement, two MiG-21s were shot down while the other two had a midair collision while avoiding a AIM-9B missile. The better-trained Ethiopian Air Force
Ethiopian Air Force
The Ethiopian Air Force is the air arm of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and is tasked with protecting the air space, providing support to the ground forces as well as assisting during national emergencies.- Early years :...

 F-5 pilots swiftly gained air superiority over the Somali Air Force, shooting down a number of aircraft, while other Somali aircraft were lost to air defense and to incidents. However at least three F-5s were shot down by air defense forces during attacks against supply bases in western Somalia.

Morocco


F-5As and F-5Bs took part in the Polisario War in Western Sahara
Western Sahara
Western Sahara is a disputed territory in North Africa, bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its surface area amounts to . It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly...

 in the 1980s. During the war, the Polisario Front
Polisario Front
The POLISARIO, Polisario Front, or Frente Polisario, from the Spanish abbreviation of Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro is a Sahrawi rebel national liberation movement working for the independence of Western Sahara from Morocco...

 was aided by East European, Cuban and Algerian advisers. They were armed with heavy weapons and even with sophisticated heavy SA-6 anti-aircraft systems. Some 14 F-5s were lost during combat. A total of 24 F-5Es have been upgraded to F-5TIII standard.

Saudi Arabia


During the Gulf War, Saudi F-5Es flew close air support and aerial interdiction missions against Iraqi units in Kuwait. One RSAF F-5E was lost to ground fire on 13 February 1991. The pilot was killed in action. In Saudi Arabian service, approximately 20 Tigers have been lost to various causes over the years.

Norway


The Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

 received 108 Freedom Fighters: 16 RF-5A, 78 F-5A and 14 F-5B. The first 64 were received as military aid. They were in use by several squadrons, the first and last being 336 Squadron receiving the first aircraft in February 1966 (formal handing-over ceremony a month later), and deactivating in August 2000. Three aircraft were kept flying until 2007, serving with Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk's Eye of the Tiger-project, developing the Naval Strike Missile
Naval Strike Missile
The Naval Strike Missile is an anti-ship and land-attack missile developed by the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace , and whose initial serial production contract was signed in June 2007. It has been chosen by the Royal Norwegian Navy for its new Fridtjof Nansen class frigates and...

. The aircraft received under military aid were handed off to Greece and Turkey. Of the aircraft bought by the Norwegian Government, nine were used in exchange with US authorities for submarines of the Kobben class. Five F-5s were given to aircraft maintenance schools
Aircraft Maintenance Technician
Aircraft maintenance technician, as used in the United States, refers to an individual who holds a mechanic certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration; the rules for certification, and for certificate-holders, are detailed in Subpart D of Part 65 of the Federal Aviation Regulations ,...

 in October 2011. The remaining 10 are being stored at Rygge. Three survivors are exhibited at the Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection
Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection
Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection is a military aviation museum located in Gardermoen, near Oslo, Norway. The museum was established in 1967, with a Heinkel He 111 and a Northrop N-3PB as one of the first objects. However, the museum was not opened for the public until 1984...

, and two at Norsk Luftfartsmuseum in Bodø.

Philippines


The Philippines has decommissioned their remaining F-5A/B fleet that were transferred from Taiwan and South Korea, although six to eight F-5s remain in flyable condition in case of a national emergency, with two F-5s being an upgraded variant.

Singapore


Singapore is an important operator of the F-5E/F variant, first ordering the aircraft in 1976 during a massive expansion of the city-state's armed forces; delivery of this first batch of 18 F-5Es and three F-5Fs was completed by late February 1979, equipping the newly formed-up No. 144 Black Kite Squadron
144 Squadron, Republic of Singapore Air Force
The 144 Squadron "Blackite" of the Republic of Singapore Air Force is a fighter-bomber squadron based at Paya Lebar Air Base, the squadron goes by the motto "Dare To Excel" with the Black Kite adopted as its mascot.-History:...

 at Tengah Air Base. At the end of 1979, an order was placed for six more F-5Es, these were was delivered by 1981. In 1982, an order for three more F-5Fs was placed, these were forward delivered in September 1983 to RAF Leuchars
RAF Leuchars
RAF Leuchars is the most northerly air defence station in the United Kingdom. It is located in Leuchars, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland, near to the university town of St Andrews.-Operations:...

 in Scotland where they were taken over by pilots of the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

 (RSAF). In 1983, the type took over the duties of airborne interception
Interceptor aircraft
An interceptor aircraft is a type of fighter aircraft designed specifically to prevent missions of enemy aircraft, particularly bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. Interceptors generally rely on high speed and powerful armament in order to complete their mission as quickly as possible and set up...

 from RAAF's Mirage IIIO
Dassault Mirage III
The Mirage III is a supersonic fighter aircraft designed by Dassault Aviation during the late 1950s, and manufactured both in France and a number of other countries. It was a successful fighter aircraft, being sold to many air forces around the world and remaining in production for over a decade...

s detachment stationed at Tengah.

Another order for six more F-5Es was placed in 1985, these were delivered the same year and would go on to equip the newly formed-up No. 149 Shikra Squadron
149 Squadron, Republic of Singapore Air Force
The 149 Squadron "Shikra" of the Republic of Singapore Air Force is a fighter-bomber squadron based at Paya Lebar Air Base, the squadron goes by the motto "Steadfast" with the Shikra adopted as its mascot.-History:...

 at Tengah. The following year, the RSAF placed an order for its final batch of three F-5Fs and five F-5Es, these were delivered in December 1987 and July 1989, respectively. In a bid to modernise their air force, the Royal Jordanian Air Force put up seven F-5Es for sale in 1994, these were later acquired by Singapore.

From 1990 to 1991, using jigs and toolings purchased from Northrop, Singapore Aircraft Industries (SAI, now ST Aerospace
ST Aerospace
Singapore Technologies Aerospace is a subsidiary of ST Engineering based in Singapore, with international offices and facilities located in key aviation hubs in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the US...

) converted 8 existing F-5Es into RF-5E Tigereye variant. Subsequently, these were used to requipped No. 141 Merlin Squadron, which had traded in their older Hawker Hunter
Hawker Hunter
The Hawker Hunter is a subsonic British jet aircraft developed in the 1950s. The single-seat Hunter entered service as a manoeuvrable fighter aircraft, and later operated in fighter-bomber and reconnaissance roles in numerous conflicts. Two-seat variants remained in use for training and secondary...

 FR.74S for the newer Tigereyes in 1992 and was by then based at Paya Lebar Air Base, after the 144 Squadron had relocated there in 1986. By June 1993, all three squadrons had been relocated to the base, thus consolidating Singapore's F-5E/F operations at Paya Lebar.

In late 1991, SAI was further awarded a contract by RSAF to mordernise and upgrade all the F-5E/F in RSAF's inventory (including the 7 ex-Jordanian F-5Es), with main-sub contractor Elbit Systems
Elbit Systems
Elbit Systems Ltd. is one of the world's largest defense electronics manufacturers and integrators. Established in 1967, and based in Haifa, Israel, Elbit employs 11,000 people worldwide....

 responsible for systems integration. Included in the package was a new X band
X band
The X band is a segment of the microwave radio region of the electromagnetic spectrum. In some cases, such as in communication engineering, the frequency range of X band is rather indefinitely set at approximately 7.0 to 11.2 gigahertz . In radar engineering, the frequency range is specified...

 multi-mode radar (the Italian FIAR Grifo-F, with Beyond-visual-range missile and Look-down/shoot-down
Look-down/shoot-down
Look-down/shoot-down is a capability a radar system is said to possess if it is able to detect, track and put a weapon onto an air target moving below the horizon as seen by the radar...

 capabilities), a revamped cockpit with new MIL-STD-1553R databuses, GEC/Ferranti
Ferranti
Ferranti or Ferranti International plc was a UK electrical engineering and equipment firm that operated for over a century from 1885 until it went bankrupt in 1993. Known primarily for defence electronics, the Company was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but ceased trading in 1993.The...

 4510 Head-up display
Head-Up Display
A head-up display or heads-up display is any transparent display that presents data without requiring users to look away from their usual viewpoints...

/weapons delivery system, two BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

 MED-2067 Multi-function display
Multi-function display
A Multi-function display is a small screen in an aircraft surrounded by multiple buttons that can be used to display information to the pilot in numerous configurable ways. Often an MFD will be used in concert with a Primary Flight Display. MFDs are part of the digital era of modern planes or...

s, Litton
Litton Industries
Named after inventor Charles Litton, Sr., Litton Industries was a large defense contractor in the United States, bought by the Northrop Grumman Corporation in 2001.-History:...

 LN-93 inertial navigation system
Inertial navigation system
An inertial navigation system is a navigation aid that uses a computer, motion sensors and rotation sensors to continuously calculate via dead reckoning the position, orientation, and velocity of a moving object without the need for external references...

 (similar to all those found on ST Aerospace A-4SU Super Skyhawks) and Hands On Throttle-And-Stick controls (HOTAS)
HOTAS
HOTAS, an abbreviation for Hands On Throttle-And-Stick, is the name given to the concept of placing buttons and switches on the throttle stick and flight control stick in an aircraft's cockpit, allowing the pilot to access vital cockpit functions and fly the aircraft without having to remove his...

 to reduce pilot workload. Reportedly, the Elisra SPS2000 radar warning receiver
Radar warning receiver
Radar warning receiver systems detect the radio emissions of radar systems. Their primary purpose is to issue a warning when a radar signal that might be a threat is detected. The warning can then be used, manually or automatically, to evade the detected threat...

 and countermeasure system was also installed. Additionally, the starboard M-39 20mm cannon mounted in the nose was removed to make way for additional avionics (the sole cannon fitted to the two-seaters was removed because of this), and to improve maneuverability, all the upgraded aircraft were also fitted with larger leading edge root extensions (LERX). The process of rebuilding and upgrading began in March 1996 and was completed by 2001. As a result, they received the new designation of F-5S/T. In 1998, the eight RF-5Es were also upgraded, receiving the full upgrade except for the radar, these were later redesignated as RF-5S.

By end of 2009, the type had accumulated more than 170,000 hours of flight hours in Singapore service with only two F-5Es being lost in separate accidents (in 1984 and 1991, respectively). In a 2009 interview in the air force's newsletter, Singapore's former Chief of Air Force and F-5 pilot, Major General Ng Chee Khern
Ng Chee Khern
Major General Ng Chee Khern 黄志勤 is currently the Director of Singapore's Security and Intelligence Division. He was formerly the Chief of the Republic of Singapore Air Force ....

 commented that: {{quotation|"The F-5 earned a reputation of a jet that was hard to discern in the air and when one finally saw it, it was often after a missile or guns kill had already been called.}}

As of June 2011, only 141 and 144 Squadron are left operating the RF-5S and F-5S/T, as 149 Squadron has since formally transitioned to the McDonnell Douglas F-15SG Strike Eagles on 5 April 2010.

Single-seat versions



N-156F: Single-seat fighter prototype. Only three aircraft were built.

YF-5A: The three prototypes were given the US Air Force designation YF-5A.

F-5A: Single-seat fighter version of F-5, originally without radar, but was later equipped with AN/APQ-153 radar during upgrades.

F-5A (G): Single-seat fighter version of the F-5A for the Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

.

XF-5A: This designation was given to one aircraft used for static tests.

A-9: Designation of Spanish built F-5A which served in the Ejército del Aire

F-5C Skoshi Tiger: 12 F-5A Freedom Fighters, were tested by the US Air Force for four and a half months in Vietnam.

F-5E Tiger II: Single-seat fighter version with AN/APQ-159 replacing earlier AN/APQ-153 in F-5A.

F-5E Tiger III: Upgraded version of the F-5E in use by the Chilean Air Force
Chilean Air Force
The Chilean Air Force is the air force of Chile, a branch of the Chilean military.-History:The first step towards the current FACh was taken by Teniente Coronel Pedro Pablo Dartnell, when he founded the Servicio de Aviación Militar de Chile on December 20, 1910, being trained as a pilot in France...

, with EL/M-2032
EL/M-2032
The EL/M-2032 is an advanced pulse Doppler, multimode Fire Control Radar intended for multi-role fighter aircraft originated from the Lavi project. It is suitable for air-to-air and air-to-surface modes....

 radar replacing the original AN/APQ-159.

F-5E/F: A single Swiss Air Force F-5E with F-5F Wings. Currently (2011), this aircraft is part of the Museum at Meiringen AFB

F-5G: The temporary designation given to the F-20 Tigershark
F-20 Tigershark
The Northrop F-20 Tigershark was a privately-financed light fighter, designed and built by Northrop. Its development began in 1975 as a further evolution of Northrop's F-5E Tiger II, featuring a new engine that greatly improved overall performance, and a modern avionics suite including a powerful...

, armed with General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

 AN/APG-67 radar.

F-5N: Ex-Swiss Air Force F-5Es used by the US Navy as "aggressor" aircraft, with AN/APG-69 replacing the original AN/APQ-159. Intended to replace high-time USN/USMC F-5Es in the adversary role, and see service through to 2015.

F-5S: Upgraded version of the F-5E in use by the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

, equipped with the Galileo Avionica's FIAR Grifo-F X-band radar and are capable of firing the AIM-120 AMRAAM
AIM-120 AMRAAM
The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM , is a modern beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. Designed with the same form-factor as the previous generation of semi-active guided Sparrow missiles, it is a fire-and-forget...

.

F-5T Tigris: Upgraded version of the F-5E of Royal Thai Air Force
Royal Thai Air Force
The Royal Thai Air Force or RTAF is the air force of the Kingdom of Thailand. Since its establishment in 1913, as one of the earliest air forces of Asia, the Royal Thai Air Force had engaged in many major and minor battles. During the Vietnam war era, the air force has been developed with USAF-aid...

 by Israel, also armed with EL/M-2032.

F-5EM: Upgraded version of the F-5E of Brazilian Air Force
Brazilian Air Force
The Brazilian Air Force is the air branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces and one of the three national uniformed services. The FAB was formed when the Army and Navy air branch were merged into a single military force initially called "National Air Forces"...

 armed with Italian Grifo-F radar.
F-5TIII: Upgraded version of the F-5E,in service with the Royal Moroccan Air Force.

Reconnaissance versions


RF-5A: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5A fighter. Approximately 120 were built.

RF-5A (G): Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5A fighter for the Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

.

RF-5E Tigereye: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5E fighter. The RF-5E Tigereye was exported to Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and Malaysia.

RF-5E Tigergazer: Seven upgraded single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5E for Taiwan by ST Aerospace
ST Aerospace
Singapore Technologies Aerospace is a subsidiary of ST Engineering based in Singapore, with international offices and facilities located in key aviation hubs in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the US...

.

RF-5S Tigereye: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5S for the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

.

AR-9: Spanish reconnaissance aircraft

Two-seat versions




F-5-21
Temporarily designation given to the YF-5B.

YF-5B
One F-5B was fitted with a 5,000 lbf (2,268 kgf) General Electric J85-GE-21 engine, and used as a prototype for the F-5E Tiger II.

F-5B
Two-seat fighter version for the Republic of Korea Air Force
Republic of Korea Air Force
The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

, armed with AN/APQ-157 radar.

F-5B(G)
Two-seat trainer version of the F-5B for the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

F-5B M
Two-seat trainer version in use by the Spanish Air Force
Spanish Air Force
-The early stages:Hot air balloons had been used with military purposes in Spain as far back as 1896. In 1905, with the help of Alfredo Kindelán, Leonardo Torres y Quevedo directed the construction of the first Spanish dirigible in the Army Military Aerostatics Service, created in 1896 and located...

 for air combat training.

F-5D
Unbuilt trainer version.

F-5F Tiger II
Two-seat trainer version of F-5E Tiger II, AN/APQ-167 radar tested, intended to replace AN/APQ-157, but not carried out.

F-5F Tiger III
Upgraded trainer version of the F-5F in use by the Chilean Air Force.

F-5T
Upgraded F-5F in use by the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

.

F-5FM
Upgraded trainer version of the F-5F for the Brazilian Air Force
Brazilian Air Force
The Brazilian Air Force is the air branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces and one of the three national uniformed services. The FAB was formed when the Army and Navy air branch were merged into a single military force initially called "National Air Forces"...

.

Licensed versions


CF-5: Fighter versions for the Canadian Forces Air Command
Canadian Forces Air Command
The Royal Canadian Air Force , formerly Canadian Forces Air Command, is one of three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces...

 built under license by Canadair
Canadair
Canadair Ltd. was a civil and military aircraft manufacturer in Canada. It was a subsidiary of other aircraft manufacturers, then a nationalized corporation until privatized in 1986, and became the core of Bombardier Aerospace....

. Its Canadian designation is CF-116.

NF-5A: Single-seat fighter version of the CF-5A for the Royal Netherlands Air Force
Royal Netherlands Air Force
The Royal Netherlands Air Force , Dutch Koninklijke Luchtmacht , is the military aviation branch of the Netherlands Armed Forces. Its ancestor, the Luchtvaartafdeling of the Dutch Army was founded on 1 July 1913, with four pilots...

; 75 built.

NF-5B: Two-seat training version of the CF-5D for the Royal Netherlands Air force; 30 built.

SF-5A: Single-seat fighter version of the F-5A for the Spanish Air Force
Spanish Air Force
-The early stages:Hot air balloons had been used with military purposes in Spain as far back as 1896. In 1905, with the help of Alfredo Kindelán, Leonardo Torres y Quevedo directed the construction of the first Spanish dirigible in the Army Military Aerostatics Service, created in 1896 and located...

; built under licence in Spain by CASA
Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA
Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA , was a Spanish aircraft manufacturer. It became EADS CASA the Spanish branch of EADS in 1999, but was absorbed by Airbus Military in 2009...

.

SRF-5A: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the RF-5A for the Spanish Air force; built under license in Spain By CASA.

SF-5B: Two-seat training version of the F-5B for the Spanish Air Force. Built under license in Spain by CASA.

VF-5A: Single-seat version of the CF-5A for the Venezuelan Air Force. This designation was given to some Canadair CF-116s which were sold to the Venezuelan Air Force.

VF-5D: Two-seat training version of the CF-5D for the Venezuelan Air Force.

KF-5E: F-5E built in South Korea for Republic of Korea Air Force
Republic of Korea Air Force
The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

. First introduction: September, 1982; 48 built.

KF-5F: F-5F built in South Korea for Republic of Korea Air Force
Republic of Korea Air Force
The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

. First introduction: September, 1982; 20 built.

Chung Chen: F-5E/F built in Taiwan for Republic of China Air Force
Republic of China Air Force
The Republic of China Air Force is the aviation branch of the Republic of China Armed Forces. The ROCAF's primary mission is the defense of the airspace over and around Taiwan...

 by AIDC. First introduction: October 30, 1974, one day before the late President Chiang Kai Shek's 88th birthday, and was thus christened "Chung Chen", an alias of President Chiang; 308 built.

Unlicensed versions


Azarakhsh :F-5E built in Iran with unknown modifications and a mid wing.

Sa'eqeh :F-5E modified in Iran with canted, twin vertical stabilizers.

F-20 Tigershark


{{Main|F-20 Tigershark}}

Northrop attempted to develop an advanced version of the F-5E, originally designated F-5G, as an export competitor for the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The F-5G was later redesignated the F-20 Tigershark. It received favorable reviews as a less expensive but capable alternative to early-block variants of the F-16 (and superior to the similarly never-purchased export variant F-16/79), but it never had the appeal of the much newer fighter design even at a lower cost.

Northrop YF-17


{{Main|Northrop YF-17}}

The Northrop YF-17's aircraft's main design elements date from the F-5 based internal Northrop project N-300. The N-300 featured a longer fuselage, small leading-edge root extensions (LERX), and more powerful GE15-J1A1 turbojets. The wing was moved higher on the fuselage to increase ordnance flexibility. The N-300 further evolved into the P-530 Cobra. The P-530's wing planform and nose section was similar to the F-5, with a trapezoidal shape formed by a sweep of 20° at the quarter-chord line, and an unswept trailing edge, but was over double the area. While the YF-17 lost its bid for the USAF lightweight fighter, it would be developed into the larger McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.

Operators


{{BHR}}
  • Bahrain Air Force received eight F-5Es and two F-5Fs in between 1985 and 1987.

{{BOT}}
  • Botswana Air Force purchased 10 upgraded CF-5As and 3 CF-5Ds from Canada in 1996. A further two CF-5Ds were purchased in 2000.

{{BRA}}
  • Brazilian Air Force
    Brazilian Air Force
    The Brazilian Air Force is the air branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces and one of the three national uniformed services. The FAB was formed when the Army and Navy air branch were merged into a single military force initially called "National Air Forces"...

     operates 57 custom upgraded F-5Es. To be retired in 2015.

{{CHI}}
  • Chilean Air Force
    Chilean Air Force
    The Chilean Air Force is the air force of Chile, a branch of the Chilean military.-History:The first step towards the current FACh was taken by Teniente Coronel Pedro Pablo Dartnell, when he founded the Servicio de Aviación Militar de Chile on December 20, 1910, being trained as a pilot in France...

    : Chile purchased 15 F-Es and three F-5Fs in the 1970s, these being upgraded to Tigre III standard from 1993. In 1995, it supplemented its fleet with 10 F-5Es and two F-5Fs from Honduras. A total of 16 F-5Es were replaced in 2009 by 16 F-16 MLU T5s. A total of 10 F-5s remain operational as of 2009.

{{ROC-TW}}
  • Republic of China Air Force
    Republic of China Air Force
    The Republic of China Air Force is the aviation branch of the Republic of China Armed Forces. The ROCAF's primary mission is the defense of the airspace over and around Taiwan...

    : Received 115 F-5A and B from 1965, 48 were transferred to South Vietnam before 1975. From 1973 to 1986, Taiwan produced 308 F-5E/Fs under license. Later batches of locally AIDC licensed production of Tiger IIs were fitted with flare/chaff dispensers, plus handling qualities upgrades with enlarged LEX and F-20's shark nose, and radar warning receivers(RWR).

{{HON}}
  • Honduran Air Force
    Honduran Air Force
    The Honduras Air Force is the air force of Honduras. As such it is the air power arm of the Honduras Armed Forces.-History:...


{{IDN}}
  • Indonesian Air Force
    Indonesian Air Force
    The Indonesian Air Force is the air force branch of the Indonesian National Armed Forces.The Indonesian Air Force has 34,930 personnel equipped with 110 combat aircraft including Su-27 and Su-30.-Before Indonesian independence :...

    : All 16 F-5Es have been retired since late 2005 but are in reserve in case of future use.

{{IRN}}
  • Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
    Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
    The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force ' is the aviation branch of the Iranian armed forces. The present Air Force came into being in the early 1980s when the former Imperial Iranian Air Force was renamed....

    : 60 or 75 F-5E and F operational; 140 originally delivered
  • Unknown numbers of HESA Saeqeh and HESA Azarakhsh fighters derived from the F-5 design

{{JOR}}
  • Royal Jordanian Air Force
    Royal Jordanian Air Force
    The Royal Jordanian Air Force is the air force branch of the Jordanian Armed Forces.-Early days:...


{{KEN}}
  • Kenya Air Force
    Kenya Air Force
    The Kenya Air Force is the national Air Force of Kenya.The main airbase operating fighters is Laikipia Air Base in Nanyuki, while Moi Air Base in Eastleigh, Nairobi is the HQ & operations Kenya Air Force. Other bases include FOB Mombasa The Kenya Air Force (KAF) is the national Air Force of...

    : In July 2008, it was reported that Kenya will spend 1.5 billion KSh
    Kenyan shilling
    The shilling is the currency of Kenya. It is divisible into 100 cents.-Coins:The first coins were issued in 1966 in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 shillings. Twenty-five cents coins were not minted after 1969; 2 shillings coins were last minted in 1971...

     to buy 15 former Jordanian Air Force F-5s, 13 F-5E and two F-5F (plus training and spare parts). They will be added or eventually replace the current F-5 fleet

{{ROK}}
  • Republic of Korea Air Force
    Republic of Korea Air Force
    The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

     received a total of 340 F-5s (88 F-5A, 30 F-5B, 8 RF-5A, 126 F-5E, 20 F-5F, 48 KF-5E, and 20 KF-5F).

{{MEX}}
  • Mexican Air Force
    Mexican Air Force
    The Mexican Air Force is the aviation branch of the Mexican Army and depends on the National Defense Secretariat . Since 2008, its commander is Gen...

     received 12 F-5s in 1982.{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}} The service currently operates eight F-5Es and two F-5Fs.

{{MAR}}
  • Royal Moroccan Air Force
    Royal Moroccan Air Force
    The Royal Moroccan Air Force is the air force branch of the Moroccan Armed Forces.-History:...

     operates 33 F-5A/Bs including nine F-5E/Fs and 24 upgraded F-5TIIIs.{{Citation needed|date=July 2010}}

{{MAS}}
{{SAU}}
  • Royal Saudi Air Force
    Royal Saudi Air Force
    The Royal Saudi Air Force , is the aviation branch of the Saudi Arabian armed forces. The RSAF has developed from a largely defensive military force into one with an advanced offensive capability...

    : 110 F-5E/Fs withdrawn from active service aside from in the trainer role, some squadrons such as #10 based in Taif will be replaced with Eurofighter Typhoon
    Eurofighter Typhoon
    The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole combat aircraft, designed and built by a consortium of three companies: EADS, Alenia Aeronautica and BAE Systems; working through a holding company, Eurofighter GmbH, which was formed in 1986...

    .

{{SIN}}
  • Republic of Singapore Air Force
    Republic of Singapore Air Force
    The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

    : operates 32× F-5S, 9× F-5T and 8× RF-5S.

{{ESP}}
  • Spanish Air Force
    Spanish Air Force
    -The early stages:Hot air balloons had been used with military purposes in Spain as far back as 1896. In 1905, with the help of Alfredo Kindelán, Leonardo Torres y Quevedo directed the construction of the first Spanish dirigible in the Army Military Aerostatics Service, created in 1896 and located...

    , operates 20 F-5Bs as trainers for fighter school.

 Sudan
  • Sudanese Air Force
    Sudanese Air Force
    The Sudanese Air Force is the air force operated by the Republic of the Sudan. As such it is part of the Sudanese Armed Forces.-History:The Sudanese Air Force was founded immediately after Sudan gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1956. The British assisted in the Air Force's...

    : 10 F-5Es and two F-5F were delivered in 1978, One of the F-5Fs was sold to Jordan
    Jordan
    Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

    . further two F-5s defected to Sudan from Ethiopia
    Ethiopia
    Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

     during the Ogaden crisis.


{{SUI}}
  • Swiss Air Force
    Swiss Air Force
    The Swiss Air Force is the air component of the Swiss Armed Forces, established on July 31, 1914, as part of the Army and as of January 1966 an independent service.In peacetime, Dübendorf is the operational Air Force HQ...

    : Operating 42 F-5E and 12 F-5F Tiger II.

{{THA}}
  • Royal Thai Air Force
    Royal Thai Air Force
    The Royal Thai Air Force or RTAF is the air force of the Kingdom of Thailand. Since its establishment in 1913, as one of the earliest air forces of Asia, the Royal Thai Air Force had engaged in many major and minor battles. During the Vietnam war era, the air force has been developed with USAF-aid...

    : F-5A retired. Now operates F-5B/E/F/T, F-5B/E slated for retirement in 2011-2012, to be replaced by 12-JAS 39 Gripen
    JAS 39 Gripen
    The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a lightweight single-engine multirole fighter manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. It was designed to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen in the Swedish Air Force...

    . The last F-5 fleet, upgraded F-5T Tigris and F-5F will continue to serve to 2015-2020.

{{TUN}}
  • Tunisian Air Force
    Tunisian Air Force
    The Tunisian Air Force is one of the branches of the Tunisian Armed Forces.-Air Force:The Tunisian Air Force was established in 1959, three years after Tunisia regained its independence from France. It took deliveries of its first aircraft, eight Saab 91 Safirs, in 1960, later to be complemented...



{{TUR}}
  • Turkish Air Force
    Turkish Air Force
    The Turkish Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the Turkish Armed Forces. It ranks 3rd in NATO in terms of fleet size behind the USAF and Royal Air Force with a current inventory of 798 aircraft .-Initial stages:...

    : More than 200 F-5A/Bs and NF-5A/Bs were bought from various countries. Between 40 and 50 of them were upgraded to F-5/2000 standard during the 2000s; Turkish Stars
    Turkish Stars
    The Turkish Stars are the aerobatic demonstration team of the Turkish Air Force and the national aerobatics team of Turkey.The team was formed on November 7, 1992 and was named the Turkish Stars on January 11, 1993....

     aerobatic team. In total, 50 NF-5A and 25 NF-5B remain operational.

{{USA}}
  • United States Marine Corps
    United States Marine Corps
    The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

  • United States Navy
    United States Navy
    The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...


{{VEN}}
  • Venezuelan Air Force

{{YEM}}
  • Yemen Air Force
    Yemen Air Force
    -North and South Yemen:The Yemen Air Force, known as al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Yamaniya, was established in 1926. During the mid-1950s, the Imam of Yemen established a private fleet that was run by the military. Later, the Russians delivered MiG-15 and MiG-17 fighters, followed by MiG-21s to the...

    : North Yemen Air Force's 14 F-5E/F fleet were initially piloted by ROCAF/Taiwan pilots as part of 115th Squadron at Sana‘a, from April 1979 to May 1990, to boost its air defense.

Former operators


{{AUT}}
  • Austrian Air Force
    Austrian Air Force
    The Austrian Air Force is a component part of the Austrian armed forces .-History:The Austrian Air Force was formed in May 1955 by the victorious Allied powers, subject to restrictions on its use of guided missiles...

    : On loan from Switzerland – all aircraft returned and replaced by Eurofighters

{{CAN}}
  • Canadian Forces
    Canadian Forces
    The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

     – see Canadair CF-5

{{CHI}}
  • Chilean Air Force
    Chilean Air Force
    The Chilean Air Force is the air force of Chile, a branch of the Chilean military.-History:The first step towards the current FACh was taken by Teniente Coronel Pedro Pablo Dartnell, when he founded the Servicio de Aviación Militar de Chile on December 20, 1910, being trained as a pilot in France...

    : Chile purchased 15 F-Es and 3 F-5Fs in the 1970s, these being upgraded to Tigre III standard from 1993. In 1995, it supplemented its fleet with 10 F-5Es and 2 F-5Fs from Honduras. 16 F-5Es were replaced in 2009 by 16 F-16 Fighting Falcon MLU T5. A total of 10 F-5s remain operational as of 2009.

{{ETH}}
  • Ethiopian Air Force
    Ethiopian Air Force
    The Ethiopian Air Force is the air arm of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and is tasked with protecting the air space, providing support to the ground forces as well as assisting during national emergencies.- Early years :...


{{GRE}}
  • Hellenic Air Force
    Hellenic Air Force
    The Hellenic Air Force, abbreviated to HAF is the air force of Greece. The mission of the Hellenic Air Force is to guard and protect Greek airspace, provide air assistance and support to the Hellenic Army and the Hellenic Navy, as well as the provision of humanitarian aid in Greece and around the...


{{LBY}}
  • Royal Libyan Air Force to 1969. 10 F-5s. May have been sold to Turkey after 1969.

{{NLD}}
  • Royal Netherlands Air Force
    Royal Netherlands Air Force
    The Royal Netherlands Air Force , Dutch Koninklijke Luchtmacht , is the military aviation branch of the Netherlands Armed Forces. Its ancestor, the Luchtvaartafdeling of the Dutch Army was founded on 1 July 1913, with four pilots...


{{NOR}}
  • Royal Norwegian Air Force
    Royal Norwegian Air Force
    The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...


{{PHL}}
  • Philippine Air Force
    Philippine Air Force
    The Philippine Air Force is the air force of the Republic of the Philippines, and one of the three main services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Its official name in Filipino is Hukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas....

     received 22 F-5A (single seat) and eight F-5B (two seater) aircraft in 1966. In 1988-89, the PAF received at least eight ex-Taiwanese F-5As. In 2001, five ex-South Korean F-5A/B were acquired. Although retired from service in 2006, two upgraded F-5Bs remain in flying condition.

 South Vietnam
  • Vietnam Air Force
    Vietnam Air Force
    The Vietnam Air Force began with a few hand-picked men chosen to fly alongside French pilots during the State of Vietnam era. It eventually grew into the world’s sixth largest air force at the height of its power, in 1974...

     received total of 24 F-5A Freedom Fighters, three F-5B trainers, and 12 F-5E Tiger IIs.

{{USA}}
  • United States Air Force
    United States Air Force
    The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...


{{VNM}}
  • Vietnam People's Air Force
    Vietnam People's Air Force
    The Vietnam People's Air Force is the air force of Vietnam. It is the successor of the former North Vietnamese Air Force and the absorbed Republic of Vietnam Air Force following the re-unification of Vietnam in 1975.-Beginning-1964 :The first Vietnamese aircraft were two trainers, a de Havilland...

     (several captured ex-VNAF
    Vietnam Air Force
    The Vietnam Air Force began with a few hand-picked men chosen to fly alongside French pilots during the State of Vietnam era. It eventually grew into the world’s sixth largest air force at the height of its power, in 1974...

     aircraft). One F-5E (s/n 73-00867) was transferred to the Soviet Union for evaluation flights, i.e. against the MiG-21bis; 40+ F-5E/F/C were in VNAF's service.

Evaluation only user


{{USSR}}
  • F-5Es were received from Vietnam and the Derg
    Derg
    The Derg or Dergue was a Communist military junta that came to power in Ethiopia following the ousting of Haile Selassie I. Derg, which means "committee" or "council" in Ge'ez, is the short name of the Coordinating Committee of the Armed Forces, Police, and Territorial Army, a committee of...

     regime in Ethiopia for performance tests and evaluation flights. They were tested in mock combat against MiG-21 and MiG-23 aircraft, ultimately aiding in the development of the MiG-23MLD and the MiG-29
    Mikoyan MiG-29
    The Mikoyan MiG-29 is a fourth-generation jet fighter aircraft designed in the Soviet Union for an air superiority role. Developed in the 1970s by the Mikoyan design bureau, it entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1983, and remains in use by the Russian Air Force as well as in many other...

    .

Specifications (F-5E Tiger II)




The Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter and the F-5E/F Tiger II are part of a family of widely-used light supersonic
Supersonic
Supersonic speed is a rate of travel of an object that exceeds the speed of sound . For objects traveling in dry air of a temperature of 20 °C this speed is approximately 343 m/s, 1,125 ft/s, 768 mph or 1,235 km/h. Speeds greater than five times the speed of sound are often...

 fighter aircraft
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

, designed and built by Northrop
Northrop Corporation
Northrop Corporation was a leading United States aircraft manufacturer from its formation in 1939 until its merger with Grumman to form Northrop Grumman in 1994. The company is known for its development of the flying wing design, although only a few of these have entered service.-History:Jack...

. Hundreds remain in service in air forces around the world in the early 21st century, and the type has also been the basis for a number of other aircraft.

The F-5 started life as a privately-funded light fighter program by Northrop in the 1950s. The first-generation F-5A Freedom Fighter entered service in the 1960s. During the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, over 800 were produced through 1972 for U.S. allies, and Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. The USAF had no need for a light fighter but specifed a requirement for a supersonic trainer, procuring about 1,200 of a derivative airframe for this purpose, the Northrop T-38 Talon.

The improved second-generation F-5E Tiger II was also primarily used by American Cold War allies and, in limited quantities, served in US military aviation as a training and aggressor aircraft; Tiger II production amounted to 1,400 of all versions, with production ending in 1987. Many F-5s continuing in service into the 1990s and 2000s have undergone a wide variety of upgrade programs to keep pace with the changing combat environment.

The F-5 was also developed into a dedicated reconnaissance version, the RF-5 Tigereye. The F-5 also served as a starting point for a series of design studies which resulted in the twin-tailed Northrop YF-17 and the F/A-18
F/A-18 Hornet
The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a supersonic, all-weather carrier-capable multirole fighter jet, designed to dogfight and attack ground targets . Designed by McDonnell Douglas and Northrop, the F/A-18 was derived from the latter's YF-17 in the 1970s for use by the United States Navy and...

 series of carrier-based fighters. The Northrop F-20 Tigershark was an advanced version of the F-5E that did not find a market. The F-5N/F variants remain in service with the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 and United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 as an adversary trainer
Dissimilar air combat training
Dissimilar air combat training was introduced as a formal part of US air combat training after disappointing aerial combat exchange rates in the Vietnam War.Traditionally, pilots would undertake air combat training against similar aircraft...

.

Origins


In the mid-1950s, Northrop
Northrop Corporation
Northrop Corporation was a leading United States aircraft manufacturer from its formation in 1939 until its merger with Grumman to form Northrop Grumman in 1994. The company is known for its development of the flying wing design, although only a few of these have entered service.-History:Jack...

 started development on a low-cost, low-maintenance fighter, with the company designation N-156, partly to meet a US Navy requirement for a jet fighter to operate from its Escort Carriers, which were too small to operate the Navy's existing jet fighters. That requirement disappeared when the Navy decided to withdraw the Escort Carriers, but Northrop continued development of the N-156, with both a two seat advanced trainer (the N-156T), and a single-seat fighter (the N-156F) planned.

The N-156 was based on the use of a pair of an afterburning version of the General Electric J85
General Electric J85
-External links:**...

 engine
Jet engine
A jet engine is a reaction engine that discharges a fast moving jet to generate thrust by jet propulsion and in accordance with Newton's laws of motion. This broad definition of jet engines includes turbojets, turbofans, rockets, ramjets, pulse jets...

, which was originally designed to power the tiny McDonnell ADM-20 Quail
ADM-20 Quail
The McDonnell ADM-20 Quail was a subsonic, jet powered, air-launched decoy cruise missile built by McDonnell Aircraft Corporation. The Quail was designed to be launched by the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber and its original Air Force designation was GAM-72 .-Development:In 1955 the...

 decoy, which was then carried by the B-52 bomber. This requirement created a very small engine with a very high thrust-to-weight ratio. The N-156T was selected by the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 as a replacement for the T-33
T-33 Shooting Star
The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star is an American-built jet trainer aircraft. It was produced by Lockheed and made its first flight in 1948, piloted by Tony LeVier. The T-33 was developed from the Lockheed P-80/F-80 starting as TP-80C/TF-80C in development, then designated T-33A. It was used by the...

 in July 1965, allowing development of the trainer to progress at full speed, the first example, later designated YT-38 Talon, flying on 12 June 1959 with a total of 1,158 Talons being built by the time production ended in January 1972.

Development of the N-156F continued at a lower priority as a private venture by Northrop, which was rewarded by an order for three prototypes on 25 February 1958 as a prospective low-cost fighter that could be supplied under the Military Assistance Program for distribution to less-developed nations. The first N-156F flew at Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located on the border of Kern County, Los Angeles County, and San Bernardino County, California, in the Antelope Valley. It is southwest of the central business district of North Edwards, California and due east of Rosamond.It is named in...

 on 30 July 1959, exceeding the speed of sound on its first flight.

Although testing of the N-156F was successful, demonstrating unprecedented reliability and proving superior in the ground-attack role to the USAF's existing North American F-100 Super Sabres, official interest in the Northrop type waned, and by 1960 it looked as if the program was a failure. Interest revived in 1961, but when the US Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 tested it, (along with the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk and Fiat G.91) for reconnaissance and close-support, although all three types proved capable during Army testing, operating fixed-wing combat aircraft was legally the responsibility of the Air Force, which would not agree to operate the N-156 or allow the Army to operate fixed-wing combat aircraft, a situation repeated with the C-7 Caribou
De Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou
The de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou is a Canadian-designed and produced specialized cargo aircraft with short takeoff and landing capability...

.

In 1962, however, the Kennedy Administration revived the requirement for a low-cost export fighter, selecting the N-156F as winner of the F-X competition on 23 April 1962 subsequently becoming the "F-5A", being ordered into production in October that year. It was named under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system
1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system
The 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system is a unified designation system introduced by the United States Department of Defense on 18 September 1962 for all the U.S. military aircraft. Prior to this date, each armed service used their own nomenclature system...

, which included a re-set of the fighter number series (the General Dynamics F-111 was the highest sequentially numbered P/F-aircraft to enter service under the old number sequence).

Northrop built 636 F-5As (including the YF-5A prototype) before production ended in 1972. These were accompanied by 200 two-seat F-5B aircraft. These were operational trainers, lacking the nose-mounted cannon but otherwise combat-capable, while 86 RF-5A reconnaissance variants of the F-5A, fitted with a four-camera nose were also built. In addition, Canadair built 240 first generation F-5s under license, with CASA
CASA
- Aviation :* Civil Aviation Safety Authority - Australian statutory authority responsible for the regulation of Civil Aviation* Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA- Spanish aircraft manufacturer, became EADS CASA in 1999...

 in Spain adding a further 70 aircraft.

F-5E and F-5F Tiger II


In 1970, Northrop won a competition for an improved International Fighter Aircraft (IFA) to replace the F-5A, with better air-to-air performance against aircraft like the Soviet MiG 21
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It was popularly nicknamed "balalaika", from the aircraft's planform-view resemblance to the Russian stringed musical instrument or ołówek by Polish pilots due to...

. The resultant aircraft, initially known as F-5A-21, subsequently became the F-5E. It had more powerful (5,000 lbf) General Electric J85
General Electric J85
-External links:**...

-21 engines, and had a lengthened and enlarged fuselage, accommodating more fuel. Its wings were fitted with enlarged leading edge extension
Leading edge extension
A leading edge extension is a small extension to an aircraft wing surface, forward of the leading edge. Different kinds of extensions have been used for different reasons.-Leading edge slats:...

s, giving an increased wing area and improved maneuverability. The aircraft's avionics
Avionics
Avionics are electronic systems used on aircraft, artificial satellites and spacecraft.Avionic systems include communications, navigation, the display and management of multiple systems and the hundreds of systems that are fitted to aircraft to meet individual roles...

 were more sophisticated, crucially including a radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

 (initially the Emerson Electric AN/APQ-153) (the F-5A and B had no radar). It retained the gun armament of two M39 cannon
M39 cannon
The M39 cannon was a 20 mm caliber single-barreled revolver cannon developed for the United States Air Force in the late 1940s. It was used on a number of fighter aircraft from the early 1950s through the 1980s.-Development:...

, one on either side of the nose) of the F-5A. Various specific avionics fits could be accommodated at customer request, including an inertial navigation system
Inertial navigation system
An inertial navigation system is a navigation aid that uses a computer, motion sensors and rotation sensors to continuously calculate via dead reckoning the position, orientation, and velocity of a moving object without the need for external references...

, TACAN and ECM equipment.

The first F-5E flew on 11 August 1972. A two-seat combat-capable trainer, the F-5F, was offered, first flying on 25 September 1974, with a new, longer nose, which, unlike the F-5B that did not mount a gun, allowed it to retain a single M39 cannon, albeit with a reduced ammunition capacity. The two-seater was equipped with the Emerson AN/APQ-157 radar, which is a derivative of the AN/APQ-153 radar, with dual control and display systems to accommodate the two-men crew, and the radar has the same range of AN/APQ-153, around 10 nmi
Nautical mile
The nautical mile is a unit of length that is about one minute of arc of latitude along any meridian, but is approximately one minute of arc of longitude only at the equator...

.
A reconnaissance
Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

 version, the RF-5E Tigereye, with a sensor package in the nose displacing the radar and one cannon, was also offered. The latest radar upgrade included the Emerson AN/APG-69, which was the successor of AN/APQ-159, incorporating mapping capability. However, most nations chose not to upgrade for financial reasons, and the radar saw very little service in USAF aggressor squadrons and Swiss air force.

The F-5E eventually received the official name Tiger II. The F-5E experienced numerous upgrades in its service life, with the most significant one being adopting a new planar array radar, Emerson AN/APQ-159 with a range of 20 nmi
Nautical mile
The nautical mile is a unit of length that is about one minute of arc of latitude along any meridian, but is approximately one minute of arc of longitude only at the equator...

 to replace the original AN/APQ-153. Similar radar upgrades were also proposed for F-5F, with the derivative of AN/APQ-159, the AN/APQ-167, to replace the AN/APQ-157, but that was cancelled.

Northrop built 792 F-5Es, 140 F-5Fs and 12 RF-5Es. More were built under license overseas: 91 F-5Es and -Fs in Switzerland, 68 by Korean Air
Korean Air
Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. , operating as Korean Air, is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of South Korea, with global headquarters located in Seoul, South Korea. Korean Air's international passenger division and related subsidiary cargo division together serve 130 cities in 45...

 in South Korea, and 308 in Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

. The F-5 proved to be a successful combat aircraft for US allies, but had little combat service with the US Air Force. The F-5E evolved into the single-engine F-5G, which was rebranded the F-20 Tigershark. It lost out on export sales to the F-16 in the 1980s.

Upgrades


Various F-5 versions remain in service with many nations.

Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 has approximately 49 modernized and re-designated F-5S (single-seat) and F-5T (two-seat) aircraft. Upgrades include new FIAR Grifo-F X-band radar from Galileo Avionica (similar in performance to the AN/APG-69), updated cockpits with multi-function displays, and compatibility with the AIM-120 AMRAAM
AIM-120 AMRAAM
The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM , is a modern beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. Designed with the same form-factor as the previous generation of semi-active guided Sparrow missiles, it is a fire-and-forget...

 and Rafael Python air-to-air missile
Air-to-air missile
An air-to-air missile is a missile fired from an aircraft for the purpose of destroying another aircraft. AAMs are typically powered by one or more rocket motors, usually solid fuelled but sometimes liquid fuelled...

s.

Similar programs have been carried out in Chile and Brazil with the help of Elbit. The Chilean upgrade, called the F-5 Tiger III Plus, incorporated a new Elta EL/M-2032
EL/M-2032
The EL/M-2032 is an advanced pulse Doppler, multimode Fire Control Radar intended for multi-role fighter aircraft originated from the Lavi project. It is suitable for air-to-air and air-to-surface modes....

 radar and other improvements. The Brazilian program, whose product is called the F-5M (Modernized), is armed with Python V coupled to the DASH helmet-mounted cue system, and new GRIFO radar, cockpit displays and navigation electronics. The Brazilian F-5M is also equipped with the Israeli Derby missile and can operate in a BVR
Beyond Visual Range missile
A beyond-visual-range missile usually refers to an air-to-air missile that is capable of engaging at ranges beyond . This range has been achieved using dual pulse rocket motors or booster rocket motor and ramjet sustainer motor....

 environment.
In the Cruzex 2006 multinational war games, a Brazilian F-5 made simulated kills on two French Dassault Mirage 2000N aircraft, which were supported by an E-3 Sentry
E-3 Sentry
The Boeing E-3 Sentry is an airborne warning and control system developed by Boeing as the prime contractor. Derived from the Boeing 707, it provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications, and is used by the United States Air Force , NATO, Royal Air Force , French Air Force...

 and escorted by other two Mirage 2000C. This result was achieved by using the Derby and the information relayed by datalink from an AEW&C plane, the Embraer R-99, fitted with the Erieye AESA radar.

Another upgrade program was carried out for the Royal Thai Air Force
Royal Thai Air Force
The Royal Thai Air Force or RTAF is the air force of the Kingdom of Thailand. Since its establishment in 1913, as one of the earliest air forces of Asia, the Royal Thai Air Force had engaged in many major and minor battles. During the Vietnam war era, the air force has been developed with USAF-aid...

 (RTAF) by Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, designated the F-5T Tigris; it was armed with Python III and 4 (with the Dash helmet-mounted cueing system). Unlike other F-5s which have undergone updates, the RTAF aircraft cannot use BVR
Beyond Visual Range missile
A beyond-visual-range missile usually refers to an air-to-air missile that is capable of engaging at ranges beyond . This range has been achieved using dual pulse rocket motors or booster rocket motor and ramjet sustainer motor....

 missiles.

One NASA F-5E was given a modified fuselage shape for its employment in the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration
Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration
The NASA Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, also known as the Shaped Sonic Boom Experiment, was a two-year program that used a Northrop F-5E with a modified fuselage to demonstrate that the aircraft's shock wave, and accompanying sonic boom, can be shaped, and thereby reduced...

 program carried out by DARPA. It is preserved in the Valiant Air Command Museum at Titusville
Titusville
-United States of America:*Titusville, Birmingham, Alabama*Titusville, Florida*Titusville, New Jersey*Titusville, a former community in Malone , New York*Titusville, Pennsylvania...

, Florida.

United States


The first contract for the production F-5A was issued in 1962, the first overseas order coming from the Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

 on 28 February 1964. It entered service with the 4441st Combat Crew Training School of the USAF, which had the role of training pilots and ground crew for customer nations, on 30 April that year, it still not being intended that the aircraft be used in significant numbers by the USAF itself.
This changed with testing and limited deployment in 1965. Preliminary combat evaluation of the F-5A began at the Air Proving Ground Center, Eglin AFB, Florida, during the summer of 1965 under project Sparrow Hawk, with one airframe lost through pilot error on 24 June. In October 1965, the USAF began a five-month combat evaluation of the F-5A titled Skoshi Tiger. Twelve aircraft were delivered for trials to the 4503rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, and after modification with probe and drogue aerial refueling
Aerial refueling
Aerial refueling, also called air refueling, in-flight refueling , air-to-air refueling or tanking, is the process of transferring fuel from one aircraft to another during flight....

 equipment, armor and improved instruments, were redesignated as the F-5C. Over the next six months, they performed combat duty in Vietnam
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, flying more than 2,600 sorties, both from the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing
3d Wing
The 3d Wing is a unit of the United States Air Force, assigned to the Pacific Air Forces Eleventh Air Force. It is stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska....

 at Bien Hoa
Bien Hoa
Biên Hòa is a city in Dong Nai province, Vietnam, about east of Ho Chi Minh City , to which Bien Hoa is linked by Vietnam Highway 1.- Demographics :In 1989 the estimated population was over 300,000. In 2005, the population wss 541,495...

 over South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

, and from Da Nang Air Base
Da Nang Air Base
Da Nang Air Base was a Republic of Vietnam Air Force facility. The United States used it as a major base during the Vietnam War , stationing Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine units there...

 where operations were flown over Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

. One aircraft was lost in combat. Although declared a success, with the aircraft generally rated as capable a ground-attack aircraft as the F-100, but suffering from a shorter range, the program was considered a political gesture intended to aid the export of more F-5s than a serious consideration of the type for U.S. service. From April 1966 the aircraft continued operations as 10th Fighter Commando Squadron with their number boosted to 17 aircraft. (Following Skoshi Tiger the Philippine Air Force
Philippine Air Force
The Philippine Air Force is the air force of the Republic of the Philippines, and one of the three main services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Its official name in Filipino is Hukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas....

 acquired 23 F-5A and B models in 1965. These aircraft, along with remanufactured Vought F-8 Crusaders, eventually replaced the Philippine Air Force's North American F-86 Sabre in the air defense and ground attack roles.)
In June 1967, the 10th FCS's surviving aircraft were turned over to the air force of South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

, which previously had only A-37 Dragonfly
A-37 Dragonfly
The Cessna A-37 Dragonfly, or Super Tweet, is a United States light attack aircraft developed from the T-37 Tweet basic trainer in the 1960s and 1970s...

 and A-1 Skyraider
A-1 Skyraider
The Douglas A-1 Skyraider was an American single-seat attack aircraft that saw service between the late 1940s and early 1980s. It became a piston-powered, propeller-driven anachronism in the jet age, and was nicknamed "Spad", after a French World War I fighter...

 attack aircraft. This new VNAF squadron was titled the 522nd. The president of Vietnam had originally asked for F-4 Phantoms used by the Americans, but the VNAF flew primarily ground support as the communist forces employed no opposing aircraft over South Vietnam, MiG or otherwise. Ironically, when Bien Hoa
Bien Hoa
Biên Hòa is a city in Dong Nai province, Vietnam, about east of Ho Chi Minh City , to which Bien Hoa is linked by Vietnam Highway 1.- Demographics :In 1989 the estimated population was over 300,000. In 2005, the population wss 541,495...

 was later overrun by Communist forces, several of the aircraft were captured and used operationally by the NVAF, in particular against Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

. In view of the performance, agility and size of the F-5, it might have appeared to be a good match against the similar MiG-21 in air combat; however, US doctrine was to use heavy, faster and longer-range aircraft like the Republic F-105 Thunderchief and McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II over North Vietnam. Several of the F-5s left over from the Vietnam war were sent to Poland and Russia, for advanced study of US aviation technology, while others were decommissioned and put on display at museums in Vietnam.

Although the United States does not use the F-5 in a front line role, it was adopted for an opposing forces (OPFOR) "aggressor" for dissimilar training role because of its small size and performance similarities to the Soviet MiG-21.
The F-5E saw service with the US Air Force from 1975 until 1990, serving in the 64th Aggressor Squadron
64th Aggressor Squadron
The 64th Aggressor Squadron ' is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 57th Adversary Tactics Group and stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.-Overview:...

 and 65th Aggressor Squadron
65th Aggressor Squadron
The 65th Aggressor Squadron ' is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 57th Adversary Tactics Group and stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.-Overview:...

 at Nellis Air Force Base
Nellis Air Force Base
Nellis Air Force Base is a United States Air Force Base, located approximately northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. It is under the jurisdiction of Air Combat Command .-Overview:...

 in Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

, and with the 527th Aggressor Squadron at RAF Alconbury in the UK and the 26th Aggressor Squadron at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. The US Marines purchased ex-USAF models in 1989 to replace their F-21s
IAI Kfir
The Israel Aircraft Industries Kfir is an Israeli-built all-weather, multirole combat aircraft based on a modified Dassault Mirage 5 airframe, with Israeli avionics and an Israeli-made version of the General Electric J79 turbojet engine.-Background:...

, which served with VMFT-401
VMFT-401
Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401 is a United States Marine Corps Reserve fighter squadron flying the F-5N Tiger II. Known as the "Snipers", the squadron is the only adversary squadron in the Marine Corps. They are based at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and fall under the command of the 4th...

 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma or MCAS Yuma is a United States Marine Corps air station which is the home to multiple squadrons of AV-8B Harrier IIs of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 and Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401 , an air combat adversary...

. The U.S. Navy used the F-5E extensively at the Naval Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) when it was located at NAS Miramar, California. When TOPGUN relocated to become part of the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center
Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center
The Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center at Naval Air Station Fallon located in the city of Fallon in western Nevada is the center of excellence for naval aviation training and tactics development...

 at NAS Fallon, Nevada, the command divested itself of the F-5, choosing to rely on VC-13 (redesignated VFC-13
VFC-13
Fighter Squadron Composite Saints is a US Navy fighter squadron that provides adversary training for U.S. Navy air wings at NAS Fallon, Nevada.VFC-13 uses "Bogey" as its main radio callsign.-History:...

 and which already used F-5s) to employ their F-5s as adversary aircraft. Former adversary squadrons such as VF-43 at NAS Oceana, VF-45 at NAS Key West, VF-126 at NAS Miramar, and VFA-127 at NAS Lemoore have also operated the F-5 along with other aircraft types in support of Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT).

The U.S. Navy F-5 fleet continues to be modernized with 36 low-hour F-5E/Fs purchased from Switzerland in 2006. These were updated as F-5N/Fs with modernized avionics and other improved systems. Currently, the only U.S. Navy units flying the F-5 are VFC-13 at NAS Fallon, Nevada and VFC-111
VFC-111
Composite Fighter Squadron 111 Sundowners is a US Navy Reserve adversary squadron based at Naval Air Station Key West, Florida...

 at NAS Key West, Florida. Currently, VFC-111 operates 18 Northrop F-5N/F Tiger-IIs, of which 17 are single-seater F-5Ns and the remainder being a twin-seater F-5F, which was dubbed "FrankenTiger" and is one of only three in service with the USN, being a product of grafting the older front half fuselage of the F-5Fs into the back half fuselage of the newer low-hours F-5Es acquired from the Swiss Air Force.

According to the FAA, there are 18 privately owned F-5s in the US, including Canadair CF-5Ds.

Mexico



In 1982, Mexico received 12 F-5E/F after the purchase of 24 IAI Kfir C.1 were blocked by the U.S, because the Kfir used the American-produced J79 engine. These fighters accompanied the T-33 and Vampire MkIII (procured much earlier), two of the first combat jet aircraft in Mexico. The subsonic T-33 and Vampire were introduced in the early 60's. The F-5 gave Mexico it's first supersonic platform and saw the formation of Air Squadron 401. In 1995 after more than 30 military parade flights without incident, on September 16, 1995 during the military parade of the Independence of Mexico an F-5E collided in the air with three T-33. A total of 10 deaths occurred. Since then, flyovers in Mexico were smaller in participation, for safety. In 2007 the F-5 had its 25 year anniversary in Mexican Air Force service. Mexico is currently looking at the Lockheed Martin F-16 as a much-needed replacement for the aging F-5's by 2015. Air Squadron 402 are also looking to replace their Lockheed T-33's that were retired in 2007.{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}}{{Clarify|date=August 2011}}

Republic of China (Taiwan)


The Republic of China Air Force received its first batch of seven F-5As and two F-5Bs under the US Military Assistance Program in 1965. By 1971, the ROCAF was operating 72 F-5As and 11 F-5Bs. During 1972, the US decided to borrow 48 F-5As from Taiwan to boost the South Vietnam Air Force strength before withdrawing US forces from South Vietnam. By 1973 most of those loaned F-5As in South Vietnam were not in flying shape consequently the US decided to return 20 F-5As to Taiwan by drawing nine F-5As from US reserves while repairing a further 11 from those still in flying shape in South Vietnam. These were sent to Taiwan to make necessary repairs, with gave 28 F-5Es issued to Taiwan by May 1975 in return. By 1973, Taiwan's AIDC started local production of a first batch of 100 F-5Es in Taiwan, the first of six Peace Tiger production batches. By end of 1986 when the production line closed after completing Peace Tiger 6, the AIDC had produced 242 F-5Es and 66 F-5Fs. Adding the 28 original US-made F-5E/Fs, this made Taiwan the largest F-5E/F operator at one time, with 336 F-5E/Fs in inventory. A bit of F-20 influence can be seen in the last batch of F-5E/Fs by AIDC in Taiwan that featured the F-20's shark nose.

With the introduction of 150 F-16s, 60 Mirage 2000-5s and 130 F-CK-1s in mid- to late-1990s, the F-5E/F series became second line fighters in ROCAF service and mostly are now withdrawn from service as squadrons converted to new fighters entering ROCAF service. Seven low airframe hours F-5Es were sent to ST Aerospace
ST Aerospace
Singapore Technologies Aerospace is a subsidiary of ST Engineering based in Singapore, with international offices and facilities located in key aviation hubs in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the US...

 to convert them to RF-5E standard to fulfill a reconnaissance role previously undertaken by the retiring RF-104G in ROCAF service. As of 2009, only about 40 ROCAF F-5E/Fs still remain in service in training roles with about 90-100 F-5E/Fs held in reserve. The other retired F-5E/F are either scrapped, or used as decoys painted in colors representing the main front line F-16, Mirage 2000-5 or F-CK-1 fighters, and deployed around major air bases.

Taiwan also tried to upgrade the F-5E/F fleet with AIDC's Tiger 2000/2001 program. The first flight took place on 24 July 2002. The program would replace the F-5E/F's radar with F-CK-1's GD-53 radar and allow the fighter to carry a single TC-2 BVRAAM on the centerline. But lack of interest from the Taiwan/ROC Air Force eventually killed the program. The only prototype is on display in AIDC in Central Taiwan.

The only air combat actions ROCAF F-5E/F pilots saw, were not over Taiwan, but in North Yemen. In 1979, a flareup between North and South Yemen prompted the US to sell 14 F-5E/Fs to North Yemen to boost its air defense. Since no one in North Yemen knew how to fly the F-5E/F (only MiG-15s were operational at the time), US and Saudi Arabia arranged to have 80+ ROCAF F-5E pilots (eight pilots per year) plus ground crew and anti-air defense units sent to North Yemen as part of North Yemen Air Force's 115th Squadron at Sana‘a operating initially just six F-5E/Fs and then from April 1979 to May 1990, added eight more. The ROCAF piloted F-5E/F scored a few kills in a few air battles, but the ground early warning radar crews and anti-air units also suffered from air attacks from South Yemen, the aircraft being piloted by Soviet crews.

Iran



The Imperial Iranian Air Force received extensive US equipment in the 1960s and 1970s. Iran received its first 11 F-5A and two F-5Bs in February 1965 which were then declared operational in June 1965. Ultimately, Iran received 104 F-5A and 23 F-5Bs by 1972. From January 1974 with the first squadron of 28 F-5Fs, Iran received a total of 166 F-5E/F and 15 additional RF-5Es with deliveries ending in 1976. While receiving the F-5E and F, Iran started selling its F-5A and Bs to other countries including Ethiopia, Turkey, Greece and South Vietnam; by 1976, they were all sold apart from some F-5Bs retained for training.

After the revolution, the new Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force was partially successful keeping Western fighters in service during the war with Iraq in the 1980s and the simple F-5 had a good service readiness until late in the war. Initially Iran took spare parts from foreign sources, later it was able to have its new aircraft industry keep the aircraft flying.

During the war with Iraq, IRIAF F-5s were heavily involved, flying air-to-air and air-to-ground sorties. Iranian F-5s took part in many air combats with Iraqi MiG-21, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 is a variable-geometry fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau in the Soviet Union. It is considered to belong to the Soviet third generation jet fighter category, along with similarly aged Soviet fighters such as the MiG-25 "Foxbat"...

, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 is a supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft that was among the fastest military aircraft to enter service. Designed by the Soviet Union's Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau the first prototype flew in 1964 with entry into service in 1970...

, Su-20/22
Sukhoi Su-17
The Sukhoi Su-17 is a Soviet attack aircraft developed from the Sukhoi Su-7 fighter-bomber. It enjoyed a long career in Soviet, later Russian, service and was widely exported to communist and Middle Eastern air forces, under names Su-20 and Su-22.-Development:Seeking to improve low-speed and...

, Mirage F-1 and Super Etendards scoring many victories but also suffering many losses. However the exact combat record is not known with many different claims from Iraqi, Iranian and even Western and Russian sources. Adding to the haze surrounding the F-5's combat record is that many of the IRIAF's confirmed air-to-air kills were, for political reasons, attributed to the Revolutionary Guards. Nonetheless, there are reports that an F-5E, piloted by Major Yadollah Javadpour, managed to shoot down a MiG-25 on 6 August 1983. Additionally, his five claimed aerial victories, with two confirmed kills make Javadpour an ace and the world's most successful F-5 combat pilot.

From a general standpoint, during the first years of service, Iranian F-5 fighter aircraft had the advantage in missile technology, using advanced versions of the IR seeking Sidewinder, later lost with deliveries of new missiles and fighters to Iraq.

Iran currently produces an indigenous aircraft titled, "Saegeh", which is built on the same platform as the F-5, and probably armed with Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n-made or Chinese
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

-made munitions such as AA-10 Alamo, AA-11 Archer or C-802
C-802
The Yingji-82 or YJ-82 is a Chinese anti-ship missile first unveiled in 1989 by the China Haiying Electro-Mechanical Technology Academy , also known as the Third Academy...

.{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}}

Ethiopia


Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 received 10 F-5As and two F-5Bs from the US starting in 1966. In addition to these, Ethiopia had a training squadron equipped with at least eight Lockheed T-33 Shooting Stars. In 1970, Iran transferred at least three F-5As and Bs to Ethiopia. In 1975, another agreement was reached with the US to deliver a number of military aircraft, including 14 F-5Es and three F-5Fs; later in the same year eight F-5Es were transferred while the others were embargoed and delivered to a USAF aggressor Squadron due to the changed political situation. The US also withdrew its personnel and cut diplomatic relations. Ethiopian officers contracted a number of Israelis to maintain American equipment.

The Ethiopian F-5 fighters saw combat action against Somali forces during the Ogaden War
Ogaden War
The Ogaden War was a conventional conflict between Somalia and Ethiopia in 1977 and 1978 over the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. In a notable illustration of the nature of Cold War alliances, the Soviet Union switched from supplying aid to Somalia to supporting Ethiopia, which had previously been...

 (1977–1978). The main Somali fighter aircraft was the MiG-21MF delivered in the 1970s, supported by Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 is a high-subsonic fighter aircraft produced in the USSR from 1952 and operated by numerous air forces in many variants. Most MiG-17 variants cannot carry air-to-air missiles, but shot down many aircraft with its cannons...

s delivered in the 1960s by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. Ethiopian F-5E aircraft were used to gain air superiority because they could use the AIM-9B air to air missile, while the F-5As were kept for air interdiction
Air interdiction
Air interdiction is the use of aircraft to attack tactical ground targets that are not in close proximity to friendly ground forces. It differs from close air support because it does not directly support ground operations and is not closely coordinated with ground units...

 and air strike. During this period Ethiopian F-5Es went on training against Ethiopian F-5As and F-86 Sabres (simulating Somali MiG-21s and MiG-17s).

On 17 July 1977, two Ethiopian F-5s were on combat air patrol near Harer, when four Somali MiG-21MFs were detected nearby. In the engagement, two MiG-21s were shot down while the other two had a midair collision while avoiding a AIM-9B missile. The better-trained Ethiopian Air Force
Ethiopian Air Force
The Ethiopian Air Force is the air arm of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and is tasked with protecting the air space, providing support to the ground forces as well as assisting during national emergencies.- Early years :...

 F-5 pilots swiftly gained air superiority over the Somali Air Force, shooting down a number of aircraft, while other Somali aircraft were lost to air defense and to incidents. However at least three F-5s were shot down by air defense forces during attacks against supply bases in western Somalia.

Morocco


F-5As and F-5Bs took part in the Polisario War in Western Sahara
Western Sahara
Western Sahara is a disputed territory in North Africa, bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its surface area amounts to . It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly...

 in the 1980s. During the war, the Polisario Front
Polisario Front
The POLISARIO, Polisario Front, or Frente Polisario, from the Spanish abbreviation of Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro is a Sahrawi rebel national liberation movement working for the independence of Western Sahara from Morocco...

 was aided by East European, Cuban and Algerian advisers. They were armed with heavy weapons and even with sophisticated heavy SA-6 anti-aircraft systems. Some 14 F-5s were lost during combat. A total of 24 F-5Es have been upgraded to F-5TIII standard.

Saudi Arabia


During the Gulf War, Saudi F-5Es flew close air support and aerial interdiction missions against Iraqi units in Kuwait. One RSAF F-5E was lost to ground fire on 13 February 1991. The pilot was killed in action. In Saudi Arabian service, approximately 20 Tigers have been lost to various causes over the years.

Norway


The Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

 received 108 Freedom Fighters: 16 RF-5A, 78 F-5A and 14 F-5B. The first 64 were received as military aid. They were in use by several squadrons, the first and last being 336 Squadron receiving the first aircraft in February 1966 (formal handing-over ceremony a month later), and deactivating in August 2000. Three aircraft were kept flying until 2007, serving with Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk's Eye of the Tiger-project, developing the Naval Strike Missile
Naval Strike Missile
The Naval Strike Missile is an anti-ship and land-attack missile developed by the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace , and whose initial serial production contract was signed in June 2007. It has been chosen by the Royal Norwegian Navy for its new Fridtjof Nansen class frigates and...

. The aircraft received under military aid were handed off to Greece and Turkey. Of the aircraft bought by the Norwegian Government, nine were used in exchange with US authorities for submarines of the Kobben class. Five F-5s were given to aircraft maintenance schools
Aircraft Maintenance Technician
Aircraft maintenance technician, as used in the United States, refers to an individual who holds a mechanic certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration; the rules for certification, and for certificate-holders, are detailed in Subpart D of Part 65 of the Federal Aviation Regulations ,...

 in October 2011. The remaining 10 are being stored at Rygge. Three survivors are exhibited at the Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection
Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection
Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection is a military aviation museum located in Gardermoen, near Oslo, Norway. The museum was established in 1967, with a Heinkel He 111 and a Northrop N-3PB as one of the first objects. However, the museum was not opened for the public until 1984...

, and two at Norsk Luftfartsmuseum in Bodø.

Philippines


The Philippines has decommissioned their remaining F-5A/B fleet that were transferred from Taiwan and South Korea, although six to eight F-5s remain in flyable condition in case of a national emergency, with two F-5s being an upgraded variant.

Singapore


Singapore is an important operator of the F-5E/F variant, first ordering the aircraft in 1976 during a massive expansion of the city-state's armed forces; delivery of this first batch of 18 F-5Es and three F-5Fs was completed by late February 1979, equipping the newly formed-up No. 144 Black Kite Squadron
144 Squadron, Republic of Singapore Air Force
The 144 Squadron "Blackite" of the Republic of Singapore Air Force is a fighter-bomber squadron based at Paya Lebar Air Base, the squadron goes by the motto "Dare To Excel" with the Black Kite adopted as its mascot.-History:...

 at Tengah Air Base. At the end of 1979, an order was placed for six more F-5Es, these were was delivered by 1981. In 1982, an order for three more F-5Fs was placed, these were forward delivered in September 1983 to RAF Leuchars
RAF Leuchars
RAF Leuchars is the most northerly air defence station in the United Kingdom. It is located in Leuchars, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland, near to the university town of St Andrews.-Operations:...

 in Scotland where they were taken over by pilots of the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

 (RSAF). In 1983, the type took over the duties of airborne interception
Interceptor aircraft
An interceptor aircraft is a type of fighter aircraft designed specifically to prevent missions of enemy aircraft, particularly bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. Interceptors generally rely on high speed and powerful armament in order to complete their mission as quickly as possible and set up...

 from RAAF's Mirage IIIO
Dassault Mirage III
The Mirage III is a supersonic fighter aircraft designed by Dassault Aviation during the late 1950s, and manufactured both in France and a number of other countries. It was a successful fighter aircraft, being sold to many air forces around the world and remaining in production for over a decade...

s detachment stationed at Tengah.

Another order for six more F-5Es was placed in 1985, these were delivered the same year and would go on to equip the newly formed-up No. 149 Shikra Squadron
149 Squadron, Republic of Singapore Air Force
The 149 Squadron "Shikra" of the Republic of Singapore Air Force is a fighter-bomber squadron based at Paya Lebar Air Base, the squadron goes by the motto "Steadfast" with the Shikra adopted as its mascot.-History:...

 at Tengah. The following year, the RSAF placed an order for its final batch of three F-5Fs and five F-5Es, these were delivered in December 1987 and July 1989, respectively. In a bid to modernise their air force, the Royal Jordanian Air Force put up seven F-5Es for sale in 1994, these were later acquired by Singapore.

From 1990 to 1991, using jigs and toolings purchased from Northrop, Singapore Aircraft Industries (SAI, now ST Aerospace
ST Aerospace
Singapore Technologies Aerospace is a subsidiary of ST Engineering based in Singapore, with international offices and facilities located in key aviation hubs in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the US...

) converted 8 existing F-5Es into RF-5E Tigereye variant. Subsequently, these were used to requipped No. 141 Merlin Squadron, which had traded in their older Hawker Hunter
Hawker Hunter
The Hawker Hunter is a subsonic British jet aircraft developed in the 1950s. The single-seat Hunter entered service as a manoeuvrable fighter aircraft, and later operated in fighter-bomber and reconnaissance roles in numerous conflicts. Two-seat variants remained in use for training and secondary...

 FR.74S for the newer Tigereyes in 1992 and was by then based at Paya Lebar Air Base, after the 144 Squadron had relocated there in 1986. By June 1993, all three squadrons had been relocated to the base, thus consolidating Singapore's F-5E/F operations at Paya Lebar.

In late 1991, SAI was further awarded a contract by RSAF to mordernise and upgrade all the F-5E/F in RSAF's inventory (including the 7 ex-Jordanian F-5Es), with main-sub contractor Elbit Systems
Elbit Systems
Elbit Systems Ltd. is one of the world's largest defense electronics manufacturers and integrators. Established in 1967, and based in Haifa, Israel, Elbit employs 11,000 people worldwide....

 responsible for systems integration. Included in the package was a new X band
X band
The X band is a segment of the microwave radio region of the electromagnetic spectrum. In some cases, such as in communication engineering, the frequency range of X band is rather indefinitely set at approximately 7.0 to 11.2 gigahertz . In radar engineering, the frequency range is specified...

 multi-mode radar (the Italian FIAR Grifo-F, with Beyond-visual-range missile and Look-down/shoot-down
Look-down/shoot-down
Look-down/shoot-down is a capability a radar system is said to possess if it is able to detect, track and put a weapon onto an air target moving below the horizon as seen by the radar...

 capabilities), a revamped cockpit with new MIL-STD-1553R databuses, GEC/Ferranti
Ferranti
Ferranti or Ferranti International plc was a UK electrical engineering and equipment firm that operated for over a century from 1885 until it went bankrupt in 1993. Known primarily for defence electronics, the Company was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but ceased trading in 1993.The...

 4510 Head-up display
Head-Up Display
A head-up display or heads-up display is any transparent display that presents data without requiring users to look away from their usual viewpoints...

/weapons delivery system, two BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

 MED-2067 Multi-function display
Multi-function display
A Multi-function display is a small screen in an aircraft surrounded by multiple buttons that can be used to display information to the pilot in numerous configurable ways. Often an MFD will be used in concert with a Primary Flight Display. MFDs are part of the digital era of modern planes or...

s, Litton
Litton Industries
Named after inventor Charles Litton, Sr., Litton Industries was a large defense contractor in the United States, bought by the Northrop Grumman Corporation in 2001.-History:...

 LN-93 inertial navigation system
Inertial navigation system
An inertial navigation system is a navigation aid that uses a computer, motion sensors and rotation sensors to continuously calculate via dead reckoning the position, orientation, and velocity of a moving object without the need for external references...

 (similar to all those found on ST Aerospace A-4SU Super Skyhawks) and Hands On Throttle-And-Stick controls (HOTAS)
HOTAS
HOTAS, an abbreviation for Hands On Throttle-And-Stick, is the name given to the concept of placing buttons and switches on the throttle stick and flight control stick in an aircraft's cockpit, allowing the pilot to access vital cockpit functions and fly the aircraft without having to remove his...

 to reduce pilot workload. Reportedly, the Elisra SPS2000 radar warning receiver
Radar warning receiver
Radar warning receiver systems detect the radio emissions of radar systems. Their primary purpose is to issue a warning when a radar signal that might be a threat is detected. The warning can then be used, manually or automatically, to evade the detected threat...

 and countermeasure system was also installed. Additionally, the starboard M-39 20mm cannon mounted in the nose was removed to make way for additional avionics (the sole cannon fitted to the two-seaters was removed because of this), and to improve maneuverability, all the upgraded aircraft were also fitted with larger leading edge root extensions (LERX). The process of rebuilding and upgrading began in March 1996 and was completed by 2001. As a result, they received the new designation of F-5S/T. In 1998, the eight RF-5Es were also upgraded, receiving the full upgrade except for the radar, these were later redesignated as RF-5S.

By end of 2009, the type had accumulated more than 170,000 hours of flight hours in Singapore service with only two F-5Es being lost in separate accidents (in 1984 and 1991, respectively). In a 2009 interview in the air force's newsletter, Singapore's former Chief of Air Force and F-5 pilot, Major General Ng Chee Khern
Ng Chee Khern
Major General Ng Chee Khern 黄志勤 is currently the Director of Singapore's Security and Intelligence Division. He was formerly the Chief of the Republic of Singapore Air Force ....

 commented that: {{quotation|"The F-5 earned a reputation of a jet that was hard to discern in the air and when one finally saw it, it was often after a missile or guns kill had already been called.}}

As of June 2011, only 141 and 144 Squadron are left operating the RF-5S and F-5S/T, as 149 Squadron has since formally transitioned to the McDonnell Douglas F-15SG Strike Eagles on 5 April 2010.

Single-seat versions



N-156F: Single-seat fighter prototype. Only three aircraft were built.

YF-5A: The three prototypes were given the US Air Force designation YF-5A.

F-5A: Single-seat fighter version of F-5, originally without radar, but was later equipped with AN/APQ-153 radar during upgrades.

F-5A (G): Single-seat fighter version of the F-5A for the Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

.

XF-5A: This designation was given to one aircraft used for static tests.

A-9: Designation of Spanish built F-5A which served in the Ejército del Aire

F-5C Skoshi Tiger: 12 F-5A Freedom Fighters, were tested by the US Air Force for four and a half months in Vietnam.

F-5E Tiger II: Single-seat fighter version with AN/APQ-159 replacing earlier AN/APQ-153 in F-5A.

F-5E Tiger III: Upgraded version of the F-5E in use by the Chilean Air Force
Chilean Air Force
The Chilean Air Force is the air force of Chile, a branch of the Chilean military.-History:The first step towards the current FACh was taken by Teniente Coronel Pedro Pablo Dartnell, when he founded the Servicio de Aviación Militar de Chile on December 20, 1910, being trained as a pilot in France...

, with EL/M-2032
EL/M-2032
The EL/M-2032 is an advanced pulse Doppler, multimode Fire Control Radar intended for multi-role fighter aircraft originated from the Lavi project. It is suitable for air-to-air and air-to-surface modes....

 radar replacing the original AN/APQ-159.

F-5E/F: A single Swiss Air Force F-5E with F-5F Wings. Currently (2011), this aircraft is part of the Museum at Meiringen AFB

F-5G: The temporary designation given to the F-20 Tigershark
F-20 Tigershark
The Northrop F-20 Tigershark was a privately-financed light fighter, designed and built by Northrop. Its development began in 1975 as a further evolution of Northrop's F-5E Tiger II, featuring a new engine that greatly improved overall performance, and a modern avionics suite including a powerful...

, armed with General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

 AN/APG-67 radar.

F-5N: Ex-Swiss Air Force F-5Es used by the US Navy as "aggressor" aircraft, with AN/APG-69 replacing the original AN/APQ-159. Intended to replace high-time USN/USMC F-5Es in the adversary role, and see service through to 2015.

F-5S: Upgraded version of the F-5E in use by the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

, equipped with the Galileo Avionica's FIAR Grifo-F X-band radar and are capable of firing the AIM-120 AMRAAM
AIM-120 AMRAAM
The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM , is a modern beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. Designed with the same form-factor as the previous generation of semi-active guided Sparrow missiles, it is a fire-and-forget...

.

F-5T Tigris: Upgraded version of the F-5E of Royal Thai Air Force
Royal Thai Air Force
The Royal Thai Air Force or RTAF is the air force of the Kingdom of Thailand. Since its establishment in 1913, as one of the earliest air forces of Asia, the Royal Thai Air Force had engaged in many major and minor battles. During the Vietnam war era, the air force has been developed with USAF-aid...

 by Israel, also armed with EL/M-2032.

F-5EM: Upgraded version of the F-5E of Brazilian Air Force
Brazilian Air Force
The Brazilian Air Force is the air branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces and one of the three national uniformed services. The FAB was formed when the Army and Navy air branch were merged into a single military force initially called "National Air Forces"...

 armed with Italian Grifo-F radar.
F-5TIII: Upgraded version of the F-5E,in service with the Royal Moroccan Air Force.

Reconnaissance versions


RF-5A: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5A fighter. Approximately 120 were built.

RF-5A (G): Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5A fighter for the Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

.

RF-5E Tigereye: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5E fighter. The RF-5E Tigereye was exported to Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and Malaysia.

RF-5E Tigergazer: Seven upgraded single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5E for Taiwan by ST Aerospace
ST Aerospace
Singapore Technologies Aerospace is a subsidiary of ST Engineering based in Singapore, with international offices and facilities located in key aviation hubs in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the US...

.

RF-5S Tigereye: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5S for the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

.

AR-9: Spanish reconnaissance aircraft

Two-seat versions




F-5-21
Temporarily designation given to the YF-5B.

YF-5B
One F-5B was fitted with a 5,000 lbf (2,268 kgf) General Electric J85-GE-21 engine, and used as a prototype for the F-5E Tiger II.

F-5B
Two-seat fighter version for the Republic of Korea Air Force
Republic of Korea Air Force
The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

, armed with AN/APQ-157 radar.

F-5B(G)
Two-seat trainer version of the F-5B for the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

F-5B M
Two-seat trainer version in use by the Spanish Air Force
Spanish Air Force
-The early stages:Hot air balloons had been used with military purposes in Spain as far back as 1896. In 1905, with the help of Alfredo Kindelán, Leonardo Torres y Quevedo directed the construction of the first Spanish dirigible in the Army Military Aerostatics Service, created in 1896 and located...

 for air combat training.

F-5D
Unbuilt trainer version.

F-5F Tiger II
Two-seat trainer version of F-5E Tiger II, AN/APQ-167 radar tested, intended to replace AN/APQ-157, but not carried out.

F-5F Tiger III
Upgraded trainer version of the F-5F in use by the Chilean Air Force.

F-5T
Upgraded F-5F in use by the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

.

F-5FM
Upgraded trainer version of the F-5F for the Brazilian Air Force
Brazilian Air Force
The Brazilian Air Force is the air branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces and one of the three national uniformed services. The FAB was formed when the Army and Navy air branch were merged into a single military force initially called "National Air Forces"...

.

Licensed versions


CF-5: Fighter versions for the Canadian Forces Air Command
Canadian Forces Air Command
The Royal Canadian Air Force , formerly Canadian Forces Air Command, is one of three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces...

 built under license by Canadair
Canadair
Canadair Ltd. was a civil and military aircraft manufacturer in Canada. It was a subsidiary of other aircraft manufacturers, then a nationalized corporation until privatized in 1986, and became the core of Bombardier Aerospace....

. Its Canadian designation is CF-116.

NF-5A: Single-seat fighter version of the CF-5A for the Royal Netherlands Air Force
Royal Netherlands Air Force
The Royal Netherlands Air Force , Dutch Koninklijke Luchtmacht , is the military aviation branch of the Netherlands Armed Forces. Its ancestor, the Luchtvaartafdeling of the Dutch Army was founded on 1 July 1913, with four pilots...

; 75 built.

NF-5B: Two-seat training version of the CF-5D for the Royal Netherlands Air force; 30 built.

SF-5A: Single-seat fighter version of the F-5A for the Spanish Air Force
Spanish Air Force
-The early stages:Hot air balloons had been used with military purposes in Spain as far back as 1896. In 1905, with the help of Alfredo Kindelán, Leonardo Torres y Quevedo directed the construction of the first Spanish dirigible in the Army Military Aerostatics Service, created in 1896 and located...

; built under licence in Spain by CASA
Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA
Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA , was a Spanish aircraft manufacturer. It became EADS CASA the Spanish branch of EADS in 1999, but was absorbed by Airbus Military in 2009...

.

SRF-5A: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the RF-5A for the Spanish Air force; built under license in Spain By CASA.

SF-5B: Two-seat training version of the F-5B for the Spanish Air Force. Built under license in Spain by CASA.

VF-5A: Single-seat version of the CF-5A for the Venezuelan Air Force. This designation was given to some Canadair CF-116s which were sold to the Venezuelan Air Force.

VF-5D: Two-seat training version of the CF-5D for the Venezuelan Air Force.

KF-5E: F-5E built in South Korea for Republic of Korea Air Force
Republic of Korea Air Force
The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

. First introduction: September, 1982; 48 built.

KF-5F: F-5F built in South Korea for Republic of Korea Air Force
Republic of Korea Air Force
The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

. First introduction: September, 1982; 20 built.

Chung Chen: F-5E/F built in Taiwan for Republic of China Air Force
Republic of China Air Force
The Republic of China Air Force is the aviation branch of the Republic of China Armed Forces. The ROCAF's primary mission is the defense of the airspace over and around Taiwan...

 by AIDC. First introduction: October 30, 1974, one day before the late President Chiang Kai Shek's 88th birthday, and was thus christened "Chung Chen", an alias of President Chiang; 308 built.

Unlicensed versions


Azarakhsh :F-5E built in Iran with unknown modifications and a mid wing.

Sa'eqeh :F-5E modified in Iran with canted, twin vertical stabilizers.

F-20 Tigershark


{{Main|F-20 Tigershark}}

Northrop attempted to develop an advanced version of the F-5E, originally designated F-5G, as an export competitor for the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The F-5G was later redesignated the F-20 Tigershark. It received favorable reviews as a less expensive but capable alternative to early-block variants of the F-16 (and superior to the similarly never-purchased export variant F-16/79), but it never had the appeal of the much newer fighter design even at a lower cost.

Northrop YF-17


{{Main|Northrop YF-17}}

The Northrop YF-17's aircraft's main design elements date from the F-5 based internal Northrop project N-300. The N-300 featured a longer fuselage, small leading-edge root extensions (LERX), and more powerful GE15-J1A1 turbojets. The wing was moved higher on the fuselage to increase ordnance flexibility. The N-300 further evolved into the P-530 Cobra. The P-530's wing planform and nose section was similar to the F-5, with a trapezoidal shape formed by a sweep of 20° at the quarter-chord line, and an unswept trailing edge, but was over double the area. While the YF-17 lost its bid for the USAF lightweight fighter, it would be developed into the larger McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.

Operators


{{BHR}}
  • Bahrain Air Force received eight F-5Es and two F-5Fs in between 1985 and 1987.

{{BOT}}
  • Botswana Air Force purchased 10 upgraded CF-5As and 3 CF-5Ds from Canada in 1996. A further two CF-5Ds were purchased in 2000.

{{BRA}}
  • Brazilian Air Force
    Brazilian Air Force
    The Brazilian Air Force is the air branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces and one of the three national uniformed services. The FAB was formed when the Army and Navy air branch were merged into a single military force initially called "National Air Forces"...

     operates 57 custom upgraded F-5Es. To be retired in 2015.

{{CHI}}
  • Chilean Air Force
    Chilean Air Force
    The Chilean Air Force is the air force of Chile, a branch of the Chilean military.-History:The first step towards the current FACh was taken by Teniente Coronel Pedro Pablo Dartnell, when he founded the Servicio de Aviación Militar de Chile on December 20, 1910, being trained as a pilot in France...

    : Chile purchased 15 F-Es and three F-5Fs in the 1970s, these being upgraded to Tigre III standard from 1993. In 1995, it supplemented its fleet with 10 F-5Es and two F-5Fs from Honduras. A total of 16 F-5Es were replaced in 2009 by 16 F-16 MLU T5s. A total of 10 F-5s remain operational as of 2009.

{{ROC-TW}}
  • Republic of China Air Force
    Republic of China Air Force
    The Republic of China Air Force is the aviation branch of the Republic of China Armed Forces. The ROCAF's primary mission is the defense of the airspace over and around Taiwan...

    : Received 115 F-5A and B from 1965, 48 were transferred to South Vietnam before 1975. From 1973 to 1986, Taiwan produced 308 F-5E/Fs under license. Later batches of locally AIDC licensed production of Tiger IIs were fitted with flare/chaff dispensers, plus handling qualities upgrades with enlarged LEX and F-20's shark nose, and radar warning receivers(RWR).

{{HON}}
  • Honduran Air Force
    Honduran Air Force
    The Honduras Air Force is the air force of Honduras. As such it is the air power arm of the Honduras Armed Forces.-History:...


{{IDN}}
  • Indonesian Air Force
    Indonesian Air Force
    The Indonesian Air Force is the air force branch of the Indonesian National Armed Forces.The Indonesian Air Force has 34,930 personnel equipped with 110 combat aircraft including Su-27 and Su-30.-Before Indonesian independence :...

    : All 16 F-5Es have been retired since late 2005 but are in reserve in case of future use.

{{IRN}}
  • Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
    Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
    The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force ' is the aviation branch of the Iranian armed forces. The present Air Force came into being in the early 1980s when the former Imperial Iranian Air Force was renamed....

    : 60 or 75 F-5E and F operational; 140 originally delivered
  • Unknown numbers of HESA Saeqeh and HESA Azarakhsh fighters derived from the F-5 design

{{JOR}}
  • Royal Jordanian Air Force
    Royal Jordanian Air Force
    The Royal Jordanian Air Force is the air force branch of the Jordanian Armed Forces.-Early days:...


{{KEN}}
  • Kenya Air Force
    Kenya Air Force
    The Kenya Air Force is the national Air Force of Kenya.The main airbase operating fighters is Laikipia Air Base in Nanyuki, while Moi Air Base in Eastleigh, Nairobi is the HQ & operations Kenya Air Force. Other bases include FOB Mombasa The Kenya Air Force (KAF) is the national Air Force of...

    : In July 2008, it was reported that Kenya will spend 1.5 billion KSh
    Kenyan shilling
    The shilling is the currency of Kenya. It is divisible into 100 cents.-Coins:The first coins were issued in 1966 in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 shillings. Twenty-five cents coins were not minted after 1969; 2 shillings coins were last minted in 1971...

     to buy 15 former Jordanian Air Force F-5s, 13 F-5E and two F-5F (plus training and spare parts). They will be added or eventually replace the current F-5 fleet

{{ROK}}
  • Republic of Korea Air Force
    Republic of Korea Air Force
    The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

     received a total of 340 F-5s (88 F-5A, 30 F-5B, 8 RF-5A, 126 F-5E, 20 F-5F, 48 KF-5E, and 20 KF-5F).

{{MEX}}
  • Mexican Air Force
    Mexican Air Force
    The Mexican Air Force is the aviation branch of the Mexican Army and depends on the National Defense Secretariat . Since 2008, its commander is Gen...

     received 12 F-5s in 1982.{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}} The service currently operates eight F-5Es and two F-5Fs.

{{MAR}}
  • Royal Moroccan Air Force
    Royal Moroccan Air Force
    The Royal Moroccan Air Force is the air force branch of the Moroccan Armed Forces.-History:...

     operates 33 F-5A/Bs including nine F-5E/Fs and 24 upgraded F-5TIIIs.{{Citation needed|date=July 2010}}

{{MAS}}
{{SAU}}
  • Royal Saudi Air Force
    Royal Saudi Air Force
    The Royal Saudi Air Force , is the aviation branch of the Saudi Arabian armed forces. The RSAF has developed from a largely defensive military force into one with an advanced offensive capability...

    : 110 F-5E/Fs withdrawn from active service aside from in the trainer role, some squadrons such as #10 based in Taif will be replaced with Eurofighter Typhoon
    Eurofighter Typhoon
    The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole combat aircraft, designed and built by a consortium of three companies: EADS, Alenia Aeronautica and BAE Systems; working through a holding company, Eurofighter GmbH, which was formed in 1986...

    .

{{SIN}}
  • Republic of Singapore Air Force
    Republic of Singapore Air Force
    The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

    : operates 32× F-5S, 9× F-5T and 8× RF-5S.

{{ESP}}
  • Spanish Air Force
    Spanish Air Force
    -The early stages:Hot air balloons had been used with military purposes in Spain as far back as 1896. In 1905, with the help of Alfredo Kindelán, Leonardo Torres y Quevedo directed the construction of the first Spanish dirigible in the Army Military Aerostatics Service, created in 1896 and located...

    , operates 20 F-5Bs as trainers for fighter school.

 Sudan
  • Sudanese Air Force
    Sudanese Air Force
    The Sudanese Air Force is the air force operated by the Republic of the Sudan. As such it is part of the Sudanese Armed Forces.-History:The Sudanese Air Force was founded immediately after Sudan gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1956. The British assisted in the Air Force's...

    : 10 F-5Es and two F-5F were delivered in 1978, One of the F-5Fs was sold to Jordan
    Jordan
    Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

    . further two F-5s defected to Sudan from Ethiopia
    Ethiopia
    Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

     during the Ogaden crisis.


{{SUI}}
  • Swiss Air Force
    Swiss Air Force
    The Swiss Air Force is the air component of the Swiss Armed Forces, established on July 31, 1914, as part of the Army and as of January 1966 an independent service.In peacetime, Dübendorf is the operational Air Force HQ...

    : Operating 42 F-5E and 12 F-5F Tiger II.

{{THA}}
  • Royal Thai Air Force
    Royal Thai Air Force
    The Royal Thai Air Force or RTAF is the air force of the Kingdom of Thailand. Since its establishment in 1913, as one of the earliest air forces of Asia, the Royal Thai Air Force had engaged in many major and minor battles. During the Vietnam war era, the air force has been developed with USAF-aid...

    : F-5A retired. Now operates F-5B/E/F/T, F-5B/E slated for retirement in 2011-2012, to be replaced by 12-JAS 39 Gripen
    JAS 39 Gripen
    The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a lightweight single-engine multirole fighter manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. It was designed to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen in the Swedish Air Force...

    . The last F-5 fleet, upgraded F-5T Tigris and F-5F will continue to serve to 2015-2020.

{{TUN}}
  • Tunisian Air Force
    Tunisian Air Force
    The Tunisian Air Force is one of the branches of the Tunisian Armed Forces.-Air Force:The Tunisian Air Force was established in 1959, three years after Tunisia regained its independence from France. It took deliveries of its first aircraft, eight Saab 91 Safirs, in 1960, later to be complemented...



{{TUR}}
  • Turkish Air Force
    Turkish Air Force
    The Turkish Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the Turkish Armed Forces. It ranks 3rd in NATO in terms of fleet size behind the USAF and Royal Air Force with a current inventory of 798 aircraft .-Initial stages:...

    : More than 200 F-5A/Bs and NF-5A/Bs were bought from various countries. Between 40 and 50 of them were upgraded to F-5/2000 standard during the 2000s; Turkish Stars
    Turkish Stars
    The Turkish Stars are the aerobatic demonstration team of the Turkish Air Force and the national aerobatics team of Turkey.The team was formed on November 7, 1992 and was named the Turkish Stars on January 11, 1993....

     aerobatic team. In total, 50 NF-5A and 25 NF-5B remain operational.

{{USA}}
  • United States Marine Corps
    United States Marine Corps
    The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

  • United States Navy
    United States Navy
    The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...


{{VEN}}
  • Venezuelan Air Force

{{YEM}}
  • Yemen Air Force
    Yemen Air Force
    -North and South Yemen:The Yemen Air Force, known as al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Yamaniya, was established in 1926. During the mid-1950s, the Imam of Yemen established a private fleet that was run by the military. Later, the Russians delivered MiG-15 and MiG-17 fighters, followed by MiG-21s to the...

    : North Yemen Air Force's 14 F-5E/F fleet were initially piloted by ROCAF/Taiwan pilots as part of 115th Squadron at Sana‘a, from April 1979 to May 1990, to boost its air defense.

Former operators


{{AUT}}
  • Austrian Air Force
    Austrian Air Force
    The Austrian Air Force is a component part of the Austrian armed forces .-History:The Austrian Air Force was formed in May 1955 by the victorious Allied powers, subject to restrictions on its use of guided missiles...

    : On loan from Switzerland – all aircraft returned and replaced by Eurofighters

{{CAN}}
  • Canadian Forces
    Canadian Forces
    The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

     – see Canadair CF-5

{{CHI}}
  • Chilean Air Force
    Chilean Air Force
    The Chilean Air Force is the air force of Chile, a branch of the Chilean military.-History:The first step towards the current FACh was taken by Teniente Coronel Pedro Pablo Dartnell, when he founded the Servicio de Aviación Militar de Chile on December 20, 1910, being trained as a pilot in France...

    : Chile purchased 15 F-Es and 3 F-5Fs in the 1970s, these being upgraded to Tigre III standard from 1993. In 1995, it supplemented its fleet with 10 F-5Es and 2 F-5Fs from Honduras. 16 F-5Es were replaced in 2009 by 16 F-16 Fighting Falcon MLU T5. A total of 10 F-5s remain operational as of 2009.

{{ETH}}
  • Ethiopian Air Force
    Ethiopian Air Force
    The Ethiopian Air Force is the air arm of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and is tasked with protecting the air space, providing support to the ground forces as well as assisting during national emergencies.- Early years :...


{{GRE}}
  • Hellenic Air Force
    Hellenic Air Force
    The Hellenic Air Force, abbreviated to HAF is the air force of Greece. The mission of the Hellenic Air Force is to guard and protect Greek airspace, provide air assistance and support to the Hellenic Army and the Hellenic Navy, as well as the provision of humanitarian aid in Greece and around the...


{{LBY}}
  • Royal Libyan Air Force to 1969. 10 F-5s. May have been sold to Turkey after 1969.

{{NLD}}
  • Royal Netherlands Air Force
    Royal Netherlands Air Force
    The Royal Netherlands Air Force , Dutch Koninklijke Luchtmacht , is the military aviation branch of the Netherlands Armed Forces. Its ancestor, the Luchtvaartafdeling of the Dutch Army was founded on 1 July 1913, with four pilots...


{{NOR}}
  • Royal Norwegian Air Force
    Royal Norwegian Air Force
    The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...


{{PHL}}
  • Philippine Air Force
    Philippine Air Force
    The Philippine Air Force is the air force of the Republic of the Philippines, and one of the three main services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Its official name in Filipino is Hukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas....

     received 22 F-5A (single seat) and eight F-5B (two seater) aircraft in 1966. In 1988-89, the PAF received at least eight ex-Taiwanese F-5As. In 2001, five ex-South Korean F-5A/B were acquired. Although retired from service in 2006, two upgraded F-5Bs remain in flying condition.

 South Vietnam
  • Vietnam Air Force
    Vietnam Air Force
    The Vietnam Air Force began with a few hand-picked men chosen to fly alongside French pilots during the State of Vietnam era. It eventually grew into the world’s sixth largest air force at the height of its power, in 1974...

     received total of 24 F-5A Freedom Fighters, three F-5B trainers, and 12 F-5E Tiger IIs.

{{USA}}
  • United States Air Force
    United States Air Force
    The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...


{{VNM}}
  • Vietnam People's Air Force
    Vietnam People's Air Force
    The Vietnam People's Air Force is the air force of Vietnam. It is the successor of the former North Vietnamese Air Force and the absorbed Republic of Vietnam Air Force following the re-unification of Vietnam in 1975.-Beginning-1964 :The first Vietnamese aircraft were two trainers, a de Havilland...

     (several captured ex-VNAF
    Vietnam Air Force
    The Vietnam Air Force began with a few hand-picked men chosen to fly alongside French pilots during the State of Vietnam era. It eventually grew into the world’s sixth largest air force at the height of its power, in 1974...

     aircraft). One F-5E (s/n 73-00867) was transferred to the Soviet Union for evaluation flights, i.e. against the MiG-21bis; 40+ F-5E/F/C were in VNAF's service.

Evaluation only user


{{USSR}}
  • F-5Es were received from Vietnam and the Derg
    Derg
    The Derg or Dergue was a Communist military junta that came to power in Ethiopia following the ousting of Haile Selassie I. Derg, which means "committee" or "council" in Ge'ez, is the short name of the Coordinating Committee of the Armed Forces, Police, and Territorial Army, a committee of...

     regime in Ethiopia for performance tests and evaluation flights. They were tested in mock combat against MiG-21 and MiG-23 aircraft, ultimately aiding in the development of the MiG-23MLD and the MiG-29
    Mikoyan MiG-29
    The Mikoyan MiG-29 is a fourth-generation jet fighter aircraft designed in the Soviet Union for an air superiority role. Developed in the 1970s by the Mikoyan design bureau, it entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1983, and remains in use by the Russian Air Force as well as in many other...

    .

Specifications (F-5E Tiger II)



{{Aircraft specifications

|plane or copter?=plane
|jet or prop?=jet



The Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter and the F-5E/F Tiger II are part of a family of widely-used light supersonic
Supersonic
Supersonic speed is a rate of travel of an object that exceeds the speed of sound . For objects traveling in dry air of a temperature of 20 °C this speed is approximately 343 m/s, 1,125 ft/s, 768 mph or 1,235 km/h. Speeds greater than five times the speed of sound are often...

 fighter aircraft
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

, designed and built by Northrop
Northrop Corporation
Northrop Corporation was a leading United States aircraft manufacturer from its formation in 1939 until its merger with Grumman to form Northrop Grumman in 1994. The company is known for its development of the flying wing design, although only a few of these have entered service.-History:Jack...

. Hundreds remain in service in air forces around the world in the early 21st century, and the type has also been the basis for a number of other aircraft.

The F-5 started life as a privately-funded light fighter program by Northrop in the 1950s. The first-generation F-5A Freedom Fighter entered service in the 1960s. During the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, over 800 were produced through 1972 for U.S. allies, and Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. The USAF had no need for a light fighter but specifed a requirement for a supersonic trainer, procuring about 1,200 of a derivative airframe for this purpose, the Northrop T-38 Talon.

The improved second-generation F-5E Tiger II was also primarily used by American Cold War allies and, in limited quantities, served in US military aviation as a training and aggressor aircraft; Tiger II production amounted to 1,400 of all versions, with production ending in 1987. Many F-5s continuing in service into the 1990s and 2000s have undergone a wide variety of upgrade programs to keep pace with the changing combat environment.

The F-5 was also developed into a dedicated reconnaissance version, the RF-5 Tigereye. The F-5 also served as a starting point for a series of design studies which resulted in the twin-tailed Northrop YF-17 and the F/A-18
F/A-18 Hornet
The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a supersonic, all-weather carrier-capable multirole fighter jet, designed to dogfight and attack ground targets . Designed by McDonnell Douglas and Northrop, the F/A-18 was derived from the latter's YF-17 in the 1970s for use by the United States Navy and...

 series of carrier-based fighters. The Northrop F-20 Tigershark was an advanced version of the F-5E that did not find a market. The F-5N/F variants remain in service with the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 and United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 as an adversary trainer
Dissimilar air combat training
Dissimilar air combat training was introduced as a formal part of US air combat training after disappointing aerial combat exchange rates in the Vietnam War.Traditionally, pilots would undertake air combat training against similar aircraft...

.

Origins


In the mid-1950s, Northrop
Northrop Corporation
Northrop Corporation was a leading United States aircraft manufacturer from its formation in 1939 until its merger with Grumman to form Northrop Grumman in 1994. The company is known for its development of the flying wing design, although only a few of these have entered service.-History:Jack...

 started development on a low-cost, low-maintenance fighter, with the company designation N-156, partly to meet a US Navy requirement for a jet fighter to operate from its Escort Carriers, which were too small to operate the Navy's existing jet fighters. That requirement disappeared when the Navy decided to withdraw the Escort Carriers, but Northrop continued development of the N-156, with both a two seat advanced trainer (the N-156T), and a single-seat fighter (the N-156F) planned.

The N-156 was based on the use of a pair of an afterburning version of the General Electric J85
General Electric J85
-External links:**...

 engine
Jet engine
A jet engine is a reaction engine that discharges a fast moving jet to generate thrust by jet propulsion and in accordance with Newton's laws of motion. This broad definition of jet engines includes turbojets, turbofans, rockets, ramjets, pulse jets...

, which was originally designed to power the tiny McDonnell ADM-20 Quail
ADM-20 Quail
The McDonnell ADM-20 Quail was a subsonic, jet powered, air-launched decoy cruise missile built by McDonnell Aircraft Corporation. The Quail was designed to be launched by the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber and its original Air Force designation was GAM-72 .-Development:In 1955 the...

 decoy, which was then carried by the B-52 bomber. This requirement created a very small engine with a very high thrust-to-weight ratio. The N-156T was selected by the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 as a replacement for the T-33
T-33 Shooting Star
The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star is an American-built jet trainer aircraft. It was produced by Lockheed and made its first flight in 1948, piloted by Tony LeVier. The T-33 was developed from the Lockheed P-80/F-80 starting as TP-80C/TF-80C in development, then designated T-33A. It was used by the...

 in July 1965, allowing development of the trainer to progress at full speed, the first example, later designated YT-38 Talon, flying on 12 June 1959 with a total of 1,158 Talons being built by the time production ended in January 1972.

Development of the N-156F continued at a lower priority as a private venture by Northrop, which was rewarded by an order for three prototypes on 25 February 1958 as a prospective low-cost fighter that could be supplied under the Military Assistance Program for distribution to less-developed nations. The first N-156F flew at Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located on the border of Kern County, Los Angeles County, and San Bernardino County, California, in the Antelope Valley. It is southwest of the central business district of North Edwards, California and due east of Rosamond.It is named in...

 on 30 July 1959, exceeding the speed of sound on its first flight.

Although testing of the N-156F was successful, demonstrating unprecedented reliability and proving superior in the ground-attack role to the USAF's existing North American F-100 Super Sabres, official interest in the Northrop type waned, and by 1960 it looked as if the program was a failure. Interest revived in 1961, but when the US Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 tested it, (along with the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk and Fiat G.91) for reconnaissance and close-support, although all three types proved capable during Army testing, operating fixed-wing combat aircraft was legally the responsibility of the Air Force, which would not agree to operate the N-156 or allow the Army to operate fixed-wing combat aircraft, a situation repeated with the C-7 Caribou
De Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou
The de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou is a Canadian-designed and produced specialized cargo aircraft with short takeoff and landing capability...

.

In 1962, however, the Kennedy Administration revived the requirement for a low-cost export fighter, selecting the N-156F as winner of the F-X competition on 23 April 1962 subsequently becoming the "F-5A", being ordered into production in October that year. It was named under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system
1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system
The 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system is a unified designation system introduced by the United States Department of Defense on 18 September 1962 for all the U.S. military aircraft. Prior to this date, each armed service used their own nomenclature system...

, which included a re-set of the fighter number series (the General Dynamics F-111 was the highest sequentially numbered P/F-aircraft to enter service under the old number sequence).

Northrop built 636 F-5As (including the YF-5A prototype) before production ended in 1972. These were accompanied by 200 two-seat F-5B aircraft. These were operational trainers, lacking the nose-mounted cannon but otherwise combat-capable, while 86 RF-5A reconnaissance variants of the F-5A, fitted with a four-camera nose were also built. In addition, Canadair built 240 first generation F-5s under license, with CASA
CASA
- Aviation :* Civil Aviation Safety Authority - Australian statutory authority responsible for the regulation of Civil Aviation* Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA- Spanish aircraft manufacturer, became EADS CASA in 1999...

 in Spain adding a further 70 aircraft.

F-5E and F-5F Tiger II


In 1970, Northrop won a competition for an improved International Fighter Aircraft (IFA) to replace the F-5A, with better air-to-air performance against aircraft like the Soviet MiG 21
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It was popularly nicknamed "balalaika", from the aircraft's planform-view resemblance to the Russian stringed musical instrument or ołówek by Polish pilots due to...

. The resultant aircraft, initially known as F-5A-21, subsequently became the F-5E. It had more powerful (5,000 lbf) General Electric J85
General Electric J85
-External links:**...

-21 engines, and had a lengthened and enlarged fuselage, accommodating more fuel. Its wings were fitted with enlarged leading edge extension
Leading edge extension
A leading edge extension is a small extension to an aircraft wing surface, forward of the leading edge. Different kinds of extensions have been used for different reasons.-Leading edge slats:...

s, giving an increased wing area and improved maneuverability. The aircraft's avionics
Avionics
Avionics are electronic systems used on aircraft, artificial satellites and spacecraft.Avionic systems include communications, navigation, the display and management of multiple systems and the hundreds of systems that are fitted to aircraft to meet individual roles...

 were more sophisticated, crucially including a radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

 (initially the Emerson Electric AN/APQ-153) (the F-5A and B had no radar). It retained the gun armament of two M39 cannon
M39 cannon
The M39 cannon was a 20 mm caliber single-barreled revolver cannon developed for the United States Air Force in the late 1940s. It was used on a number of fighter aircraft from the early 1950s through the 1980s.-Development:...

, one on either side of the nose) of the F-5A. Various specific avionics fits could be accommodated at customer request, including an inertial navigation system
Inertial navigation system
An inertial navigation system is a navigation aid that uses a computer, motion sensors and rotation sensors to continuously calculate via dead reckoning the position, orientation, and velocity of a moving object without the need for external references...

, TACAN and ECM equipment.

The first F-5E flew on 11 August 1972. A two-seat combat-capable trainer, the F-5F, was offered, first flying on 25 September 1974, with a new, longer nose, which, unlike the F-5B that did not mount a gun, allowed it to retain a single M39 cannon, albeit with a reduced ammunition capacity. The two-seater was equipped with the Emerson AN/APQ-157 radar, which is a derivative of the AN/APQ-153 radar, with dual control and display systems to accommodate the two-men crew, and the radar has the same range of AN/APQ-153, around 10 nmi
Nautical mile
The nautical mile is a unit of length that is about one minute of arc of latitude along any meridian, but is approximately one minute of arc of longitude only at the equator...

.
A reconnaissance
Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

 version, the RF-5E Tigereye, with a sensor package in the nose displacing the radar and one cannon, was also offered. The latest radar upgrade included the Emerson AN/APG-69, which was the successor of AN/APQ-159, incorporating mapping capability. However, most nations chose not to upgrade for financial reasons, and the radar saw very little service in USAF aggressor squadrons and Swiss air force.

The F-5E eventually received the official name Tiger II. The F-5E experienced numerous upgrades in its service life, with the most significant one being adopting a new planar array radar, Emerson AN/APQ-159 with a range of 20 nmi
Nautical mile
The nautical mile is a unit of length that is about one minute of arc of latitude along any meridian, but is approximately one minute of arc of longitude only at the equator...

 to replace the original AN/APQ-153. Similar radar upgrades were also proposed for F-5F, with the derivative of AN/APQ-159, the AN/APQ-167, to replace the AN/APQ-157, but that was cancelled.

Northrop built 792 F-5Es, 140 F-5Fs and 12 RF-5Es. More were built under license overseas: 91 F-5Es and -Fs in Switzerland, 68 by Korean Air
Korean Air
Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. , operating as Korean Air, is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of South Korea, with global headquarters located in Seoul, South Korea. Korean Air's international passenger division and related subsidiary cargo division together serve 130 cities in 45...

 in South Korea, and 308 in Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

. The F-5 proved to be a successful combat aircraft for US allies, but had little combat service with the US Air Force. The F-5E evolved into the single-engine F-5G, which was rebranded the F-20 Tigershark. It lost out on export sales to the F-16 in the 1980s.

Upgrades


Various F-5 versions remain in service with many nations.

Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 has approximately 49 modernized and re-designated F-5S (single-seat) and F-5T (two-seat) aircraft. Upgrades include new FIAR Grifo-F X-band radar from Galileo Avionica (similar in performance to the AN/APG-69), updated cockpits with multi-function displays, and compatibility with the AIM-120 AMRAAM
AIM-120 AMRAAM
The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM , is a modern beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. Designed with the same form-factor as the previous generation of semi-active guided Sparrow missiles, it is a fire-and-forget...

 and Rafael Python air-to-air missile
Air-to-air missile
An air-to-air missile is a missile fired from an aircraft for the purpose of destroying another aircraft. AAMs are typically powered by one or more rocket motors, usually solid fuelled but sometimes liquid fuelled...

s.

Similar programs have been carried out in Chile and Brazil with the help of Elbit. The Chilean upgrade, called the F-5 Tiger III Plus, incorporated a new Elta EL/M-2032
EL/M-2032
The EL/M-2032 is an advanced pulse Doppler, multimode Fire Control Radar intended for multi-role fighter aircraft originated from the Lavi project. It is suitable for air-to-air and air-to-surface modes....

 radar and other improvements. The Brazilian program, whose product is called the F-5M (Modernized), is armed with Python V coupled to the DASH helmet-mounted cue system, and new GRIFO radar, cockpit displays and navigation electronics. The Brazilian F-5M is also equipped with the Israeli Derby missile and can operate in a BVR
Beyond Visual Range missile
A beyond-visual-range missile usually refers to an air-to-air missile that is capable of engaging at ranges beyond . This range has been achieved using dual pulse rocket motors or booster rocket motor and ramjet sustainer motor....

 environment.
In the Cruzex 2006 multinational war games, a Brazilian F-5 made simulated kills on two French Dassault Mirage 2000N aircraft, which were supported by an E-3 Sentry
E-3 Sentry
The Boeing E-3 Sentry is an airborne warning and control system developed by Boeing as the prime contractor. Derived from the Boeing 707, it provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications, and is used by the United States Air Force , NATO, Royal Air Force , French Air Force...

 and escorted by other two Mirage 2000C. This result was achieved by using the Derby and the information relayed by datalink from an AEW&C plane, the Embraer R-99, fitted with the Erieye AESA radar.

Another upgrade program was carried out for the Royal Thai Air Force
Royal Thai Air Force
The Royal Thai Air Force or RTAF is the air force of the Kingdom of Thailand. Since its establishment in 1913, as one of the earliest air forces of Asia, the Royal Thai Air Force had engaged in many major and minor battles. During the Vietnam war era, the air force has been developed with USAF-aid...

 (RTAF) by Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, designated the F-5T Tigris; it was armed with Python III and 4 (with the Dash helmet-mounted cueing system). Unlike other F-5s which have undergone updates, the RTAF aircraft cannot use BVR
Beyond Visual Range missile
A beyond-visual-range missile usually refers to an air-to-air missile that is capable of engaging at ranges beyond . This range has been achieved using dual pulse rocket motors or booster rocket motor and ramjet sustainer motor....

 missiles.

One NASA F-5E was given a modified fuselage shape for its employment in the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration
Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration
The NASA Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, also known as the Shaped Sonic Boom Experiment, was a two-year program that used a Northrop F-5E with a modified fuselage to demonstrate that the aircraft's shock wave, and accompanying sonic boom, can be shaped, and thereby reduced...

 program carried out by DARPA. It is preserved in the Valiant Air Command Museum at Titusville
Titusville
-United States of America:*Titusville, Birmingham, Alabama*Titusville, Florida*Titusville, New Jersey*Titusville, a former community in Malone , New York*Titusville, Pennsylvania...

, Florida.

United States


The first contract for the production F-5A was issued in 1962, the first overseas order coming from the Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

 on 28 February 1964. It entered service with the 4441st Combat Crew Training School of the USAF, which had the role of training pilots and ground crew for customer nations, on 30 April that year, it still not being intended that the aircraft be used in significant numbers by the USAF itself.
This changed with testing and limited deployment in 1965. Preliminary combat evaluation of the F-5A began at the Air Proving Ground Center, Eglin AFB, Florida, during the summer of 1965 under project Sparrow Hawk, with one airframe lost through pilot error on 24 June. In October 1965, the USAF began a five-month combat evaluation of the F-5A titled Skoshi Tiger. Twelve aircraft were delivered for trials to the 4503rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, and after modification with probe and drogue aerial refueling
Aerial refueling
Aerial refueling, also called air refueling, in-flight refueling , air-to-air refueling or tanking, is the process of transferring fuel from one aircraft to another during flight....

 equipment, armor and improved instruments, were redesignated as the F-5C. Over the next six months, they performed combat duty in Vietnam
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, flying more than 2,600 sorties, both from the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing
3d Wing
The 3d Wing is a unit of the United States Air Force, assigned to the Pacific Air Forces Eleventh Air Force. It is stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska....

 at Bien Hoa
Bien Hoa
Biên Hòa is a city in Dong Nai province, Vietnam, about east of Ho Chi Minh City , to which Bien Hoa is linked by Vietnam Highway 1.- Demographics :In 1989 the estimated population was over 300,000. In 2005, the population wss 541,495...

 over South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

, and from Da Nang Air Base
Da Nang Air Base
Da Nang Air Base was a Republic of Vietnam Air Force facility. The United States used it as a major base during the Vietnam War , stationing Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine units there...

 where operations were flown over Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

. One aircraft was lost in combat. Although declared a success, with the aircraft generally rated as capable a ground-attack aircraft as the F-100, but suffering from a shorter range, the program was considered a political gesture intended to aid the export of more F-5s than a serious consideration of the type for U.S. service. From April 1966 the aircraft continued operations as 10th Fighter Commando Squadron with their number boosted to 17 aircraft. (Following Skoshi Tiger the Philippine Air Force
Philippine Air Force
The Philippine Air Force is the air force of the Republic of the Philippines, and one of the three main services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Its official name in Filipino is Hukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas....

 acquired 23 F-5A and B models in 1965. These aircraft, along with remanufactured Vought F-8 Crusaders, eventually replaced the Philippine Air Force's North American F-86 Sabre in the air defense and ground attack roles.)
In June 1967, the 10th FCS's surviving aircraft were turned over to the air force of South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

, which previously had only A-37 Dragonfly
A-37 Dragonfly
The Cessna A-37 Dragonfly, or Super Tweet, is a United States light attack aircraft developed from the T-37 Tweet basic trainer in the 1960s and 1970s...

 and A-1 Skyraider
A-1 Skyraider
The Douglas A-1 Skyraider was an American single-seat attack aircraft that saw service between the late 1940s and early 1980s. It became a piston-powered, propeller-driven anachronism in the jet age, and was nicknamed "Spad", after a French World War I fighter...

 attack aircraft. This new VNAF squadron was titled the 522nd. The president of Vietnam had originally asked for F-4 Phantoms used by the Americans, but the VNAF flew primarily ground support as the communist forces employed no opposing aircraft over South Vietnam, MiG or otherwise. Ironically, when Bien Hoa
Bien Hoa
Biên Hòa is a city in Dong Nai province, Vietnam, about east of Ho Chi Minh City , to which Bien Hoa is linked by Vietnam Highway 1.- Demographics :In 1989 the estimated population was over 300,000. In 2005, the population wss 541,495...

 was later overrun by Communist forces, several of the aircraft were captured and used operationally by the NVAF, in particular against Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

. In view of the performance, agility and size of the F-5, it might have appeared to be a good match against the similar MiG-21 in air combat; however, US doctrine was to use heavy, faster and longer-range aircraft like the Republic F-105 Thunderchief and McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II over North Vietnam. Several of the F-5s left over from the Vietnam war were sent to Poland and Russia, for advanced study of US aviation technology, while others were decommissioned and put on display at museums in Vietnam.

Although the United States does not use the F-5 in a front line role, it was adopted for an opposing forces (OPFOR) "aggressor" for dissimilar training role because of its small size and performance similarities to the Soviet MiG-21.
The F-5E saw service with the US Air Force from 1975 until 1990, serving in the 64th Aggressor Squadron
64th Aggressor Squadron
The 64th Aggressor Squadron ' is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 57th Adversary Tactics Group and stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.-Overview:...

 and 65th Aggressor Squadron
65th Aggressor Squadron
The 65th Aggressor Squadron ' is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 57th Adversary Tactics Group and stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.-Overview:...

 at Nellis Air Force Base
Nellis Air Force Base
Nellis Air Force Base is a United States Air Force Base, located approximately northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. It is under the jurisdiction of Air Combat Command .-Overview:...

 in Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

, and with the 527th Aggressor Squadron at RAF Alconbury in the UK and the 26th Aggressor Squadron at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. The US Marines purchased ex-USAF models in 1989 to replace their F-21s
IAI Kfir
The Israel Aircraft Industries Kfir is an Israeli-built all-weather, multirole combat aircraft based on a modified Dassault Mirage 5 airframe, with Israeli avionics and an Israeli-made version of the General Electric J79 turbojet engine.-Background:...

, which served with VMFT-401
VMFT-401
Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401 is a United States Marine Corps Reserve fighter squadron flying the F-5N Tiger II. Known as the "Snipers", the squadron is the only adversary squadron in the Marine Corps. They are based at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and fall under the command of the 4th...

 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma or MCAS Yuma is a United States Marine Corps air station which is the home to multiple squadrons of AV-8B Harrier IIs of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 and Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401 , an air combat adversary...

. The U.S. Navy used the F-5E extensively at the Naval Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) when it was located at NAS Miramar, California. When TOPGUN relocated to become part of the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center
Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center
The Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center at Naval Air Station Fallon located in the city of Fallon in western Nevada is the center of excellence for naval aviation training and tactics development...

 at NAS Fallon, Nevada, the command divested itself of the F-5, choosing to rely on VC-13 (redesignated VFC-13
VFC-13
Fighter Squadron Composite Saints is a US Navy fighter squadron that provides adversary training for U.S. Navy air wings at NAS Fallon, Nevada.VFC-13 uses "Bogey" as its main radio callsign.-History:...

 and which already used F-5s) to employ their F-5s as adversary aircraft. Former adversary squadrons such as VF-43 at NAS Oceana, VF-45 at NAS Key West, VF-126 at NAS Miramar, and VFA-127 at NAS Lemoore have also operated the F-5 along with other aircraft types in support of Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT).

The U.S. Navy F-5 fleet continues to be modernized with 36 low-hour F-5E/Fs purchased from Switzerland in 2006. These were updated as F-5N/Fs with modernized avionics and other improved systems. Currently, the only U.S. Navy units flying the F-5 are VFC-13 at NAS Fallon, Nevada and VFC-111
VFC-111
Composite Fighter Squadron 111 Sundowners is a US Navy Reserve adversary squadron based at Naval Air Station Key West, Florida...

 at NAS Key West, Florida. Currently, VFC-111 operates 18 Northrop F-5N/F Tiger-IIs, of which 17 are single-seater F-5Ns and the remainder being a twin-seater F-5F, which was dubbed "FrankenTiger" and is one of only three in service with the USN, being a product of grafting the older front half fuselage of the F-5Fs into the back half fuselage of the newer low-hours F-5Es acquired from the Swiss Air Force.

According to the FAA, there are 18 privately owned F-5s in the US, including Canadair CF-5Ds.

Mexico



In 1982, Mexico received 12 F-5E/F after the purchase of 24 IAI Kfir C.1 were blocked by the U.S, because the Kfir used the American-produced J79 engine. These fighters accompanied the T-33 and Vampire MkIII (procured much earlier), two of the first combat jet aircraft in Mexico. The subsonic T-33 and Vampire were introduced in the early 60's. The F-5 gave Mexico it's first supersonic platform and saw the formation of Air Squadron 401. In 1995 after more than 30 military parade flights without incident, on September 16, 1995 during the military parade of the Independence of Mexico an F-5E collided in the air with three T-33. A total of 10 deaths occurred. Since then, flyovers in Mexico were smaller in participation, for safety. In 2007 the F-5 had its 25 year anniversary in Mexican Air Force service. Mexico is currently looking at the Lockheed Martin F-16 as a much-needed replacement for the aging F-5's by 2015. Air Squadron 402 are also looking to replace their Lockheed T-33's that were retired in 2007.{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}}{{Clarify|date=August 2011}}

Republic of China (Taiwan)


The Republic of China Air Force received its first batch of seven F-5As and two F-5Bs under the US Military Assistance Program in 1965. By 1971, the ROCAF was operating 72 F-5As and 11 F-5Bs. During 1972, the US decided to borrow 48 F-5As from Taiwan to boost the South Vietnam Air Force strength before withdrawing US forces from South Vietnam. By 1973 most of those loaned F-5As in South Vietnam were not in flying shape consequently the US decided to return 20 F-5As to Taiwan by drawing nine F-5As from US reserves while repairing a further 11 from those still in flying shape in South Vietnam. These were sent to Taiwan to make necessary repairs, with gave 28 F-5Es issued to Taiwan by May 1975 in return. By 1973, Taiwan's AIDC started local production of a first batch of 100 F-5Es in Taiwan, the first of six Peace Tiger production batches. By end of 1986 when the production line closed after completing Peace Tiger 6, the AIDC had produced 242 F-5Es and 66 F-5Fs. Adding the 28 original US-made F-5E/Fs, this made Taiwan the largest F-5E/F operator at one time, with 336 F-5E/Fs in inventory. A bit of F-20 influence can be seen in the last batch of F-5E/Fs by AIDC in Taiwan that featured the F-20's shark nose.

With the introduction of 150 F-16s, 60 Mirage 2000-5s and 130 F-CK-1s in mid- to late-1990s, the F-5E/F series became second line fighters in ROCAF service and mostly are now withdrawn from service as squadrons converted to new fighters entering ROCAF service. Seven low airframe hours F-5Es were sent to ST Aerospace
ST Aerospace
Singapore Technologies Aerospace is a subsidiary of ST Engineering based in Singapore, with international offices and facilities located in key aviation hubs in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the US...

 to convert them to RF-5E standard to fulfill a reconnaissance role previously undertaken by the retiring RF-104G in ROCAF service. As of 2009, only about 40 ROCAF F-5E/Fs still remain in service in training roles with about 90-100 F-5E/Fs held in reserve. The other retired F-5E/F are either scrapped, or used as decoys painted in colors representing the main front line F-16, Mirage 2000-5 or F-CK-1 fighters, and deployed around major air bases.

Taiwan also tried to upgrade the F-5E/F fleet with AIDC's Tiger 2000/2001 program. The first flight took place on 24 July 2002. The program would replace the F-5E/F's radar with F-CK-1's GD-53 radar and allow the fighter to carry a single TC-2 BVRAAM on the centerline. But lack of interest from the Taiwan/ROC Air Force eventually killed the program. The only prototype is on display in AIDC in Central Taiwan.

The only air combat actions ROCAF F-5E/F pilots saw, were not over Taiwan, but in North Yemen. In 1979, a flareup between North and South Yemen prompted the US to sell 14 F-5E/Fs to North Yemen to boost its air defense. Since no one in North Yemen knew how to fly the F-5E/F (only MiG-15s were operational at the time), US and Saudi Arabia arranged to have 80+ ROCAF F-5E pilots (eight pilots per year) plus ground crew and anti-air defense units sent to North Yemen as part of North Yemen Air Force's 115th Squadron at Sana‘a operating initially just six F-5E/Fs and then from April 1979 to May 1990, added eight more. The ROCAF piloted F-5E/F scored a few kills in a few air battles, but the ground early warning radar crews and anti-air units also suffered from air attacks from South Yemen, the aircraft being piloted by Soviet crews.

Iran



The Imperial Iranian Air Force received extensive US equipment in the 1960s and 1970s. Iran received its first 11 F-5A and two F-5Bs in February 1965 which were then declared operational in June 1965. Ultimately, Iran received 104 F-5A and 23 F-5Bs by 1972. From January 1974 with the first squadron of 28 F-5Fs, Iran received a total of 166 F-5E/F and 15 additional RF-5Es with deliveries ending in 1976. While receiving the F-5E and F, Iran started selling its F-5A and Bs to other countries including Ethiopia, Turkey, Greece and South Vietnam; by 1976, they were all sold apart from some F-5Bs retained for training.

After the revolution, the new Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force was partially successful keeping Western fighters in service during the war with Iraq in the 1980s and the simple F-5 had a good service readiness until late in the war. Initially Iran took spare parts from foreign sources, later it was able to have its new aircraft industry keep the aircraft flying.

During the war with Iraq, IRIAF F-5s were heavily involved, flying air-to-air and air-to-ground sorties. Iranian F-5s took part in many air combats with Iraqi MiG-21, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 is a variable-geometry fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau in the Soviet Union. It is considered to belong to the Soviet third generation jet fighter category, along with similarly aged Soviet fighters such as the MiG-25 "Foxbat"...

, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 is a supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft that was among the fastest military aircraft to enter service. Designed by the Soviet Union's Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau the first prototype flew in 1964 with entry into service in 1970...

, Su-20/22
Sukhoi Su-17
The Sukhoi Su-17 is a Soviet attack aircraft developed from the Sukhoi Su-7 fighter-bomber. It enjoyed a long career in Soviet, later Russian, service and was widely exported to communist and Middle Eastern air forces, under names Su-20 and Su-22.-Development:Seeking to improve low-speed and...

, Mirage F-1 and Super Etendards scoring many victories but also suffering many losses. However the exact combat record is not known with many different claims from Iraqi, Iranian and even Western and Russian sources. Adding to the haze surrounding the F-5's combat record is that many of the IRIAF's confirmed air-to-air kills were, for political reasons, attributed to the Revolutionary Guards. Nonetheless, there are reports that an F-5E, piloted by Major Yadollah Javadpour, managed to shoot down a MiG-25 on 6 August 1983. Additionally, his five claimed aerial victories, with two confirmed kills make Javadpour an ace and the world's most successful F-5 combat pilot.

From a general standpoint, during the first years of service, Iranian F-5 fighter aircraft had the advantage in missile technology, using advanced versions of the IR seeking Sidewinder, later lost with deliveries of new missiles and fighters to Iraq.

Iran currently produces an indigenous aircraft titled, "Saegeh", which is built on the same platform as the F-5, and probably armed with Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n-made or Chinese
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

-made munitions such as AA-10 Alamo, AA-11 Archer or C-802
C-802
The Yingji-82 or YJ-82 is a Chinese anti-ship missile first unveiled in 1989 by the China Haiying Electro-Mechanical Technology Academy , also known as the Third Academy...

.{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}}

Ethiopia


Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 received 10 F-5As and two F-5Bs from the US starting in 1966. In addition to these, Ethiopia had a training squadron equipped with at least eight Lockheed T-33 Shooting Stars. In 1970, Iran transferred at least three F-5As and Bs to Ethiopia. In 1975, another agreement was reached with the US to deliver a number of military aircraft, including 14 F-5Es and three F-5Fs; later in the same year eight F-5Es were transferred while the others were embargoed and delivered to a USAF aggressor Squadron due to the changed political situation. The US also withdrew its personnel and cut diplomatic relations. Ethiopian officers contracted a number of Israelis to maintain American equipment.

The Ethiopian F-5 fighters saw combat action against Somali forces during the Ogaden War
Ogaden War
The Ogaden War was a conventional conflict between Somalia and Ethiopia in 1977 and 1978 over the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. In a notable illustration of the nature of Cold War alliances, the Soviet Union switched from supplying aid to Somalia to supporting Ethiopia, which had previously been...

 (1977–1978). The main Somali fighter aircraft was the MiG-21MF delivered in the 1970s, supported by Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 is a high-subsonic fighter aircraft produced in the USSR from 1952 and operated by numerous air forces in many variants. Most MiG-17 variants cannot carry air-to-air missiles, but shot down many aircraft with its cannons...

s delivered in the 1960s by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. Ethiopian F-5E aircraft were used to gain air superiority because they could use the AIM-9B air to air missile, while the F-5As were kept for air interdiction
Air interdiction
Air interdiction is the use of aircraft to attack tactical ground targets that are not in close proximity to friendly ground forces. It differs from close air support because it does not directly support ground operations and is not closely coordinated with ground units...

 and air strike. During this period Ethiopian F-5Es went on training against Ethiopian F-5As and F-86 Sabres (simulating Somali MiG-21s and MiG-17s).

On 17 July 1977, two Ethiopian F-5s were on combat air patrol near Harer, when four Somali MiG-21MFs were detected nearby. In the engagement, two MiG-21s were shot down while the other two had a midair collision while avoiding a AIM-9B missile. The better-trained Ethiopian Air Force
Ethiopian Air Force
The Ethiopian Air Force is the air arm of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and is tasked with protecting the air space, providing support to the ground forces as well as assisting during national emergencies.- Early years :...

 F-5 pilots swiftly gained air superiority over the Somali Air Force, shooting down a number of aircraft, while other Somali aircraft were lost to air defense and to incidents. However at least three F-5s were shot down by air defense forces during attacks against supply bases in western Somalia.

Morocco


F-5As and F-5Bs took part in the Polisario War in Western Sahara
Western Sahara
Western Sahara is a disputed territory in North Africa, bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its surface area amounts to . It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly...

 in the 1980s. During the war, the Polisario Front
Polisario Front
The POLISARIO, Polisario Front, or Frente Polisario, from the Spanish abbreviation of Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro is a Sahrawi rebel national liberation movement working for the independence of Western Sahara from Morocco...

 was aided by East European, Cuban and Algerian advisers. They were armed with heavy weapons and even with sophisticated heavy SA-6 anti-aircraft systems. Some 14 F-5s were lost during combat. A total of 24 F-5Es have been upgraded to F-5TIII standard.

Saudi Arabia


During the Gulf War, Saudi F-5Es flew close air support and aerial interdiction missions against Iraqi units in Kuwait. One RSAF F-5E was lost to ground fire on 13 February 1991. The pilot was killed in action. In Saudi Arabian service, approximately 20 Tigers have been lost to various causes over the years.

Norway


The Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

 received 108 Freedom Fighters: 16 RF-5A, 78 F-5A and 14 F-5B. The first 64 were received as military aid. They were in use by several squadrons, the first and last being 336 Squadron receiving the first aircraft in February 1966 (formal handing-over ceremony a month later), and deactivating in August 2000. Three aircraft were kept flying until 2007, serving with Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk's Eye of the Tiger-project, developing the Naval Strike Missile
Naval Strike Missile
The Naval Strike Missile is an anti-ship and land-attack missile developed by the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace , and whose initial serial production contract was signed in June 2007. It has been chosen by the Royal Norwegian Navy for its new Fridtjof Nansen class frigates and...

. The aircraft received under military aid were handed off to Greece and Turkey. Of the aircraft bought by the Norwegian Government, nine were used in exchange with US authorities for submarines of the Kobben class. Five F-5s were given to aircraft maintenance schools
Aircraft Maintenance Technician
Aircraft maintenance technician, as used in the United States, refers to an individual who holds a mechanic certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration; the rules for certification, and for certificate-holders, are detailed in Subpart D of Part 65 of the Federal Aviation Regulations ,...

 in October 2011. The remaining 10 are being stored at Rygge. Three survivors are exhibited at the Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection
Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection
Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection is a military aviation museum located in Gardermoen, near Oslo, Norway. The museum was established in 1967, with a Heinkel He 111 and a Northrop N-3PB as one of the first objects. However, the museum was not opened for the public until 1984...

, and two at Norsk Luftfartsmuseum in Bodø.

Philippines


The Philippines has decommissioned their remaining F-5A/B fleet that were transferred from Taiwan and South Korea, although six to eight F-5s remain in flyable condition in case of a national emergency, with two F-5s being an upgraded variant.

Singapore


Singapore is an important operator of the F-5E/F variant, first ordering the aircraft in 1976 during a massive expansion of the city-state's armed forces; delivery of this first batch of 18 F-5Es and three F-5Fs was completed by late February 1979, equipping the newly formed-up No. 144 Black Kite Squadron
144 Squadron, Republic of Singapore Air Force
The 144 Squadron "Blackite" of the Republic of Singapore Air Force is a fighter-bomber squadron based at Paya Lebar Air Base, the squadron goes by the motto "Dare To Excel" with the Black Kite adopted as its mascot.-History:...

 at Tengah Air Base. At the end of 1979, an order was placed for six more F-5Es, these were was delivered by 1981. In 1982, an order for three more F-5Fs was placed, these were forward delivered in September 1983 to RAF Leuchars
RAF Leuchars
RAF Leuchars is the most northerly air defence station in the United Kingdom. It is located in Leuchars, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland, near to the university town of St Andrews.-Operations:...

 in Scotland where they were taken over by pilots of the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

 (RSAF). In 1983, the type took over the duties of airborne interception
Interceptor aircraft
An interceptor aircraft is a type of fighter aircraft designed specifically to prevent missions of enemy aircraft, particularly bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. Interceptors generally rely on high speed and powerful armament in order to complete their mission as quickly as possible and set up...

 from RAAF's Mirage IIIO
Dassault Mirage III
The Mirage III is a supersonic fighter aircraft designed by Dassault Aviation during the late 1950s, and manufactured both in France and a number of other countries. It was a successful fighter aircraft, being sold to many air forces around the world and remaining in production for over a decade...

s detachment stationed at Tengah.

Another order for six more F-5Es was placed in 1985, these were delivered the same year and would go on to equip the newly formed-up No. 149 Shikra Squadron
149 Squadron, Republic of Singapore Air Force
The 149 Squadron "Shikra" of the Republic of Singapore Air Force is a fighter-bomber squadron based at Paya Lebar Air Base, the squadron goes by the motto "Steadfast" with the Shikra adopted as its mascot.-History:...

 at Tengah. The following year, the RSAF placed an order for its final batch of three F-5Fs and five F-5Es, these were delivered in December 1987 and July 1989, respectively. In a bid to modernise their air force, the Royal Jordanian Air Force put up seven F-5Es for sale in 1994, these were later acquired by Singapore.

From 1990 to 1991, using jigs and toolings purchased from Northrop, Singapore Aircraft Industries (SAI, now ST Aerospace
ST Aerospace
Singapore Technologies Aerospace is a subsidiary of ST Engineering based in Singapore, with international offices and facilities located in key aviation hubs in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the US...

) converted 8 existing F-5Es into RF-5E Tigereye variant. Subsequently, these were used to requipped No. 141 Merlin Squadron, which had traded in their older Hawker Hunter
Hawker Hunter
The Hawker Hunter is a subsonic British jet aircraft developed in the 1950s. The single-seat Hunter entered service as a manoeuvrable fighter aircraft, and later operated in fighter-bomber and reconnaissance roles in numerous conflicts. Two-seat variants remained in use for training and secondary...

 FR.74S for the newer Tigereyes in 1992 and was by then based at Paya Lebar Air Base, after the 144 Squadron had relocated there in 1986. By June 1993, all three squadrons had been relocated to the base, thus consolidating Singapore's F-5E/F operations at Paya Lebar.

In late 1991, SAI was further awarded a contract by RSAF to mordernise and upgrade all the F-5E/F in RSAF's inventory (including the 7 ex-Jordanian F-5Es), with main-sub contractor Elbit Systems
Elbit Systems
Elbit Systems Ltd. is one of the world's largest defense electronics manufacturers and integrators. Established in 1967, and based in Haifa, Israel, Elbit employs 11,000 people worldwide....

 responsible for systems integration. Included in the package was a new X band
X band
The X band is a segment of the microwave radio region of the electromagnetic spectrum. In some cases, such as in communication engineering, the frequency range of X band is rather indefinitely set at approximately 7.0 to 11.2 gigahertz . In radar engineering, the frequency range is specified...

 multi-mode radar (the Italian FIAR Grifo-F, with Beyond-visual-range missile and Look-down/shoot-down
Look-down/shoot-down
Look-down/shoot-down is a capability a radar system is said to possess if it is able to detect, track and put a weapon onto an air target moving below the horizon as seen by the radar...

 capabilities), a revamped cockpit with new MIL-STD-1553R databuses, GEC/Ferranti
Ferranti
Ferranti or Ferranti International plc was a UK electrical engineering and equipment firm that operated for over a century from 1885 until it went bankrupt in 1993. Known primarily for defence electronics, the Company was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but ceased trading in 1993.The...

 4510 Head-up display
Head-Up Display
A head-up display or heads-up display is any transparent display that presents data without requiring users to look away from their usual viewpoints...

/weapons delivery system, two BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

 MED-2067 Multi-function display
Multi-function display
A Multi-function display is a small screen in an aircraft surrounded by multiple buttons that can be used to display information to the pilot in numerous configurable ways. Often an MFD will be used in concert with a Primary Flight Display. MFDs are part of the digital era of modern planes or...

s, Litton
Litton Industries
Named after inventor Charles Litton, Sr., Litton Industries was a large defense contractor in the United States, bought by the Northrop Grumman Corporation in 2001.-History:...

 LN-93 inertial navigation system
Inertial navigation system
An inertial navigation system is a navigation aid that uses a computer, motion sensors and rotation sensors to continuously calculate via dead reckoning the position, orientation, and velocity of a moving object without the need for external references...

 (similar to all those found on ST Aerospace A-4SU Super Skyhawks) and Hands On Throttle-And-Stick controls (HOTAS)
HOTAS
HOTAS, an abbreviation for Hands On Throttle-And-Stick, is the name given to the concept of placing buttons and switches on the throttle stick and flight control stick in an aircraft's cockpit, allowing the pilot to access vital cockpit functions and fly the aircraft without having to remove his...

 to reduce pilot workload. Reportedly, the Elisra SPS2000 radar warning receiver
Radar warning receiver
Radar warning receiver systems detect the radio emissions of radar systems. Their primary purpose is to issue a warning when a radar signal that might be a threat is detected. The warning can then be used, manually or automatically, to evade the detected threat...

 and countermeasure system was also installed. Additionally, the starboard M-39 20mm cannon mounted in the nose was removed to make way for additional avionics (the sole cannon fitted to the two-seaters was removed because of this), and to improve maneuverability, all the upgraded aircraft were also fitted with larger leading edge root extensions (LERX). The process of rebuilding and upgrading began in March 1996 and was completed by 2001. As a result, they received the new designation of F-5S/T. In 1998, the eight RF-5Es were also upgraded, receiving the full upgrade except for the radar, these were later redesignated as RF-5S.

By end of 2009, the type had accumulated more than 170,000 hours of flight hours in Singapore service with only two F-5Es being lost in separate accidents (in 1984 and 1991, respectively). In a 2009 interview in the air force's newsletter, Singapore's former Chief of Air Force and F-5 pilot, Major General Ng Chee Khern
Ng Chee Khern
Major General Ng Chee Khern 黄志勤 is currently the Director of Singapore's Security and Intelligence Division. He was formerly the Chief of the Republic of Singapore Air Force ....

 commented that: {{quotation|"The F-5 earned a reputation of a jet that was hard to discern in the air and when one finally saw it, it was often after a missile or guns kill had already been called.}}

As of June 2011, only 141 and 144 Squadron are left operating the RF-5S and F-5S/T, as 149 Squadron has since formally transitioned to the McDonnell Douglas F-15SG Strike Eagles on 5 April 2010.

Single-seat versions



N-156F: Single-seat fighter prototype. Only three aircraft were built.

YF-5A: The three prototypes were given the US Air Force designation YF-5A.

F-5A: Single-seat fighter version of F-5, originally without radar, but was later equipped with AN/APQ-153 radar during upgrades.

F-5A (G): Single-seat fighter version of the F-5A for the Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

.

XF-5A: This designation was given to one aircraft used for static tests.

A-9: Designation of Spanish built F-5A which served in the Ejército del Aire

F-5C Skoshi Tiger: 12 F-5A Freedom Fighters, were tested by the US Air Force for four and a half months in Vietnam.

F-5E Tiger II: Single-seat fighter version with AN/APQ-159 replacing earlier AN/APQ-153 in F-5A.

F-5E Tiger III: Upgraded version of the F-5E in use by the Chilean Air Force
Chilean Air Force
The Chilean Air Force is the air force of Chile, a branch of the Chilean military.-History:The first step towards the current FACh was taken by Teniente Coronel Pedro Pablo Dartnell, when he founded the Servicio de Aviación Militar de Chile on December 20, 1910, being trained as a pilot in France...

, with EL/M-2032
EL/M-2032
The EL/M-2032 is an advanced pulse Doppler, multimode Fire Control Radar intended for multi-role fighter aircraft originated from the Lavi project. It is suitable for air-to-air and air-to-surface modes....

 radar replacing the original AN/APQ-159.

F-5E/F: A single Swiss Air Force F-5E with F-5F Wings. Currently (2011), this aircraft is part of the Museum at Meiringen AFB

F-5G: The temporary designation given to the F-20 Tigershark
F-20 Tigershark
The Northrop F-20 Tigershark was a privately-financed light fighter, designed and built by Northrop. Its development began in 1975 as a further evolution of Northrop's F-5E Tiger II, featuring a new engine that greatly improved overall performance, and a modern avionics suite including a powerful...

, armed with General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

 AN/APG-67 radar.

F-5N: Ex-Swiss Air Force F-5Es used by the US Navy as "aggressor" aircraft, with AN/APG-69 replacing the original AN/APQ-159. Intended to replace high-time USN/USMC F-5Es in the adversary role, and see service through to 2015.

F-5S: Upgraded version of the F-5E in use by the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

, equipped with the Galileo Avionica's FIAR Grifo-F X-band radar and are capable of firing the AIM-120 AMRAAM
AIM-120 AMRAAM
The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM , is a modern beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. Designed with the same form-factor as the previous generation of semi-active guided Sparrow missiles, it is a fire-and-forget...

.

F-5T Tigris: Upgraded version of the F-5E of Royal Thai Air Force
Royal Thai Air Force
The Royal Thai Air Force or RTAF is the air force of the Kingdom of Thailand. Since its establishment in 1913, as one of the earliest air forces of Asia, the Royal Thai Air Force had engaged in many major and minor battles. During the Vietnam war era, the air force has been developed with USAF-aid...

 by Israel, also armed with EL/M-2032.

F-5EM: Upgraded version of the F-5E of Brazilian Air Force
Brazilian Air Force
The Brazilian Air Force is the air branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces and one of the three national uniformed services. The FAB was formed when the Army and Navy air branch were merged into a single military force initially called "National Air Forces"...

 armed with Italian Grifo-F radar.
F-5TIII: Upgraded version of the F-5E,in service with the Royal Moroccan Air Force.

Reconnaissance versions


RF-5A: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5A fighter. Approximately 120 were built.

RF-5A (G): Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5A fighter for the Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

.

RF-5E Tigereye: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5E fighter. The RF-5E Tigereye was exported to Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and Malaysia.

RF-5E Tigergazer: Seven upgraded single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5E for Taiwan by ST Aerospace
ST Aerospace
Singapore Technologies Aerospace is a subsidiary of ST Engineering based in Singapore, with international offices and facilities located in key aviation hubs in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the US...

.

RF-5S Tigereye: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5S for the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

.

AR-9: Spanish reconnaissance aircraft

Two-seat versions




F-5-21
Temporarily designation given to the YF-5B.

YF-5B
One F-5B was fitted with a 5,000 lbf (2,268 kgf) General Electric J85-GE-21 engine, and used as a prototype for the F-5E Tiger II.

F-5B
Two-seat fighter version for the Republic of Korea Air Force
Republic of Korea Air Force
The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

, armed with AN/APQ-157 radar.

F-5B(G)
Two-seat trainer version of the F-5B for the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

F-5B M
Two-seat trainer version in use by the Spanish Air Force
Spanish Air Force
-The early stages:Hot air balloons had been used with military purposes in Spain as far back as 1896. In 1905, with the help of Alfredo Kindelán, Leonardo Torres y Quevedo directed the construction of the first Spanish dirigible in the Army Military Aerostatics Service, created in 1896 and located...

 for air combat training.

F-5D
Unbuilt trainer version.

F-5F Tiger II
Two-seat trainer version of F-5E Tiger II, AN/APQ-167 radar tested, intended to replace AN/APQ-157, but not carried out.

F-5F Tiger III
Upgraded trainer version of the F-5F in use by the Chilean Air Force.

F-5T
Upgraded F-5F in use by the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

.

F-5FM
Upgraded trainer version of the F-5F for the Brazilian Air Force
Brazilian Air Force
The Brazilian Air Force is the air branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces and one of the three national uniformed services. The FAB was formed when the Army and Navy air branch were merged into a single military force initially called "National Air Forces"...

.

Licensed versions


CF-5: Fighter versions for the Canadian Forces Air Command
Canadian Forces Air Command
The Royal Canadian Air Force , formerly Canadian Forces Air Command, is one of three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces...

 built under license by Canadair
Canadair
Canadair Ltd. was a civil and military aircraft manufacturer in Canada. It was a subsidiary of other aircraft manufacturers, then a nationalized corporation until privatized in 1986, and became the core of Bombardier Aerospace....

. Its Canadian designation is CF-116.

NF-5A: Single-seat fighter version of the CF-5A for the Royal Netherlands Air Force
Royal Netherlands Air Force
The Royal Netherlands Air Force , Dutch Koninklijke Luchtmacht , is the military aviation branch of the Netherlands Armed Forces. Its ancestor, the Luchtvaartafdeling of the Dutch Army was founded on 1 July 1913, with four pilots...

; 75 built.

NF-5B: Two-seat training version of the CF-5D for the Royal Netherlands Air force; 30 built.

SF-5A: Single-seat fighter version of the F-5A for the Spanish Air Force
Spanish Air Force
-The early stages:Hot air balloons had been used with military purposes in Spain as far back as 1896. In 1905, with the help of Alfredo Kindelán, Leonardo Torres y Quevedo directed the construction of the first Spanish dirigible in the Army Military Aerostatics Service, created in 1896 and located...

; built under licence in Spain by CASA
Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA
Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA , was a Spanish aircraft manufacturer. It became EADS CASA the Spanish branch of EADS in 1999, but was absorbed by Airbus Military in 2009...

.

SRF-5A: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the RF-5A for the Spanish Air force; built under license in Spain By CASA.

SF-5B: Two-seat training version of the F-5B for the Spanish Air Force. Built under license in Spain by CASA.

VF-5A: Single-seat version of the CF-5A for the Venezuelan Air Force. This designation was given to some Canadair CF-116s which were sold to the Venezuelan Air Force.

VF-5D: Two-seat training version of the CF-5D for the Venezuelan Air Force.

KF-5E: F-5E built in South Korea for Republic of Korea Air Force
Republic of Korea Air Force
The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

. First introduction: September, 1982; 48 built.

KF-5F: F-5F built in South Korea for Republic of Korea Air Force
Republic of Korea Air Force
The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

. First introduction: September, 1982; 20 built.

Chung Chen: F-5E/F built in Taiwan for Republic of China Air Force
Republic of China Air Force
The Republic of China Air Force is the aviation branch of the Republic of China Armed Forces. The ROCAF's primary mission is the defense of the airspace over and around Taiwan...

 by AIDC. First introduction: October 30, 1974, one day before the late President Chiang Kai Shek's 88th birthday, and was thus christened "Chung Chen", an alias of President Chiang; 308 built.

Unlicensed versions


Azarakhsh :F-5E built in Iran with unknown modifications and a mid wing.

Sa'eqeh :F-5E modified in Iran with canted, twin vertical stabilizers.

F-20 Tigershark


{{Main|F-20 Tigershark}}

Northrop attempted to develop an advanced version of the F-5E, originally designated F-5G, as an export competitor for the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The F-5G was later redesignated the F-20 Tigershark. It received favorable reviews as a less expensive but capable alternative to early-block variants of the F-16 (and superior to the similarly never-purchased export variant F-16/79), but it never had the appeal of the much newer fighter design even at a lower cost.

Northrop YF-17


{{Main|Northrop YF-17}}

The Northrop YF-17's aircraft's main design elements date from the F-5 based internal Northrop project N-300. The N-300 featured a longer fuselage, small leading-edge root extensions (LERX), and more powerful GE15-J1A1 turbojets. The wing was moved higher on the fuselage to increase ordnance flexibility. The N-300 further evolved into the P-530 Cobra. The P-530's wing planform and nose section was similar to the F-5, with a trapezoidal shape formed by a sweep of 20° at the quarter-chord line, and an unswept trailing edge, but was over double the area. While the YF-17 lost its bid for the USAF lightweight fighter, it would be developed into the larger McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.

Operators


{{BHR}}
  • Bahrain Air Force received eight F-5Es and two F-5Fs in between 1985 and 1987.

{{BOT}}
  • Botswana Air Force purchased 10 upgraded CF-5As and 3 CF-5Ds from Canada in 1996. A further two CF-5Ds were purchased in 2000.

{{BRA}}
  • Brazilian Air Force
    Brazilian Air Force
    The Brazilian Air Force is the air branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces and one of the three national uniformed services. The FAB was formed when the Army and Navy air branch were merged into a single military force initially called "National Air Forces"...

     operates 57 custom upgraded F-5Es. To be retired in 2015.

{{CHI}}
  • Chilean Air Force
    Chilean Air Force
    The Chilean Air Force is the air force of Chile, a branch of the Chilean military.-History:The first step towards the current FACh was taken by Teniente Coronel Pedro Pablo Dartnell, when he founded the Servicio de Aviación Militar de Chile on December 20, 1910, being trained as a pilot in France...

    : Chile purchased 15 F-Es and three F-5Fs in the 1970s, these being upgraded to Tigre III standard from 1993. In 1995, it supplemented its fleet with 10 F-5Es and two F-5Fs from Honduras. A total of 16 F-5Es were replaced in 2009 by 16 F-16 MLU T5s. A total of 10 F-5s remain operational as of 2009.

{{ROC-TW}}
  • Republic of China Air Force
    Republic of China Air Force
    The Republic of China Air Force is the aviation branch of the Republic of China Armed Forces. The ROCAF's primary mission is the defense of the airspace over and around Taiwan...

    : Received 115 F-5A and B from 1965, 48 were transferred to South Vietnam before 1975. From 1973 to 1986, Taiwan produced 308 F-5E/Fs under license. Later batches of locally AIDC licensed production of Tiger IIs were fitted with flare/chaff dispensers, plus handling qualities upgrades with enlarged LEX and F-20's shark nose, and radar warning receivers(RWR).

{{HON}}
  • Honduran Air Force
    Honduran Air Force
    The Honduras Air Force is the air force of Honduras. As such it is the air power arm of the Honduras Armed Forces.-History:...


{{IDN}}
  • Indonesian Air Force
    Indonesian Air Force
    The Indonesian Air Force is the air force branch of the Indonesian National Armed Forces.The Indonesian Air Force has 34,930 personnel equipped with 110 combat aircraft including Su-27 and Su-30.-Before Indonesian independence :...

    : All 16 F-5Es have been retired since late 2005 but are in reserve in case of future use.

{{IRN}}
  • Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
    Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
    The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force ' is the aviation branch of the Iranian armed forces. The present Air Force came into being in the early 1980s when the former Imperial Iranian Air Force was renamed....

    : 60 or 75 F-5E and F operational; 140 originally delivered
  • Unknown numbers of HESA Saeqeh and HESA Azarakhsh fighters derived from the F-5 design

{{JOR}}
  • Royal Jordanian Air Force
    Royal Jordanian Air Force
    The Royal Jordanian Air Force is the air force branch of the Jordanian Armed Forces.-Early days:...


{{KEN}}
  • Kenya Air Force
    Kenya Air Force
    The Kenya Air Force is the national Air Force of Kenya.The main airbase operating fighters is Laikipia Air Base in Nanyuki, while Moi Air Base in Eastleigh, Nairobi is the HQ & operations Kenya Air Force. Other bases include FOB Mombasa The Kenya Air Force (KAF) is the national Air Force of...

    : In July 2008, it was reported that Kenya will spend 1.5 billion KSh
    Kenyan shilling
    The shilling is the currency of Kenya. It is divisible into 100 cents.-Coins:The first coins were issued in 1966 in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 shillings. Twenty-five cents coins were not minted after 1969; 2 shillings coins were last minted in 1971...

     to buy 15 former Jordanian Air Force F-5s, 13 F-5E and two F-5F (plus training and spare parts). They will be added or eventually replace the current F-5 fleet

{{ROK}}
  • Republic of Korea Air Force
    Republic of Korea Air Force
    The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

     received a total of 340 F-5s (88 F-5A, 30 F-5B, 8 RF-5A, 126 F-5E, 20 F-5F, 48 KF-5E, and 20 KF-5F).

{{MEX}}
  • Mexican Air Force
    Mexican Air Force
    The Mexican Air Force is the aviation branch of the Mexican Army and depends on the National Defense Secretariat . Since 2008, its commander is Gen...

     received 12 F-5s in 1982.{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}} The service currently operates eight F-5Es and two F-5Fs.

{{MAR}}
  • Royal Moroccan Air Force
    Royal Moroccan Air Force
    The Royal Moroccan Air Force is the air force branch of the Moroccan Armed Forces.-History:...

     operates 33 F-5A/Bs including nine F-5E/Fs and 24 upgraded F-5TIIIs.{{Citation needed|date=July 2010}}

{{MAS}}
{{SAU}}
  • Royal Saudi Air Force
    Royal Saudi Air Force
    The Royal Saudi Air Force , is the aviation branch of the Saudi Arabian armed forces. The RSAF has developed from a largely defensive military force into one with an advanced offensive capability...

    : 110 F-5E/Fs withdrawn from active service aside from in the trainer role, some squadrons such as #10 based in Taif will be replaced with Eurofighter Typhoon
    Eurofighter Typhoon
    The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole combat aircraft, designed and built by a consortium of three companies: EADS, Alenia Aeronautica and BAE Systems; working through a holding company, Eurofighter GmbH, which was formed in 1986...

    .

{{SIN}}
  • Republic of Singapore Air Force
    Republic of Singapore Air Force
    The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

    : operates 32× F-5S, 9× F-5T and 8× RF-5S.

{{ESP}}
  • Spanish Air Force
    Spanish Air Force
    -The early stages:Hot air balloons had been used with military purposes in Spain as far back as 1896. In 1905, with the help of Alfredo Kindelán, Leonardo Torres y Quevedo directed the construction of the first Spanish dirigible in the Army Military Aerostatics Service, created in 1896 and located...

    , operates 20 F-5Bs as trainers for fighter school.

 Sudan
  • Sudanese Air Force
    Sudanese Air Force
    The Sudanese Air Force is the air force operated by the Republic of the Sudan. As such it is part of the Sudanese Armed Forces.-History:The Sudanese Air Force was founded immediately after Sudan gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1956. The British assisted in the Air Force's...

    : 10 F-5Es and two F-5F were delivered in 1978, One of the F-5Fs was sold to Jordan
    Jordan
    Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

    . further two F-5s defected to Sudan from Ethiopia
    Ethiopia
    Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

     during the Ogaden crisis.


{{SUI}}
  • Swiss Air Force
    Swiss Air Force
    The Swiss Air Force is the air component of the Swiss Armed Forces, established on July 31, 1914, as part of the Army and as of January 1966 an independent service.In peacetime, Dübendorf is the operational Air Force HQ...

    : Operating 42 F-5E and 12 F-5F Tiger II.

{{THA}}
  • Royal Thai Air Force
    Royal Thai Air Force
    The Royal Thai Air Force or RTAF is the air force of the Kingdom of Thailand. Since its establishment in 1913, as one of the earliest air forces of Asia, the Royal Thai Air Force had engaged in many major and minor battles. During the Vietnam war era, the air force has been developed with USAF-aid...

    : F-5A retired. Now operates F-5B/E/F/T, F-5B/E slated for retirement in 2011-2012, to be replaced by 12-JAS 39 Gripen
    JAS 39 Gripen
    The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a lightweight single-engine multirole fighter manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. It was designed to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen in the Swedish Air Force...

    . The last F-5 fleet, upgraded F-5T Tigris and F-5F will continue to serve to 2015-2020.

{{TUN}}
  • Tunisian Air Force
    Tunisian Air Force
    The Tunisian Air Force is one of the branches of the Tunisian Armed Forces.-Air Force:The Tunisian Air Force was established in 1959, three years after Tunisia regained its independence from France. It took deliveries of its first aircraft, eight Saab 91 Safirs, in 1960, later to be complemented...



{{TUR}}
  • Turkish Air Force
    Turkish Air Force
    The Turkish Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the Turkish Armed Forces. It ranks 3rd in NATO in terms of fleet size behind the USAF and Royal Air Force with a current inventory of 798 aircraft .-Initial stages:...

    : More than 200 F-5A/Bs and NF-5A/Bs were bought from various countries. Between 40 and 50 of them were upgraded to F-5/2000 standard during the 2000s; Turkish Stars
    Turkish Stars
    The Turkish Stars are the aerobatic demonstration team of the Turkish Air Force and the national aerobatics team of Turkey.The team was formed on November 7, 1992 and was named the Turkish Stars on January 11, 1993....

     aerobatic team. In total, 50 NF-5A and 25 NF-5B remain operational.

{{USA}}
  • United States Marine Corps
    United States Marine Corps
    The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

  • United States Navy
    United States Navy
    The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...


{{VEN}}
  • Venezuelan Air Force

{{YEM}}
  • Yemen Air Force
    Yemen Air Force
    -North and South Yemen:The Yemen Air Force, known as al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Yamaniya, was established in 1926. During the mid-1950s, the Imam of Yemen established a private fleet that was run by the military. Later, the Russians delivered MiG-15 and MiG-17 fighters, followed by MiG-21s to the...

    : North Yemen Air Force's 14 F-5E/F fleet were initially piloted by ROCAF/Taiwan pilots as part of 115th Squadron at Sana‘a, from April 1979 to May 1990, to boost its air defense.

Former operators


{{AUT}}
  • Austrian Air Force
    Austrian Air Force
    The Austrian Air Force is a component part of the Austrian armed forces .-History:The Austrian Air Force was formed in May 1955 by the victorious Allied powers, subject to restrictions on its use of guided missiles...

    : On loan from Switzerland – all aircraft returned and replaced by Eurofighters

{{CAN}}
  • Canadian Forces
    Canadian Forces
    The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

     – see Canadair CF-5

{{CHI}}
  • Chilean Air Force
    Chilean Air Force
    The Chilean Air Force is the air force of Chile, a branch of the Chilean military.-History:The first step towards the current FACh was taken by Teniente Coronel Pedro Pablo Dartnell, when he founded the Servicio de Aviación Militar de Chile on December 20, 1910, being trained as a pilot in France...

    : Chile purchased 15 F-Es and 3 F-5Fs in the 1970s, these being upgraded to Tigre III standard from 1993. In 1995, it supplemented its fleet with 10 F-5Es and 2 F-5Fs from Honduras. 16 F-5Es were replaced in 2009 by 16 F-16 Fighting Falcon MLU T5. A total of 10 F-5s remain operational as of 2009.

{{ETH}}
  • Ethiopian Air Force
    Ethiopian Air Force
    The Ethiopian Air Force is the air arm of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and is tasked with protecting the air space, providing support to the ground forces as well as assisting during national emergencies.- Early years :...


{{GRE}}
  • Hellenic Air Force
    Hellenic Air Force
    The Hellenic Air Force, abbreviated to HAF is the air force of Greece. The mission of the Hellenic Air Force is to guard and protect Greek airspace, provide air assistance and support to the Hellenic Army and the Hellenic Navy, as well as the provision of humanitarian aid in Greece and around the...


{{LBY}}
  • Royal Libyan Air Force to 1969. 10 F-5s. May have been sold to Turkey after 1969.

{{NLD}}
  • Royal Netherlands Air Force
    Royal Netherlands Air Force
    The Royal Netherlands Air Force , Dutch Koninklijke Luchtmacht , is the military aviation branch of the Netherlands Armed Forces. Its ancestor, the Luchtvaartafdeling of the Dutch Army was founded on 1 July 1913, with four pilots...


{{NOR}}
  • Royal Norwegian Air Force
    Royal Norwegian Air Force
    The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...


{{PHL}}
  • Philippine Air Force
    Philippine Air Force
    The Philippine Air Force is the air force of the Republic of the Philippines, and one of the three main services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Its official name in Filipino is Hukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas....

     received 22 F-5A (single seat) and eight F-5B (two seater) aircraft in 1966. In 1988-89, the PAF received at least eight ex-Taiwanese F-5As. In 2001, five ex-South Korean F-5A/B were acquired. Although retired from service in 2006, two upgraded F-5Bs remain in flying condition.

 South Vietnam
  • Vietnam Air Force
    Vietnam Air Force
    The Vietnam Air Force began with a few hand-picked men chosen to fly alongside French pilots during the State of Vietnam era. It eventually grew into the world’s sixth largest air force at the height of its power, in 1974...

     received total of 24 F-5A Freedom Fighters, three F-5B trainers, and 12 F-5E Tiger IIs.

{{USA}}
  • United States Air Force
    United States Air Force
    The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...


{{VNM}}
  • Vietnam People's Air Force
    Vietnam People's Air Force
    The Vietnam People's Air Force is the air force of Vietnam. It is the successor of the former North Vietnamese Air Force and the absorbed Republic of Vietnam Air Force following the re-unification of Vietnam in 1975.-Beginning-1964 :The first Vietnamese aircraft were two trainers, a de Havilland...

     (several captured ex-VNAF
    Vietnam Air Force
    The Vietnam Air Force began with a few hand-picked men chosen to fly alongside French pilots during the State of Vietnam era. It eventually grew into the world’s sixth largest air force at the height of its power, in 1974...

     aircraft). One F-5E (s/n 73-00867) was transferred to the Soviet Union for evaluation flights, i.e. against the MiG-21bis; 40+ F-5E/F/C were in VNAF's service.

Evaluation only user


{{USSR}}
  • F-5Es were received from Vietnam and the Derg
    Derg
    The Derg or Dergue was a Communist military junta that came to power in Ethiopia following the ousting of Haile Selassie I. Derg, which means "committee" or "council" in Ge'ez, is the short name of the Coordinating Committee of the Armed Forces, Police, and Territorial Army, a committee of...

     regime in Ethiopia for performance tests and evaluation flights. They were tested in mock combat against MiG-21 and MiG-23 aircraft, ultimately aiding in the development of the MiG-23MLD and the MiG-29
    Mikoyan MiG-29
    The Mikoyan MiG-29 is a fourth-generation jet fighter aircraft designed in the Soviet Union for an air superiority role. Developed in the 1970s by the Mikoyan design bureau, it entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1983, and remains in use by the Russian Air Force as well as in many other...

    .

Specifications (F-5E Tiger II)



{{Aircraft specifications

|plane or copter?=plane
|jet or prop?=jet



The Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter and the F-5E/F Tiger II are part of a family of widely-used light supersonic
Supersonic
Supersonic speed is a rate of travel of an object that exceeds the speed of sound . For objects traveling in dry air of a temperature of 20 °C this speed is approximately 343 m/s, 1,125 ft/s, 768 mph or 1,235 km/h. Speeds greater than five times the speed of sound are often...

 fighter aircraft
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

, designed and built by Northrop
Northrop Corporation
Northrop Corporation was a leading United States aircraft manufacturer from its formation in 1939 until its merger with Grumman to form Northrop Grumman in 1994. The company is known for its development of the flying wing design, although only a few of these have entered service.-History:Jack...

. Hundreds remain in service in air forces around the world in the early 21st century, and the type has also been the basis for a number of other aircraft.

The F-5 started life as a privately-funded light fighter program by Northrop in the 1950s. The first-generation F-5A Freedom Fighter entered service in the 1960s. During the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, over 800 were produced through 1972 for U.S. allies, and Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. The USAF had no need for a light fighter but specifed a requirement for a supersonic trainer, procuring about 1,200 of a derivative airframe for this purpose, the Northrop T-38 Talon.

The improved second-generation F-5E Tiger II was also primarily used by American Cold War allies and, in limited quantities, served in US military aviation as a training and aggressor aircraft; Tiger II production amounted to 1,400 of all versions, with production ending in 1987. Many F-5s continuing in service into the 1990s and 2000s have undergone a wide variety of upgrade programs to keep pace with the changing combat environment.

The F-5 was also developed into a dedicated reconnaissance version, the RF-5 Tigereye. The F-5 also served as a starting point for a series of design studies which resulted in the twin-tailed Northrop YF-17 and the F/A-18
F/A-18 Hornet
The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a supersonic, all-weather carrier-capable multirole fighter jet, designed to dogfight and attack ground targets . Designed by McDonnell Douglas and Northrop, the F/A-18 was derived from the latter's YF-17 in the 1970s for use by the United States Navy and...

 series of carrier-based fighters. The Northrop F-20 Tigershark was an advanced version of the F-5E that did not find a market. The F-5N/F variants remain in service with the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 and United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 as an adversary trainer
Dissimilar air combat training
Dissimilar air combat training was introduced as a formal part of US air combat training after disappointing aerial combat exchange rates in the Vietnam War.Traditionally, pilots would undertake air combat training against similar aircraft...

.

Origins


In the mid-1950s, Northrop
Northrop Corporation
Northrop Corporation was a leading United States aircraft manufacturer from its formation in 1939 until its merger with Grumman to form Northrop Grumman in 1994. The company is known for its development of the flying wing design, although only a few of these have entered service.-History:Jack...

 started development on a low-cost, low-maintenance fighter, with the company designation N-156, partly to meet a US Navy requirement for a jet fighter to operate from its Escort Carriers, which were too small to operate the Navy's existing jet fighters. That requirement disappeared when the Navy decided to withdraw the Escort Carriers, but Northrop continued development of the N-156, with both a two seat advanced trainer (the N-156T), and a single-seat fighter (the N-156F) planned.

The N-156 was based on the use of a pair of an afterburning version of the General Electric J85
General Electric J85
-External links:**...

 engine
Jet engine
A jet engine is a reaction engine that discharges a fast moving jet to generate thrust by jet propulsion and in accordance with Newton's laws of motion. This broad definition of jet engines includes turbojets, turbofans, rockets, ramjets, pulse jets...

, which was originally designed to power the tiny McDonnell ADM-20 Quail
ADM-20 Quail
The McDonnell ADM-20 Quail was a subsonic, jet powered, air-launched decoy cruise missile built by McDonnell Aircraft Corporation. The Quail was designed to be launched by the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber and its original Air Force designation was GAM-72 .-Development:In 1955 the...

 decoy, which was then carried by the B-52 bomber. This requirement created a very small engine with a very high thrust-to-weight ratio. The N-156T was selected by the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 as a replacement for the T-33
T-33 Shooting Star
The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star is an American-built jet trainer aircraft. It was produced by Lockheed and made its first flight in 1948, piloted by Tony LeVier. The T-33 was developed from the Lockheed P-80/F-80 starting as TP-80C/TF-80C in development, then designated T-33A. It was used by the...

 in July 1965, allowing development of the trainer to progress at full speed, the first example, later designated YT-38 Talon, flying on 12 June 1959 with a total of 1,158 Talons being built by the time production ended in January 1972.

Development of the N-156F continued at a lower priority as a private venture by Northrop, which was rewarded by an order for three prototypes on 25 February 1958 as a prospective low-cost fighter that could be supplied under the Military Assistance Program for distribution to less-developed nations. The first N-156F flew at Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located on the border of Kern County, Los Angeles County, and San Bernardino County, California, in the Antelope Valley. It is southwest of the central business district of North Edwards, California and due east of Rosamond.It is named in...

 on 30 July 1959, exceeding the speed of sound on its first flight.

Although testing of the N-156F was successful, demonstrating unprecedented reliability and proving superior in the ground-attack role to the USAF's existing North American F-100 Super Sabres, official interest in the Northrop type waned, and by 1960 it looked as if the program was a failure. Interest revived in 1961, but when the US Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 tested it, (along with the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk and Fiat G.91) for reconnaissance and close-support, although all three types proved capable during Army testing, operating fixed-wing combat aircraft was legally the responsibility of the Air Force, which would not agree to operate the N-156 or allow the Army to operate fixed-wing combat aircraft, a situation repeated with the C-7 Caribou
De Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou
The de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou is a Canadian-designed and produced specialized cargo aircraft with short takeoff and landing capability...

.

In 1962, however, the Kennedy Administration revived the requirement for a low-cost export fighter, selecting the N-156F as winner of the F-X competition on 23 April 1962 subsequently becoming the "F-5A", being ordered into production in October that year. It was named under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system
1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system
The 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system is a unified designation system introduced by the United States Department of Defense on 18 September 1962 for all the U.S. military aircraft. Prior to this date, each armed service used their own nomenclature system...

, which included a re-set of the fighter number series (the General Dynamics F-111 was the highest sequentially numbered P/F-aircraft to enter service under the old number sequence).

Northrop built 636 F-5As (including the YF-5A prototype) before production ended in 1972. These were accompanied by 200 two-seat F-5B aircraft. These were operational trainers, lacking the nose-mounted cannon but otherwise combat-capable, while 86 RF-5A reconnaissance variants of the F-5A, fitted with a four-camera nose were also built. In addition, Canadair built 240 first generation F-5s under license, with CASA
CASA
- Aviation :* Civil Aviation Safety Authority - Australian statutory authority responsible for the regulation of Civil Aviation* Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA- Spanish aircraft manufacturer, became EADS CASA in 1999...

 in Spain adding a further 70 aircraft.

F-5E and F-5F Tiger II


In 1970, Northrop won a competition for an improved International Fighter Aircraft (IFA) to replace the F-5A, with better air-to-air performance against aircraft like the Soviet MiG 21
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It was popularly nicknamed "balalaika", from the aircraft's planform-view resemblance to the Russian stringed musical instrument or ołówek by Polish pilots due to...

. The resultant aircraft, initially known as F-5A-21, subsequently became the F-5E. It had more powerful (5,000 lbf) General Electric J85
General Electric J85
-External links:**...

-21 engines, and had a lengthened and enlarged fuselage, accommodating more fuel. Its wings were fitted with enlarged leading edge extension
Leading edge extension
A leading edge extension is a small extension to an aircraft wing surface, forward of the leading edge. Different kinds of extensions have been used for different reasons.-Leading edge slats:...

s, giving an increased wing area and improved maneuverability. The aircraft's avionics
Avionics
Avionics are electronic systems used on aircraft, artificial satellites and spacecraft.Avionic systems include communications, navigation, the display and management of multiple systems and the hundreds of systems that are fitted to aircraft to meet individual roles...

 were more sophisticated, crucially including a radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

 (initially the Emerson Electric AN/APQ-153) (the F-5A and B had no radar). It retained the gun armament of two M39 cannon
M39 cannon
The M39 cannon was a 20 mm caliber single-barreled revolver cannon developed for the United States Air Force in the late 1940s. It was used on a number of fighter aircraft from the early 1950s through the 1980s.-Development:...

, one on either side of the nose) of the F-5A. Various specific avionics fits could be accommodated at customer request, including an inertial navigation system
Inertial navigation system
An inertial navigation system is a navigation aid that uses a computer, motion sensors and rotation sensors to continuously calculate via dead reckoning the position, orientation, and velocity of a moving object without the need for external references...

, TACAN and ECM equipment.

The first F-5E flew on 11 August 1972. A two-seat combat-capable trainer, the F-5F, was offered, first flying on 25 September 1974, with a new, longer nose, which, unlike the F-5B that did not mount a gun, allowed it to retain a single M39 cannon, albeit with a reduced ammunition capacity. The two-seater was equipped with the Emerson AN/APQ-157 radar, which is a derivative of the AN/APQ-153 radar, with dual control and display systems to accommodate the two-men crew, and the radar has the same range of AN/APQ-153, around 10 nmi
Nautical mile
The nautical mile is a unit of length that is about one minute of arc of latitude along any meridian, but is approximately one minute of arc of longitude only at the equator...

.
A reconnaissance
Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

 version, the RF-5E Tigereye, with a sensor package in the nose displacing the radar and one cannon, was also offered. The latest radar upgrade included the Emerson AN/APG-69, which was the successor of AN/APQ-159, incorporating mapping capability. However, most nations chose not to upgrade for financial reasons, and the radar saw very little service in USAF aggressor squadrons and Swiss air force.

The F-5E eventually received the official name Tiger II. The F-5E experienced numerous upgrades in its service life, with the most significant one being adopting a new planar array radar, Emerson AN/APQ-159 with a range of 20 nmi
Nautical mile
The nautical mile is a unit of length that is about one minute of arc of latitude along any meridian, but is approximately one minute of arc of longitude only at the equator...

 to replace the original AN/APQ-153. Similar radar upgrades were also proposed for F-5F, with the derivative of AN/APQ-159, the AN/APQ-167, to replace the AN/APQ-157, but that was cancelled.

Northrop built 792 F-5Es, 140 F-5Fs and 12 RF-5Es. More were built under license overseas: 91 F-5Es and -Fs in Switzerland, 68 by Korean Air
Korean Air
Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. , operating as Korean Air, is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of South Korea, with global headquarters located in Seoul, South Korea. Korean Air's international passenger division and related subsidiary cargo division together serve 130 cities in 45...

 in South Korea, and 308 in Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

. The F-5 proved to be a successful combat aircraft for US allies, but had little combat service with the US Air Force. The F-5E evolved into the single-engine F-5G, which was rebranded the F-20 Tigershark. It lost out on export sales to the F-16 in the 1980s.

Upgrades


Various F-5 versions remain in service with many nations.

Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 has approximately 49 modernized and re-designated F-5S (single-seat) and F-5T (two-seat) aircraft. Upgrades include new FIAR Grifo-F X-band radar from Galileo Avionica (similar in performance to the AN/APG-69), updated cockpits with multi-function displays, and compatibility with the AIM-120 AMRAAM
AIM-120 AMRAAM
The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM , is a modern beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. Designed with the same form-factor as the previous generation of semi-active guided Sparrow missiles, it is a fire-and-forget...

 and Rafael Python air-to-air missile
Air-to-air missile
An air-to-air missile is a missile fired from an aircraft for the purpose of destroying another aircraft. AAMs are typically powered by one or more rocket motors, usually solid fuelled but sometimes liquid fuelled...

s.

Similar programs have been carried out in Chile and Brazil with the help of Elbit. The Chilean upgrade, called the F-5 Tiger III Plus, incorporated a new Elta EL/M-2032
EL/M-2032
The EL/M-2032 is an advanced pulse Doppler, multimode Fire Control Radar intended for multi-role fighter aircraft originated from the Lavi project. It is suitable for air-to-air and air-to-surface modes....

 radar and other improvements. The Brazilian program, whose product is called the F-5M (Modernized), is armed with Python V coupled to the DASH helmet-mounted cue system, and new GRIFO radar, cockpit displays and navigation electronics. The Brazilian F-5M is also equipped with the Israeli Derby missile and can operate in a BVR
Beyond Visual Range missile
A beyond-visual-range missile usually refers to an air-to-air missile that is capable of engaging at ranges beyond . This range has been achieved using dual pulse rocket motors or booster rocket motor and ramjet sustainer motor....

 environment.
In the Cruzex 2006 multinational war games, a Brazilian F-5 made simulated kills on two French Dassault Mirage 2000N aircraft, which were supported by an E-3 Sentry
E-3 Sentry
The Boeing E-3 Sentry is an airborne warning and control system developed by Boeing as the prime contractor. Derived from the Boeing 707, it provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications, and is used by the United States Air Force , NATO, Royal Air Force , French Air Force...

 and escorted by other two Mirage 2000C. This result was achieved by using the Derby and the information relayed by datalink from an AEW&C plane, the Embraer R-99, fitted with the Erieye AESA radar.

Another upgrade program was carried out for the Royal Thai Air Force
Royal Thai Air Force
The Royal Thai Air Force or RTAF is the air force of the Kingdom of Thailand. Since its establishment in 1913, as one of the earliest air forces of Asia, the Royal Thai Air Force had engaged in many major and minor battles. During the Vietnam war era, the air force has been developed with USAF-aid...

 (RTAF) by Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, designated the F-5T Tigris; it was armed with Python III and 4 (with the Dash helmet-mounted cueing system). Unlike other F-5s which have undergone updates, the RTAF aircraft cannot use BVR
Beyond Visual Range missile
A beyond-visual-range missile usually refers to an air-to-air missile that is capable of engaging at ranges beyond . This range has been achieved using dual pulse rocket motors or booster rocket motor and ramjet sustainer motor....

 missiles.

One NASA F-5E was given a modified fuselage shape for its employment in the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration
Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration
The NASA Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, also known as the Shaped Sonic Boom Experiment, was a two-year program that used a Northrop F-5E with a modified fuselage to demonstrate that the aircraft's shock wave, and accompanying sonic boom, can be shaped, and thereby reduced...

 program carried out by DARPA. It is preserved in the Valiant Air Command Museum at Titusville
Titusville
-United States of America:*Titusville, Birmingham, Alabama*Titusville, Florida*Titusville, New Jersey*Titusville, a former community in Malone , New York*Titusville, Pennsylvania...

, Florida.

United States


The first contract for the production F-5A was issued in 1962, the first overseas order coming from the Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

 on 28 February 1964. It entered service with the 4441st Combat Crew Training School of the USAF, which had the role of training pilots and ground crew for customer nations, on 30 April that year, it still not being intended that the aircraft be used in significant numbers by the USAF itself.
This changed with testing and limited deployment in 1965. Preliminary combat evaluation of the F-5A began at the Air Proving Ground Center, Eglin AFB, Florida, during the summer of 1965 under project Sparrow Hawk, with one airframe lost through pilot error on 24 June. In October 1965, the USAF began a five-month combat evaluation of the F-5A titled Skoshi Tiger. Twelve aircraft were delivered for trials to the 4503rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, and after modification with probe and drogue aerial refueling
Aerial refueling
Aerial refueling, also called air refueling, in-flight refueling , air-to-air refueling or tanking, is the process of transferring fuel from one aircraft to another during flight....

 equipment, armor and improved instruments, were redesignated as the F-5C. Over the next six months, they performed combat duty in Vietnam
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, flying more than 2,600 sorties, both from the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing
3d Wing
The 3d Wing is a unit of the United States Air Force, assigned to the Pacific Air Forces Eleventh Air Force. It is stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska....

 at Bien Hoa
Bien Hoa
Biên Hòa is a city in Dong Nai province, Vietnam, about east of Ho Chi Minh City , to which Bien Hoa is linked by Vietnam Highway 1.- Demographics :In 1989 the estimated population was over 300,000. In 2005, the population wss 541,495...

 over South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

, and from Da Nang Air Base
Da Nang Air Base
Da Nang Air Base was a Republic of Vietnam Air Force facility. The United States used it as a major base during the Vietnam War , stationing Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine units there...

 where operations were flown over Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

. One aircraft was lost in combat. Although declared a success, with the aircraft generally rated as capable a ground-attack aircraft as the F-100, but suffering from a shorter range, the program was considered a political gesture intended to aid the export of more F-5s than a serious consideration of the type for U.S. service. From April 1966 the aircraft continued operations as 10th Fighter Commando Squadron with their number boosted to 17 aircraft. (Following Skoshi Tiger the Philippine Air Force
Philippine Air Force
The Philippine Air Force is the air force of the Republic of the Philippines, and one of the three main services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Its official name in Filipino is Hukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas....

 acquired 23 F-5A and B models in 1965. These aircraft, along with remanufactured Vought F-8 Crusaders, eventually replaced the Philippine Air Force's North American F-86 Sabre in the air defense and ground attack roles.)
In June 1967, the 10th FCS's surviving aircraft were turned over to the air force of South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

, which previously had only A-37 Dragonfly
A-37 Dragonfly
The Cessna A-37 Dragonfly, or Super Tweet, is a United States light attack aircraft developed from the T-37 Tweet basic trainer in the 1960s and 1970s...

 and A-1 Skyraider
A-1 Skyraider
The Douglas A-1 Skyraider was an American single-seat attack aircraft that saw service between the late 1940s and early 1980s. It became a piston-powered, propeller-driven anachronism in the jet age, and was nicknamed "Spad", after a French World War I fighter...

 attack aircraft. This new VNAF squadron was titled the 522nd. The president of Vietnam had originally asked for F-4 Phantoms used by the Americans, but the VNAF flew primarily ground support as the communist forces employed no opposing aircraft over South Vietnam, MiG or otherwise. Ironically, when Bien Hoa
Bien Hoa
Biên Hòa is a city in Dong Nai province, Vietnam, about east of Ho Chi Minh City , to which Bien Hoa is linked by Vietnam Highway 1.- Demographics :In 1989 the estimated population was over 300,000. In 2005, the population wss 541,495...

 was later overrun by Communist forces, several of the aircraft were captured and used operationally by the NVAF, in particular against Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

. In view of the performance, agility and size of the F-5, it might have appeared to be a good match against the similar MiG-21 in air combat; however, US doctrine was to use heavy, faster and longer-range aircraft like the Republic F-105 Thunderchief and McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II over North Vietnam. Several of the F-5s left over from the Vietnam war were sent to Poland and Russia, for advanced study of US aviation technology, while others were decommissioned and put on display at museums in Vietnam.

Although the United States does not use the F-5 in a front line role, it was adopted for an opposing forces (OPFOR) "aggressor" for dissimilar training role because of its small size and performance similarities to the Soviet MiG-21.
The F-5E saw service with the US Air Force from 1975 until 1990, serving in the 64th Aggressor Squadron
64th Aggressor Squadron
The 64th Aggressor Squadron ' is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 57th Adversary Tactics Group and stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.-Overview:...

 and 65th Aggressor Squadron
65th Aggressor Squadron
The 65th Aggressor Squadron ' is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 57th Adversary Tactics Group and stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.-Overview:...

 at Nellis Air Force Base
Nellis Air Force Base
Nellis Air Force Base is a United States Air Force Base, located approximately northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. It is under the jurisdiction of Air Combat Command .-Overview:...

 in Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

, and with the 527th Aggressor Squadron at RAF Alconbury in the UK and the 26th Aggressor Squadron at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. The US Marines purchased ex-USAF models in 1989 to replace their F-21s
IAI Kfir
The Israel Aircraft Industries Kfir is an Israeli-built all-weather, multirole combat aircraft based on a modified Dassault Mirage 5 airframe, with Israeli avionics and an Israeli-made version of the General Electric J79 turbojet engine.-Background:...

, which served with VMFT-401
VMFT-401
Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401 is a United States Marine Corps Reserve fighter squadron flying the F-5N Tiger II. Known as the "Snipers", the squadron is the only adversary squadron in the Marine Corps. They are based at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and fall under the command of the 4th...

 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma or MCAS Yuma is a United States Marine Corps air station which is the home to multiple squadrons of AV-8B Harrier IIs of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 and Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401 , an air combat adversary...

. The U.S. Navy used the F-5E extensively at the Naval Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) when it was located at NAS Miramar, California. When TOPGUN relocated to become part of the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center
Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center
The Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center at Naval Air Station Fallon located in the city of Fallon in western Nevada is the center of excellence for naval aviation training and tactics development...

 at NAS Fallon, Nevada, the command divested itself of the F-5, choosing to rely on VC-13 (redesignated VFC-13
VFC-13
Fighter Squadron Composite Saints is a US Navy fighter squadron that provides adversary training for U.S. Navy air wings at NAS Fallon, Nevada.VFC-13 uses "Bogey" as its main radio callsign.-History:...

 and which already used F-5s) to employ their F-5s as adversary aircraft. Former adversary squadrons such as VF-43 at NAS Oceana, VF-45 at NAS Key West, VF-126 at NAS Miramar, and VFA-127 at NAS Lemoore have also operated the F-5 along with other aircraft types in support of Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT).

The U.S. Navy F-5 fleet continues to be modernized with 36 low-hour F-5E/Fs purchased from Switzerland in 2006. These were updated as F-5N/Fs with modernized avionics and other improved systems. Currently, the only U.S. Navy units flying the F-5 are VFC-13 at NAS Fallon, Nevada and VFC-111
VFC-111
Composite Fighter Squadron 111 Sundowners is a US Navy Reserve adversary squadron based at Naval Air Station Key West, Florida...

 at NAS Key West, Florida. Currently, VFC-111 operates 18 Northrop F-5N/F Tiger-IIs, of which 17 are single-seater F-5Ns and the remainder being a twin-seater F-5F, which was dubbed "FrankenTiger" and is one of only three in service with the USN, being a product of grafting the older front half fuselage of the F-5Fs into the back half fuselage of the newer low-hours F-5Es acquired from the Swiss Air Force.

According to the FAA, there are 18 privately owned F-5s in the US, including Canadair CF-5Ds.

Mexico



In 1982, Mexico received 12 F-5E/F after the purchase of 24 IAI Kfir C.1 were blocked by the U.S, because the Kfir used the American-produced J79 engine. These fighters accompanied the T-33 and Vampire MkIII (procured much earlier), two of the first combat jet aircraft in Mexico. The subsonic T-33 and Vampire were introduced in the early 60's. The F-5 gave Mexico it's first supersonic platform and saw the formation of Air Squadron 401. In 1995 after more than 30 military parade flights without incident, on September 16, 1995 during the military parade of the Independence of Mexico an F-5E collided in the air with three T-33. A total of 10 deaths occurred. Since then, flyovers in Mexico were smaller in participation, for safety. In 2007 the F-5 had its 25 year anniversary in Mexican Air Force service. Mexico is currently looking at the Lockheed Martin F-16 as a much-needed replacement for the aging F-5's by 2015. Air Squadron 402 are also looking to replace their Lockheed T-33's that were retired in 2007.{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}}{{Clarify|date=August 2011}}

Republic of China (Taiwan)


The Republic of China Air Force received its first batch of seven F-5As and two F-5Bs under the US Military Assistance Program in 1965. By 1971, the ROCAF was operating 72 F-5As and 11 F-5Bs. During 1972, the US decided to borrow 48 F-5As from Taiwan to boost the South Vietnam Air Force strength before withdrawing US forces from South Vietnam. By 1973 most of those loaned F-5As in South Vietnam were not in flying shape consequently the US decided to return 20 F-5As to Taiwan by drawing nine F-5As from US reserves while repairing a further 11 from those still in flying shape in South Vietnam. These were sent to Taiwan to make necessary repairs, with gave 28 F-5Es issued to Taiwan by May 1975 in return. By 1973, Taiwan's AIDC started local production of a first batch of 100 F-5Es in Taiwan, the first of six Peace Tiger production batches. By end of 1986 when the production line closed after completing Peace Tiger 6, the AIDC had produced 242 F-5Es and 66 F-5Fs. Adding the 28 original US-made F-5E/Fs, this made Taiwan the largest F-5E/F operator at one time, with 336 F-5E/Fs in inventory. A bit of F-20 influence can be seen in the last batch of F-5E/Fs by AIDC in Taiwan that featured the F-20's shark nose.

With the introduction of 150 F-16s, 60 Mirage 2000-5s and 130 F-CK-1s in mid- to late-1990s, the F-5E/F series became second line fighters in ROCAF service and mostly are now withdrawn from service as squadrons converted to new fighters entering ROCAF service. Seven low airframe hours F-5Es were sent to ST Aerospace
ST Aerospace
Singapore Technologies Aerospace is a subsidiary of ST Engineering based in Singapore, with international offices and facilities located in key aviation hubs in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the US...

 to convert them to RF-5E standard to fulfill a reconnaissance role previously undertaken by the retiring RF-104G in ROCAF service. As of 2009, only about 40 ROCAF F-5E/Fs still remain in service in training roles with about 90-100 F-5E/Fs held in reserve. The other retired F-5E/F are either scrapped, or used as decoys painted in colors representing the main front line F-16, Mirage 2000-5 or F-CK-1 fighters, and deployed around major air bases.

Taiwan also tried to upgrade the F-5E/F fleet with AIDC's Tiger 2000/2001 program. The first flight took place on 24 July 2002. The program would replace the F-5E/F's radar with F-CK-1's GD-53 radar and allow the fighter to carry a single TC-2 BVRAAM on the centerline. But lack of interest from the Taiwan/ROC Air Force eventually killed the program. The only prototype is on display in AIDC in Central Taiwan.

The only air combat actions ROCAF F-5E/F pilots saw, were not over Taiwan, but in North Yemen. In 1979, a flareup between North and South Yemen prompted the US to sell 14 F-5E/Fs to North Yemen to boost its air defense. Since no one in North Yemen knew how to fly the F-5E/F (only MiG-15s were operational at the time), US and Saudi Arabia arranged to have 80+ ROCAF F-5E pilots (eight pilots per year) plus ground crew and anti-air defense units sent to North Yemen as part of North Yemen Air Force's 115th Squadron at Sana‘a operating initially just six F-5E/Fs and then from April 1979 to May 1990, added eight more. The ROCAF piloted F-5E/F scored a few kills in a few air battles, but the ground early warning radar crews and anti-air units also suffered from air attacks from South Yemen, the aircraft being piloted by Soviet crews.

Iran



The Imperial Iranian Air Force received extensive US equipment in the 1960s and 1970s. Iran received its first 11 F-5A and two F-5Bs in February 1965 which were then declared operational in June 1965. Ultimately, Iran received 104 F-5A and 23 F-5Bs by 1972. From January 1974 with the first squadron of 28 F-5Fs, Iran received a total of 166 F-5E/F and 15 additional RF-5Es with deliveries ending in 1976. While receiving the F-5E and F, Iran started selling its F-5A and Bs to other countries including Ethiopia, Turkey, Greece and South Vietnam; by 1976, they were all sold apart from some F-5Bs retained for training.

After the revolution, the new Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force was partially successful keeping Western fighters in service during the war with Iraq in the 1980s and the simple F-5 had a good service readiness until late in the war. Initially Iran took spare parts from foreign sources, later it was able to have its new aircraft industry keep the aircraft flying.

During the war with Iraq, IRIAF F-5s were heavily involved, flying air-to-air and air-to-ground sorties. Iranian F-5s took part in many air combats with Iraqi MiG-21, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 is a variable-geometry fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau in the Soviet Union. It is considered to belong to the Soviet third generation jet fighter category, along with similarly aged Soviet fighters such as the MiG-25 "Foxbat"...

, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 is a supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft that was among the fastest military aircraft to enter service. Designed by the Soviet Union's Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau the first prototype flew in 1964 with entry into service in 1970...

, Su-20/22
Sukhoi Su-17
The Sukhoi Su-17 is a Soviet attack aircraft developed from the Sukhoi Su-7 fighter-bomber. It enjoyed a long career in Soviet, later Russian, service and was widely exported to communist and Middle Eastern air forces, under names Su-20 and Su-22.-Development:Seeking to improve low-speed and...

, Mirage F-1 and Super Etendards scoring many victories but also suffering many losses. However the exact combat record is not known with many different claims from Iraqi, Iranian and even Western and Russian sources. Adding to the haze surrounding the F-5's combat record is that many of the IRIAF's confirmed air-to-air kills were, for political reasons, attributed to the Revolutionary Guards. Nonetheless, there are reports that an F-5E, piloted by Major Yadollah Javadpour, managed to shoot down a MiG-25 on 6 August 1983. Additionally, his five claimed aerial victories, with two confirmed kills make Javadpour an ace and the world's most successful F-5 combat pilot.

From a general standpoint, during the first years of service, Iranian F-5 fighter aircraft had the advantage in missile technology, using advanced versions of the IR seeking Sidewinder, later lost with deliveries of new missiles and fighters to Iraq.

Iran currently produces an indigenous aircraft titled, "Saegeh", which is built on the same platform as the F-5, and probably armed with Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n-made or Chinese
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

-made munitions such as AA-10 Alamo, AA-11 Archer or C-802
C-802
The Yingji-82 or YJ-82 is a Chinese anti-ship missile first unveiled in 1989 by the China Haiying Electro-Mechanical Technology Academy , also known as the Third Academy...

.{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}}

Ethiopia


Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 received 10 F-5As and two F-5Bs from the US starting in 1966. In addition to these, Ethiopia had a training squadron equipped with at least eight Lockheed T-33 Shooting Stars. In 1970, Iran transferred at least three F-5As and Bs to Ethiopia. In 1975, another agreement was reached with the US to deliver a number of military aircraft, including 14 F-5Es and three F-5Fs; later in the same year eight F-5Es were transferred while the others were embargoed and delivered to a USAF aggressor Squadron due to the changed political situation. The US also withdrew its personnel and cut diplomatic relations. Ethiopian officers contracted a number of Israelis to maintain American equipment.

The Ethiopian F-5 fighters saw combat action against Somali forces during the Ogaden War
Ogaden War
The Ogaden War was a conventional conflict between Somalia and Ethiopia in 1977 and 1978 over the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. In a notable illustration of the nature of Cold War alliances, the Soviet Union switched from supplying aid to Somalia to supporting Ethiopia, which had previously been...

 (1977–1978). The main Somali fighter aircraft was the MiG-21MF delivered in the 1970s, supported by Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 is a high-subsonic fighter aircraft produced in the USSR from 1952 and operated by numerous air forces in many variants. Most MiG-17 variants cannot carry air-to-air missiles, but shot down many aircraft with its cannons...

s delivered in the 1960s by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. Ethiopian F-5E aircraft were used to gain air superiority because they could use the AIM-9B air to air missile, while the F-5As were kept for air interdiction
Air interdiction
Air interdiction is the use of aircraft to attack tactical ground targets that are not in close proximity to friendly ground forces. It differs from close air support because it does not directly support ground operations and is not closely coordinated with ground units...

 and air strike. During this period Ethiopian F-5Es went on training against Ethiopian F-5As and F-86 Sabres (simulating Somali MiG-21s and MiG-17s).

On 17 July 1977, two Ethiopian F-5s were on combat air patrol near Harer, when four Somali MiG-21MFs were detected nearby. In the engagement, two MiG-21s were shot down while the other two had a midair collision while avoiding a AIM-9B missile. The better-trained Ethiopian Air Force
Ethiopian Air Force
The Ethiopian Air Force is the air arm of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and is tasked with protecting the air space, providing support to the ground forces as well as assisting during national emergencies.- Early years :...

 F-5 pilots swiftly gained air superiority over the Somali Air Force, shooting down a number of aircraft, while other Somali aircraft were lost to air defense and to incidents. However at least three F-5s were shot down by air defense forces during attacks against supply bases in western Somalia.

Morocco


F-5As and F-5Bs took part in the Polisario War in Western Sahara
Western Sahara
Western Sahara is a disputed territory in North Africa, bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its surface area amounts to . It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly...

 in the 1980s. During the war, the Polisario Front
Polisario Front
The POLISARIO, Polisario Front, or Frente Polisario, from the Spanish abbreviation of Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro is a Sahrawi rebel national liberation movement working for the independence of Western Sahara from Morocco...

 was aided by East European, Cuban and Algerian advisers. They were armed with heavy weapons and even with sophisticated heavy SA-6 anti-aircraft systems. Some 14 F-5s were lost during combat. A total of 24 F-5Es have been upgraded to F-5TIII standard.

Saudi Arabia


During the Gulf War, Saudi F-5Es flew close air support and aerial interdiction missions against Iraqi units in Kuwait. One RSAF F-5E was lost to ground fire on 13 February 1991. The pilot was killed in action. In Saudi Arabian service, approximately 20 Tigers have been lost to various causes over the years.

Norway


The Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

 received 108 Freedom Fighters: 16 RF-5A, 78 F-5A and 14 F-5B. The first 64 were received as military aid. They were in use by several squadrons, the first and last being 336 Squadron receiving the first aircraft in February 1966 (formal handing-over ceremony a month later), and deactivating in August 2000. Three aircraft were kept flying until 2007, serving with Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk's Eye of the Tiger-project, developing the Naval Strike Missile
Naval Strike Missile
The Naval Strike Missile is an anti-ship and land-attack missile developed by the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace , and whose initial serial production contract was signed in June 2007. It has been chosen by the Royal Norwegian Navy for its new Fridtjof Nansen class frigates and...

. The aircraft received under military aid were handed off to Greece and Turkey. Of the aircraft bought by the Norwegian Government, nine were used in exchange with US authorities for submarines of the Kobben class. Five F-5s were given to aircraft maintenance schools
Aircraft Maintenance Technician
Aircraft maintenance technician, as used in the United States, refers to an individual who holds a mechanic certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration; the rules for certification, and for certificate-holders, are detailed in Subpart D of Part 65 of the Federal Aviation Regulations ,...

 in October 2011. The remaining 10 are being stored at Rygge. Three survivors are exhibited at the Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection
Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection
Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection is a military aviation museum located in Gardermoen, near Oslo, Norway. The museum was established in 1967, with a Heinkel He 111 and a Northrop N-3PB as one of the first objects. However, the museum was not opened for the public until 1984...

, and two at Norsk Luftfartsmuseum in Bodø.

Philippines


The Philippines has decommissioned their remaining F-5A/B fleet that were transferred from Taiwan and South Korea, although six to eight F-5s remain in flyable condition in case of a national emergency, with two F-5s being an upgraded variant.

Singapore


Singapore is an important operator of the F-5E/F variant, first ordering the aircraft in 1976 during a massive expansion of the city-state's armed forces; delivery of this first batch of 18 F-5Es and three F-5Fs was completed by late February 1979, equipping the newly formed-up No. 144 Black Kite Squadron
144 Squadron, Republic of Singapore Air Force
The 144 Squadron "Blackite" of the Republic of Singapore Air Force is a fighter-bomber squadron based at Paya Lebar Air Base, the squadron goes by the motto "Dare To Excel" with the Black Kite adopted as its mascot.-History:...

 at Tengah Air Base. At the end of 1979, an order was placed for six more F-5Es, these were was delivered by 1981. In 1982, an order for three more F-5Fs was placed, these were forward delivered in September 1983 to RAF Leuchars
RAF Leuchars
RAF Leuchars is the most northerly air defence station in the United Kingdom. It is located in Leuchars, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland, near to the university town of St Andrews.-Operations:...

 in Scotland where they were taken over by pilots of the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

 (RSAF). In 1983, the type took over the duties of airborne interception
Interceptor aircraft
An interceptor aircraft is a type of fighter aircraft designed specifically to prevent missions of enemy aircraft, particularly bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. Interceptors generally rely on high speed and powerful armament in order to complete their mission as quickly as possible and set up...

 from RAAF's Mirage IIIO
Dassault Mirage III
The Mirage III is a supersonic fighter aircraft designed by Dassault Aviation during the late 1950s, and manufactured both in France and a number of other countries. It was a successful fighter aircraft, being sold to many air forces around the world and remaining in production for over a decade...

s detachment stationed at Tengah.

Another order for six more F-5Es was placed in 1985, these were delivered the same year and would go on to equip the newly formed-up No. 149 Shikra Squadron
149 Squadron, Republic of Singapore Air Force
The 149 Squadron "Shikra" of the Republic of Singapore Air Force is a fighter-bomber squadron based at Paya Lebar Air Base, the squadron goes by the motto "Steadfast" with the Shikra adopted as its mascot.-History:...

 at Tengah. The following year, the RSAF placed an order for its final batch of three F-5Fs and five F-5Es, these were delivered in December 1987 and July 1989, respectively. In a bid to modernise their air force, the Royal Jordanian Air Force put up seven F-5Es for sale in 1994, these were later acquired by Singapore.

From 1990 to 1991, using jigs and toolings purchased from Northrop, Singapore Aircraft Industries (SAI, now ST Aerospace
ST Aerospace
Singapore Technologies Aerospace is a subsidiary of ST Engineering based in Singapore, with international offices and facilities located in key aviation hubs in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the US...

) converted 8 existing F-5Es into RF-5E Tigereye variant. Subsequently, these were used to requipped No. 141 Merlin Squadron, which had traded in their older Hawker Hunter
Hawker Hunter
The Hawker Hunter is a subsonic British jet aircraft developed in the 1950s. The single-seat Hunter entered service as a manoeuvrable fighter aircraft, and later operated in fighter-bomber and reconnaissance roles in numerous conflicts. Two-seat variants remained in use for training and secondary...

 FR.74S for the newer Tigereyes in 1992 and was by then based at Paya Lebar Air Base, after the 144 Squadron had relocated there in 1986. By June 1993, all three squadrons had been relocated to the base, thus consolidating Singapore's F-5E/F operations at Paya Lebar.

In late 1991, SAI was further awarded a contract by RSAF to mordernise and upgrade all the F-5E/F in RSAF's inventory (including the 7 ex-Jordanian F-5Es), with main-sub contractor Elbit Systems
Elbit Systems
Elbit Systems Ltd. is one of the world's largest defense electronics manufacturers and integrators. Established in 1967, and based in Haifa, Israel, Elbit employs 11,000 people worldwide....

 responsible for systems integration. Included in the package was a new X band
X band
The X band is a segment of the microwave radio region of the electromagnetic spectrum. In some cases, such as in communication engineering, the frequency range of X band is rather indefinitely set at approximately 7.0 to 11.2 gigahertz . In radar engineering, the frequency range is specified...

 multi-mode radar (the Italian FIAR Grifo-F, with Beyond-visual-range missile and Look-down/shoot-down
Look-down/shoot-down
Look-down/shoot-down is a capability a radar system is said to possess if it is able to detect, track and put a weapon onto an air target moving below the horizon as seen by the radar...

 capabilities), a revamped cockpit with new MIL-STD-1553R databuses, GEC/Ferranti
Ferranti
Ferranti or Ferranti International plc was a UK electrical engineering and equipment firm that operated for over a century from 1885 until it went bankrupt in 1993. Known primarily for defence electronics, the Company was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but ceased trading in 1993.The...

 4510 Head-up display
Head-Up Display
A head-up display or heads-up display is any transparent display that presents data without requiring users to look away from their usual viewpoints...

/weapons delivery system, two BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

 MED-2067 Multi-function display
Multi-function display
A Multi-function display is a small screen in an aircraft surrounded by multiple buttons that can be used to display information to the pilot in numerous configurable ways. Often an MFD will be used in concert with a Primary Flight Display. MFDs are part of the digital era of modern planes or...

s, Litton
Litton Industries
Named after inventor Charles Litton, Sr., Litton Industries was a large defense contractor in the United States, bought by the Northrop Grumman Corporation in 2001.-History:...

 LN-93 inertial navigation system
Inertial navigation system
An inertial navigation system is a navigation aid that uses a computer, motion sensors and rotation sensors to continuously calculate via dead reckoning the position, orientation, and velocity of a moving object without the need for external references...

 (similar to all those found on ST Aerospace A-4SU Super Skyhawks) and Hands On Throttle-And-Stick controls (HOTAS)
HOTAS
HOTAS, an abbreviation for Hands On Throttle-And-Stick, is the name given to the concept of placing buttons and switches on the throttle stick and flight control stick in an aircraft's cockpit, allowing the pilot to access vital cockpit functions and fly the aircraft without having to remove his...

 to reduce pilot workload. Reportedly, the Elisra SPS2000 radar warning receiver
Radar warning receiver
Radar warning receiver systems detect the radio emissions of radar systems. Their primary purpose is to issue a warning when a radar signal that might be a threat is detected. The warning can then be used, manually or automatically, to evade the detected threat...

 and countermeasure system was also installed. Additionally, the starboard M-39 20mm cannon mounted in the nose was removed to make way for additional avionics (the sole cannon fitted to the two-seaters was removed because of this), and to improve maneuverability, all the upgraded aircraft were also fitted with larger leading edge root extensions (LERX). The process of rebuilding and upgrading began in March 1996 and was completed by 2001. As a result, they received the new designation of F-5S/T. In 1998, the eight RF-5Es were also upgraded, receiving the full upgrade except for the radar, these were later redesignated as RF-5S.

By end of 2009, the type had accumulated more than 170,000 hours of flight hours in Singapore service with only two F-5Es being lost in separate accidents (in 1984 and 1991, respectively). In a 2009 interview in the air force's newsletter, Singapore's former Chief of Air Force and F-5 pilot, Major General Ng Chee Khern
Ng Chee Khern
Major General Ng Chee Khern 黄志勤 is currently the Director of Singapore's Security and Intelligence Division. He was formerly the Chief of the Republic of Singapore Air Force ....

 commented that: {{quotation|"The F-5 earned a reputation of a jet that was hard to discern in the air and when one finally saw it, it was often after a missile or guns kill had already been called.}}

As of June 2011, only 141 and 144 Squadron are left operating the RF-5S and F-5S/T, as 149 Squadron has since formally transitioned to the McDonnell Douglas F-15SG Strike Eagles on 5 April 2010.

Single-seat versions



N-156F: Single-seat fighter prototype. Only three aircraft were built.

YF-5A: The three prototypes were given the US Air Force designation YF-5A.

F-5A: Single-seat fighter version of F-5, originally without radar, but was later equipped with AN/APQ-153 radar during upgrades.

F-5A (G): Single-seat fighter version of the F-5A for the Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

.

XF-5A: This designation was given to one aircraft used for static tests.

A-9: Designation of Spanish built F-5A which served in the Ejército del Aire

F-5C Skoshi Tiger: 12 F-5A Freedom Fighters, were tested by the US Air Force for four and a half months in Vietnam.

F-5E Tiger II: Single-seat fighter version with AN/APQ-159 replacing earlier AN/APQ-153 in F-5A.

F-5E Tiger III: Upgraded version of the F-5E in use by the Chilean Air Force
Chilean Air Force
The Chilean Air Force is the air force of Chile, a branch of the Chilean military.-History:The first step towards the current FACh was taken by Teniente Coronel Pedro Pablo Dartnell, when he founded the Servicio de Aviación Militar de Chile on December 20, 1910, being trained as a pilot in France...

, with EL/M-2032
EL/M-2032
The EL/M-2032 is an advanced pulse Doppler, multimode Fire Control Radar intended for multi-role fighter aircraft originated from the Lavi project. It is suitable for air-to-air and air-to-surface modes....

 radar replacing the original AN/APQ-159.

F-5E/F: A single Swiss Air Force F-5E with F-5F Wings. Currently (2011), this aircraft is part of the Museum at Meiringen AFB

F-5G: The temporary designation given to the F-20 Tigershark
F-20 Tigershark
The Northrop F-20 Tigershark was a privately-financed light fighter, designed and built by Northrop. Its development began in 1975 as a further evolution of Northrop's F-5E Tiger II, featuring a new engine that greatly improved overall performance, and a modern avionics suite including a powerful...

, armed with General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

 AN/APG-67 radar.

F-5N: Ex-Swiss Air Force F-5Es used by the US Navy as "aggressor" aircraft, with AN/APG-69 replacing the original AN/APQ-159. Intended to replace high-time USN/USMC F-5Es in the adversary role, and see service through to 2015.

F-5S: Upgraded version of the F-5E in use by the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

, equipped with the Galileo Avionica's FIAR Grifo-F X-band radar and are capable of firing the AIM-120 AMRAAM
AIM-120 AMRAAM
The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM , is a modern beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. Designed with the same form-factor as the previous generation of semi-active guided Sparrow missiles, it is a fire-and-forget...

.

F-5T Tigris: Upgraded version of the F-5E of Royal Thai Air Force
Royal Thai Air Force
The Royal Thai Air Force or RTAF is the air force of the Kingdom of Thailand. Since its establishment in 1913, as one of the earliest air forces of Asia, the Royal Thai Air Force had engaged in many major and minor battles. During the Vietnam war era, the air force has been developed with USAF-aid...

 by Israel, also armed with EL/M-2032.

F-5EM: Upgraded version of the F-5E of Brazilian Air Force
Brazilian Air Force
The Brazilian Air Force is the air branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces and one of the three national uniformed services. The FAB was formed when the Army and Navy air branch were merged into a single military force initially called "National Air Forces"...

 armed with Italian Grifo-F radar.
F-5TIII: Upgraded version of the F-5E,in service with the Royal Moroccan Air Force.

Reconnaissance versions


RF-5A: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5A fighter. Approximately 120 were built.

RF-5A (G): Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5A fighter for the Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

.

RF-5E Tigereye: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5E fighter. The RF-5E Tigereye was exported to Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and Malaysia.

RF-5E Tigergazer: Seven upgraded single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5E for Taiwan by ST Aerospace
ST Aerospace
Singapore Technologies Aerospace is a subsidiary of ST Engineering based in Singapore, with international offices and facilities located in key aviation hubs in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the US...

.

RF-5S Tigereye: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the F-5S for the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

.

AR-9: Spanish reconnaissance aircraft

Two-seat versions




F-5-21
Temporarily designation given to the YF-5B.

YF-5B
One F-5B was fitted with a 5,000 lbf (2,268 kgf) General Electric J85-GE-21 engine, and used as a prototype for the F-5E Tiger II.

F-5B
Two-seat fighter version for the Republic of Korea Air Force
Republic of Korea Air Force
The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

, armed with AN/APQ-157 radar.

F-5B(G)
Two-seat trainer version of the F-5B for the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

F-5B M
Two-seat trainer version in use by the Spanish Air Force
Spanish Air Force
-The early stages:Hot air balloons had been used with military purposes in Spain as far back as 1896. In 1905, with the help of Alfredo Kindelán, Leonardo Torres y Quevedo directed the construction of the first Spanish dirigible in the Army Military Aerostatics Service, created in 1896 and located...

 for air combat training.

F-5D
Unbuilt trainer version.

F-5F Tiger II
Two-seat trainer version of F-5E Tiger II, AN/APQ-167 radar tested, intended to replace AN/APQ-157, but not carried out.

F-5F Tiger III
Upgraded trainer version of the F-5F in use by the Chilean Air Force.

F-5T
Upgraded F-5F in use by the Republic of Singapore Air Force
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

.

F-5FM
Upgraded trainer version of the F-5F for the Brazilian Air Force
Brazilian Air Force
The Brazilian Air Force is the air branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces and one of the three national uniformed services. The FAB was formed when the Army and Navy air branch were merged into a single military force initially called "National Air Forces"...

.

Licensed versions


CF-5: Fighter versions for the Canadian Forces Air Command
Canadian Forces Air Command
The Royal Canadian Air Force , formerly Canadian Forces Air Command, is one of three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces...

 built under license by Canadair
Canadair
Canadair Ltd. was a civil and military aircraft manufacturer in Canada. It was a subsidiary of other aircraft manufacturers, then a nationalized corporation until privatized in 1986, and became the core of Bombardier Aerospace....

. Its Canadian designation is CF-116.

NF-5A: Single-seat fighter version of the CF-5A for the Royal Netherlands Air Force
Royal Netherlands Air Force
The Royal Netherlands Air Force , Dutch Koninklijke Luchtmacht , is the military aviation branch of the Netherlands Armed Forces. Its ancestor, the Luchtvaartafdeling of the Dutch Army was founded on 1 July 1913, with four pilots...

; 75 built.

NF-5B: Two-seat training version of the CF-5D for the Royal Netherlands Air force; 30 built.

SF-5A: Single-seat fighter version of the F-5A for the Spanish Air Force
Spanish Air Force
-The early stages:Hot air balloons had been used with military purposes in Spain as far back as 1896. In 1905, with the help of Alfredo Kindelán, Leonardo Torres y Quevedo directed the construction of the first Spanish dirigible in the Army Military Aerostatics Service, created in 1896 and located...

; built under licence in Spain by CASA
Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA
Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA , was a Spanish aircraft manufacturer. It became EADS CASA the Spanish branch of EADS in 1999, but was absorbed by Airbus Military in 2009...

.

SRF-5A: Single-seat reconnaissance version of the RF-5A for the Spanish Air force; built under license in Spain By CASA.

SF-5B: Two-seat training version of the F-5B for the Spanish Air Force. Built under license in Spain by CASA.

VF-5A: Single-seat version of the CF-5A for the Venezuelan Air Force. This designation was given to some Canadair CF-116s which were sold to the Venezuelan Air Force.

VF-5D: Two-seat training version of the CF-5D for the Venezuelan Air Force.

KF-5E: F-5E built in South Korea for Republic of Korea Air Force
Republic of Korea Air Force
The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

. First introduction: September, 1982; 48 built.

KF-5F: F-5F built in South Korea for Republic of Korea Air Force
Republic of Korea Air Force
The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

. First introduction: September, 1982; 20 built.

Chung Chen: F-5E/F built in Taiwan for Republic of China Air Force
Republic of China Air Force
The Republic of China Air Force is the aviation branch of the Republic of China Armed Forces. The ROCAF's primary mission is the defense of the airspace over and around Taiwan...

 by AIDC. First introduction: October 30, 1974, one day before the late President Chiang Kai Shek's 88th birthday, and was thus christened "Chung Chen", an alias of President Chiang; 308 built.

Unlicensed versions


Azarakhsh :F-5E built in Iran with unknown modifications and a mid wing.

Sa'eqeh :F-5E modified in Iran with canted, twin vertical stabilizers.

F-20 Tigershark


{{Main|F-20 Tigershark}}

Northrop attempted to develop an advanced version of the F-5E, originally designated F-5G, as an export competitor for the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The F-5G was later redesignated the F-20 Tigershark. It received favorable reviews as a less expensive but capable alternative to early-block variants of the F-16 (and superior to the similarly never-purchased export variant F-16/79), but it never had the appeal of the much newer fighter design even at a lower cost.

Northrop YF-17


{{Main|Northrop YF-17}}

The Northrop YF-17's aircraft's main design elements date from the F-5 based internal Northrop project N-300. The N-300 featured a longer fuselage, small leading-edge root extensions (LERX), and more powerful GE15-J1A1 turbojets. The wing was moved higher on the fuselage to increase ordnance flexibility. The N-300 further evolved into the P-530 Cobra. The P-530's wing planform and nose section was similar to the F-5, with a trapezoidal shape formed by a sweep of 20° at the quarter-chord line, and an unswept trailing edge, but was over double the area. While the YF-17 lost its bid for the USAF lightweight fighter, it would be developed into the larger McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.

Operators


{{BHR}}
  • Bahrain Air Force received eight F-5Es and two F-5Fs in between 1985 and 1987.

{{BOT}}
  • Botswana Air Force purchased 10 upgraded CF-5As and 3 CF-5Ds from Canada in 1996. A further two CF-5Ds were purchased in 2000.

{{BRA}}
  • Brazilian Air Force
    Brazilian Air Force
    The Brazilian Air Force is the air branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces and one of the three national uniformed services. The FAB was formed when the Army and Navy air branch were merged into a single military force initially called "National Air Forces"...

     operates 57 custom upgraded F-5Es. To be retired in 2015.

{{CHI}}
  • Chilean Air Force
    Chilean Air Force
    The Chilean Air Force is the air force of Chile, a branch of the Chilean military.-History:The first step towards the current FACh was taken by Teniente Coronel Pedro Pablo Dartnell, when he founded the Servicio de Aviación Militar de Chile on December 20, 1910, being trained as a pilot in France...

    : Chile purchased 15 F-Es and three F-5Fs in the 1970s, these being upgraded to Tigre III standard from 1993. In 1995, it supplemented its fleet with 10 F-5Es and two F-5Fs from Honduras. A total of 16 F-5Es were replaced in 2009 by 16 F-16 MLU T5s. A total of 10 F-5s remain operational as of 2009.

{{ROC-TW}}
  • Republic of China Air Force
    Republic of China Air Force
    The Republic of China Air Force is the aviation branch of the Republic of China Armed Forces. The ROCAF's primary mission is the defense of the airspace over and around Taiwan...

    : Received 115 F-5A and B from 1965, 48 were transferred to South Vietnam before 1975. From 1973 to 1986, Taiwan produced 308 F-5E/Fs under license. Later batches of locally AIDC licensed production of Tiger IIs were fitted with flare/chaff dispensers, plus handling qualities upgrades with enlarged LEX and F-20's shark nose, and radar warning receivers(RWR).

{{HON}}
  • Honduran Air Force
    Honduran Air Force
    The Honduras Air Force is the air force of Honduras. As such it is the air power arm of the Honduras Armed Forces.-History:...


{{IDN}}
  • Indonesian Air Force
    Indonesian Air Force
    The Indonesian Air Force is the air force branch of the Indonesian National Armed Forces.The Indonesian Air Force has 34,930 personnel equipped with 110 combat aircraft including Su-27 and Su-30.-Before Indonesian independence :...

    : All 16 F-5Es have been retired since late 2005 but are in reserve in case of future use.

{{IRN}}
  • Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
    Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
    The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force ' is the aviation branch of the Iranian armed forces. The present Air Force came into being in the early 1980s when the former Imperial Iranian Air Force was renamed....

    : 60 or 75 F-5E and F operational; 140 originally delivered
  • Unknown numbers of HESA Saeqeh and HESA Azarakhsh fighters derived from the F-5 design

{{JOR}}
  • Royal Jordanian Air Force
    Royal Jordanian Air Force
    The Royal Jordanian Air Force is the air force branch of the Jordanian Armed Forces.-Early days:...


{{KEN}}
  • Kenya Air Force
    Kenya Air Force
    The Kenya Air Force is the national Air Force of Kenya.The main airbase operating fighters is Laikipia Air Base in Nanyuki, while Moi Air Base in Eastleigh, Nairobi is the HQ & operations Kenya Air Force. Other bases include FOB Mombasa The Kenya Air Force (KAF) is the national Air Force of...

    : In July 2008, it was reported that Kenya will spend 1.5 billion KSh
    Kenyan shilling
    The shilling is the currency of Kenya. It is divisible into 100 cents.-Coins:The first coins were issued in 1966 in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 shillings. Twenty-five cents coins were not minted after 1969; 2 shillings coins were last minted in 1971...

     to buy 15 former Jordanian Air Force F-5s, 13 F-5E and two F-5F (plus training and spare parts). They will be added or eventually replace the current F-5 fleet

{{ROK}}
  • Republic of Korea Air Force
    Republic of Korea Air Force
    The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

     received a total of 340 F-5s (88 F-5A, 30 F-5B, 8 RF-5A, 126 F-5E, 20 F-5F, 48 KF-5E, and 20 KF-5F).

{{MEX}}
  • Mexican Air Force
    Mexican Air Force
    The Mexican Air Force is the aviation branch of the Mexican Army and depends on the National Defense Secretariat . Since 2008, its commander is Gen...

     received 12 F-5s in 1982.{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}} The service currently operates eight F-5Es and two F-5Fs.

{{MAR}}
  • Royal Moroccan Air Force
    Royal Moroccan Air Force
    The Royal Moroccan Air Force is the air force branch of the Moroccan Armed Forces.-History:...

     operates 33 F-5A/Bs including nine F-5E/Fs and 24 upgraded F-5TIIIs.{{Citation needed|date=July 2010}}

{{MAS}}
{{SAU}}
  • Royal Saudi Air Force
    Royal Saudi Air Force
    The Royal Saudi Air Force , is the aviation branch of the Saudi Arabian armed forces. The RSAF has developed from a largely defensive military force into one with an advanced offensive capability...

    : 110 F-5E/Fs withdrawn from active service aside from in the trainer role, some squadrons such as #10 based in Taif will be replaced with Eurofighter Typhoon
    Eurofighter Typhoon
    The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole combat aircraft, designed and built by a consortium of three companies: EADS, Alenia Aeronautica and BAE Systems; working through a holding company, Eurofighter GmbH, which was formed in 1986...

    .

{{SIN}}
  • Republic of Singapore Air Force
    Republic of Singapore Air Force
    The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

    : operates 32× F-5S, 9× F-5T and 8× RF-5S.

{{ESP}}
  • Spanish Air Force
    Spanish Air Force
    -The early stages:Hot air balloons had been used with military purposes in Spain as far back as 1896. In 1905, with the help of Alfredo Kindelán, Leonardo Torres y Quevedo directed the construction of the first Spanish dirigible in the Army Military Aerostatics Service, created in 1896 and located...

    , operates 20 F-5Bs as trainers for fighter school.

 Sudan
  • Sudanese Air Force
    Sudanese Air Force
    The Sudanese Air Force is the air force operated by the Republic of the Sudan. As such it is part of the Sudanese Armed Forces.-History:The Sudanese Air Force was founded immediately after Sudan gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1956. The British assisted in the Air Force's...

    : 10 F-5Es and two F-5F were delivered in 1978, One of the F-5Fs was sold to Jordan
    Jordan
    Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

    . further two F-5s defected to Sudan from Ethiopia
    Ethiopia
    Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

     during the Ogaden crisis.


{{SUI}}
  • Swiss Air Force
    Swiss Air Force
    The Swiss Air Force is the air component of the Swiss Armed Forces, established on July 31, 1914, as part of the Army and as of January 1966 an independent service.In peacetime, Dübendorf is the operational Air Force HQ...

    : Operating 42 F-5E and 12 F-5F Tiger II.

{{THA}}
  • Royal Thai Air Force
    Royal Thai Air Force
    The Royal Thai Air Force or RTAF is the air force of the Kingdom of Thailand. Since its establishment in 1913, as one of the earliest air forces of Asia, the Royal Thai Air Force had engaged in many major and minor battles. During the Vietnam war era, the air force has been developed with USAF-aid...

    : F-5A retired. Now operates F-5B/E/F/T, F-5B/E slated for retirement in 2011-2012, to be replaced by 12-JAS 39 Gripen
    JAS 39 Gripen
    The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a lightweight single-engine multirole fighter manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. It was designed to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen in the Swedish Air Force...

    . The last F-5 fleet, upgraded F-5T Tigris and F-5F will continue to serve to 2015-2020.

{{TUN}}
  • Tunisian Air Force
    Tunisian Air Force
    The Tunisian Air Force is one of the branches of the Tunisian Armed Forces.-Air Force:The Tunisian Air Force was established in 1959, three years after Tunisia regained its independence from France. It took deliveries of its first aircraft, eight Saab 91 Safirs, in 1960, later to be complemented...



{{TUR}}
  • Turkish Air Force
    Turkish Air Force
    The Turkish Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the Turkish Armed Forces. It ranks 3rd in NATO in terms of fleet size behind the USAF and Royal Air Force with a current inventory of 798 aircraft .-Initial stages:...

    : More than 200 F-5A/Bs and NF-5A/Bs were bought from various countries. Between 40 and 50 of them were upgraded to F-5/2000 standard during the 2000s; Turkish Stars
    Turkish Stars
    The Turkish Stars are the aerobatic demonstration team of the Turkish Air Force and the national aerobatics team of Turkey.The team was formed on November 7, 1992 and was named the Turkish Stars on January 11, 1993....

     aerobatic team. In total, 50 NF-5A and 25 NF-5B remain operational.

{{USA}}
  • United States Marine Corps
    United States Marine Corps
    The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

  • United States Navy
    United States Navy
    The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...


{{VEN}}
  • Venezuelan Air Force

{{YEM}}
  • Yemen Air Force
    Yemen Air Force
    -North and South Yemen:The Yemen Air Force, known as al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Yamaniya, was established in 1926. During the mid-1950s, the Imam of Yemen established a private fleet that was run by the military. Later, the Russians delivered MiG-15 and MiG-17 fighters, followed by MiG-21s to the...

    : North Yemen Air Force's 14 F-5E/F fleet were initially piloted by ROCAF/Taiwan pilots as part of 115th Squadron at Sana‘a, from April 1979 to May 1990, to boost its air defense.

Former operators


{{AUT}}
  • Austrian Air Force
    Austrian Air Force
    The Austrian Air Force is a component part of the Austrian armed forces .-History:The Austrian Air Force was formed in May 1955 by the victorious Allied powers, subject to restrictions on its use of guided missiles...

    : On loan from Switzerland – all aircraft returned and replaced by Eurofighters

{{CAN}}
  • Canadian Forces
    Canadian Forces
    The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

     – see Canadair CF-5

{{CHI}}
  • Chilean Air Force
    Chilean Air Force
    The Chilean Air Force is the air force of Chile, a branch of the Chilean military.-History:The first step towards the current FACh was taken by Teniente Coronel Pedro Pablo Dartnell, when he founded the Servicio de Aviación Militar de Chile on December 20, 1910, being trained as a pilot in France...

    : Chile purchased 15 F-Es and 3 F-5Fs in the 1970s, these being upgraded to Tigre III standard from 1993. In 1995, it supplemented its fleet with 10 F-5Es and 2 F-5Fs from Honduras. 16 F-5Es were replaced in 2009 by 16 F-16 Fighting Falcon MLU T5. A total of 10 F-5s remain operational as of 2009.

{{ETH}}
  • Ethiopian Air Force
    Ethiopian Air Force
    The Ethiopian Air Force is the air arm of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and is tasked with protecting the air space, providing support to the ground forces as well as assisting during national emergencies.- Early years :...


{{GRE}}
  • Hellenic Air Force
    Hellenic Air Force
    The Hellenic Air Force, abbreviated to HAF is the air force of Greece. The mission of the Hellenic Air Force is to guard and protect Greek airspace, provide air assistance and support to the Hellenic Army and the Hellenic Navy, as well as the provision of humanitarian aid in Greece and around the...


{{LBY}}
  • Royal Libyan Air Force to 1969. 10 F-5s. May have been sold to Turkey after 1969.

{{NLD}}
  • Royal Netherlands Air Force
    Royal Netherlands Air Force
    The Royal Netherlands Air Force , Dutch Koninklijke Luchtmacht , is the military aviation branch of the Netherlands Armed Forces. Its ancestor, the Luchtvaartafdeling of the Dutch Army was founded on 1 July 1913, with four pilots...


{{NOR}}
  • Royal Norwegian Air Force
    Royal Norwegian Air Force
    The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...


{{PHL}}
  • Philippine Air Force
    Philippine Air Force
    The Philippine Air Force is the air force of the Republic of the Philippines, and one of the three main services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Its official name in Filipino is Hukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas....

     received 22 F-5A (single seat) and eight F-5B (two seater) aircraft in 1966. In 1988-89, the PAF received at least eight ex-Taiwanese F-5As. In 2001, five ex-South Korean F-5A/B were acquired. Although retired from service in 2006, two upgraded F-5Bs remain in flying condition.

 South Vietnam
  • Vietnam Air Force
    Vietnam Air Force
    The Vietnam Air Force began with a few hand-picked men chosen to fly alongside French pilots during the State of Vietnam era. It eventually grew into the world’s sixth largest air force at the height of its power, in 1974...

     received total of 24 F-5A Freedom Fighters, three F-5B trainers, and 12 F-5E Tiger IIs.

{{USA}}
  • United States Air Force
    United States Air Force
    The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...


{{VNM}}
  • Vietnam People's Air Force
    Vietnam People's Air Force
    The Vietnam People's Air Force is the air force of Vietnam. It is the successor of the former North Vietnamese Air Force and the absorbed Republic of Vietnam Air Force following the re-unification of Vietnam in 1975.-Beginning-1964 :The first Vietnamese aircraft were two trainers, a de Havilland...

     (several captured ex-VNAF
    Vietnam Air Force
    The Vietnam Air Force began with a few hand-picked men chosen to fly alongside French pilots during the State of Vietnam era. It eventually grew into the world’s sixth largest air force at the height of its power, in 1974...

     aircraft). One F-5E (s/n 73-00867) was transferred to the Soviet Union for evaluation flights, i.e. against the MiG-21bis; 40+ F-5E/F/C were in VNAF's service.

Evaluation only user


{{USSR}}
  • F-5Es were received from Vietnam and the Derg
    Derg
    The Derg or Dergue was a Communist military junta that came to power in Ethiopia following the ousting of Haile Selassie I. Derg, which means "committee" or "council" in Ge'ez, is the short name of the Coordinating Committee of the Armed Forces, Police, and Territorial Army, a committee of...

     regime in Ethiopia for performance tests and evaluation flights. They were tested in mock combat against MiG-21 and MiG-23 aircraft, ultimately aiding in the development of the MiG-23MLD and the MiG-29
    Mikoyan MiG-29
    The Mikoyan MiG-29 is a fourth-generation jet fighter aircraft designed in the Soviet Union for an air superiority role. Developed in the 1970s by the Mikoyan design bureau, it entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1983, and remains in use by the Russian Air Force as well as in many other...

    .

Specifications (F-5E Tiger II)



{{Aircraft specifications

|plane or copter?=plane
|jet or prop?=jet

|crew=1
|length main=47 ft 4¾ in
|length alt=14.45 m
|span main=26 ft 8 in
|span alt=8.13 m
|height main=13 ft 4½ in
|height alt=4.08 m
|area main=186 ft²
|area alt=17.28 m²
|airfoil=NACA 65A004.8
NACA airfoil
The NACA airfoils are airfoil shapes for aircraft wings developed by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics . The shape of the NACA airfoils is described using a series of digits following the word "NACA." The parameters in the numerical code can be entered into equations to precisely...

 root, NACA 64A004.8 tip
|empty weight main=9,558 lb
|empty weight alt=4,349 kg
|loaded weight main=15,745 lb
|loaded weight alt=7,157 kg
|max takeoff weight main=20,486 lb
|max takeoff weight alt=9,312 kg
|more general=
  • Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0200
  • Drag area: 3.4 ft² (0.32 m²)
  • Aspect ratio
    Aspect ratio (wing)
    In aerodynamics, the aspect ratio of a wing is essentially the ratio of its length to its breadth . A high aspect ratio indicates long, narrow wings, whereas a low aspect ratio indicates short, stubby wings....

    :
    3.86
  • Internal fuel: 677 US gal
    Gallon
    The gallon is a measure of volume. Historically it has had many different definitions, but there are three definitions in current use: the imperial gallon which is used in the United Kingdom and semi-officially within Canada, the United States liquid gallon and the lesser used United States dry...

     (2,563 L)
  • External fuel: 275 US gal (1,040 L) per tank in up to 3 tanks


|engine (jet)=General Electric J85
General Electric J85
-External links:**...

-GE-21B
|type of jet=turbojet
|number of jets=2
|thrust main=3,500 lbf
Pound-force
The pound force is a unit of force in some systems of measurement including English engineering units and British gravitational units.- Definitions :...


|thrust alt=15.5 kN
|afterburning thrust main=5,000 lbf
|afterburning thrust alt=22.2 kN

|max speed main=917 kn
|max speed alt=1,060 mph, 1,700 km/h, Mach 1.6
|range main=760 nmi
Nautical mile
The nautical mile is a unit of length that is about one minute of arc of latitude along any meridian, but is approximately one minute of arc of longitude only at the equator...


|range alt=870 mi, 1,405 km
|ferry range main=2,010 nmi
|ferry range alt=2,310 mi, 3,700 km
|ceiling main=51,800 ft
|ceiling alt=15,800 m
|climb rate main=34,400 ft/min
|climb rate alt=175 m/s
|loading main=
|loading alt=
|thrust/weight=
|more performance=
  • Lift-to-drag ratio
    Lift-to-drag ratio
    In aerodynamics, the lift-to-drag ratio, or L/D ratio, is the amount of lift generated by a wing or vehicle, divided by the drag it creates by moving through the air...

    :
    10.0


|guns=2× 20 mm (0.787 in)
20 mm caliber
The 20 mm caliber is a specific size of cannon or autocannon ammunition, commonly the smallest caliber which is unambiguously a cannon and not a heavy machine gun....

 M39A2
M39 cannon
The M39 cannon was a 20 mm caliber single-barreled revolver cannon developed for the United States Air Force in the late 1940s. It was used on a number of fighter aircraft from the early 1950s through the 1980s.-Development:...

 Revolver cannon
Revolver cannon
A revolver cannon is a type of autocannon commonly used as an aircraft gun. It uses a cylinder with multiple chambers, like those of a revolver handgun, to speed up the loading-firing-ejection cycle. Some examples are also power-driven, to further speed the loading process, but this is by no means...

s in the nose, 280 rounds/gun
  • Hardpoint
    Hardpoint
    A hardpoint, or weapon station, is any part of an airframe designed to carry an external load. This includes a point on the wing or fuselage of military aircraft where external ordnance, countermeasures, gun pods, targeting pods or drop tanks can be mounted.-Rail launchers:Large missiles and...

    s:
    7 total (3× wet): 2× wing-tip AAM launch rails, 4× under-wing & 1× under-fuselage pylon stations holding up to 7000 pounds (3,175.1 kg) of payload.

|rockets=
    • 2× LAU-61/LAU-68 rocket pods (each with 19× /7× Hydra 70
      Hydra 70
      The Hydra 70 rocket is a weapon derived from the 70 mm Mk 4/Mk 40 Folding-Fin Aerial Rocket developed by the United States Navy for use as a free-flight aerial rocket in the late 1940s.-Overview:...

       mm rockets, respectively); or
    • 2× LAU-5003 rocket pods (each with 19× CRV7
      CRV7
      The CRV7, short for "Canadian Rocket Vehicle 7", is a 2.75 inch folding-fin ground attack rocket produced by Bristol Aerospace in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It was introduced in the early 1970s as an upgraded version of the standard US 2.75 inch air-to-ground rockets...

       70 mm rockets); or
    • 2× LAU-10 rocket pods (each with 4× Zuni
      Zuni (rocket)
      The Zuni is a unguided rocket deployed by the United States armed forces. The rocket was developed for both air-to-air and air-to-ground operations. It can be used to carry various types of warheads, including chaff for countermeasures. It is usually fired from the LAU-10 rocket pod holding four...

       127 mm rockets); or
    • 2× Matra rocket pods (each with 18× SNEB
      SNEB
      The SNEB rocket is an unguided air-to-ground rocket projectile manufactured by the French company TDA Armements, designed for launch by combat aircraft and helicopters. Two other rockets were developed in the and caliber...

       68 mm rockets)

|missiles=
    • Air-to-air missile
      Air-to-air missile
      An air-to-air missile is a missile fired from an aircraft for the purpose of destroying another aircraft. AAMs are typically powered by one or more rocket motors, usually solid fuelled but sometimes liquid fuelled...

      :
      • AIM-9 Sidewinder
        AIM-9 Sidewinder
        The AIM-9 Sidewinder is a heat-seeking, short-range, air-to-air missile carried mostly by fighter aircraft and recently, certain gunship helicopters. The missile entered service with United States Air Force in the early 1950s, and variants and upgrades remain in active service with many air forces...

        s or
      • AIM-120 AMRAAM
        AIM-120 AMRAAM
        The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM , is a modern beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. Designed with the same form-factor as the previous generation of semi-active guided Sparrow missiles, it is a fire-and-forget...

        s
    • Air-to-surface missile
      Air-to-surface missile
      An air-to-surface missile is a missile designed to be launched from military aircraft and strike ground targets on land, at sea, or both...

      :
      • AGM-65 Maverick
        AGM-65 Maverick
        The AGM-65 Maverick is an air-to-ground tactical missile designed for close-air support. It is effective against a wide range of tactical targets, including armor, air defenses, ships, ground transportation and fuel storage facilities....

        s

|bombs=A variety of air-to-ground ordnance such as the Mark 80 series of unguided iron bomb
Gravity bomb
An unguided bomb, also known as a free-fall bomb, gravity bomb, dumb bomb, or iron bomb, is a conventional aircraft-delivered bomb that does not contain a guidance system and hence, simply follows a ballistic trajectory....

s (including 3 kg and 14 kg practice bombs), CBU-24/49/52/58 cluster bomb munitions, napalm
Napalm
Napalm is a thickening/gelling agent generally mixed with gasoline or a similar fuel for use in an incendiary device, primarily as an anti-personnel weapon...

 bomb canisters and M129 Leaflet bomb, and laser guided bombs of Paveway family.
  • Others: up to 3× 150/275 US gallon
    Gallon
    The gallon is a measure of volume. Historically it has had many different definitions, but there are three definitions in current use: the imperial gallon which is used in the United Kingdom and semi-officially within Canada, the United States liquid gallon and the lesser used United States dry...

     Sargent Fletcher drop tank
    Drop tank
    In aeronautics, a drop tank is used to describe auxiliary fuel tanks externally carried by aircraft. A drop tank is expendable and often jettisonable...

    s for ferry flight or extended range/loitering time.

|avionics=
  • Emerson Electric
    Emerson Electric Company
    Emerson Electric Company is a major multinational corporation headquartered in Ferguson, Missouri, United States. This Fortune 500 company manufactures products and provides engineering services for a wide range of industrial, commercial, and consumer markets.Emerson is one of the largest...

     AN/APQ-153 radar on early batch of F-5E
  • Emerson Electric AN/APQ-159 radar on later production F-5E
  • AN/AVQ-27 Laser Target Designator Set (LTDS), for F-5B and F-5F only.

}}

Popular culture






Prior to the scene of the famous line "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" in the 1979 classic film Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American war film set during the Vietnam War, produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The central character is US Army special operations officer Captain Benjamin L. Willard , of MACV-SOG, an assassin sent to kill the renegade and presumed insane Special Forces...

, four F-5 fighters were shown dropping napalm
Napalm
Napalm is a thickening/gelling agent generally mixed with gasoline or a similar fuel for use in an incendiary device, primarily as an anti-personnel weapon...

 on a battlefield. These aircraft belonged to the Philippine Air Force
Philippine Air Force
The Philippine Air Force is the air force of the Republic of the Philippines, and one of the three main services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Its official name in Filipino is Hukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas....

, which provided not only the F-5s, but also the UH-1H helicopters for the film. The aircraft were portrayed as American in the film.

Top Gun
Top Gun
Top Gun may refer to:* Top Gun is a 1986 film starring Tom Cruise.**Top Gun , soundtrack to the movie**Top Gun , a number of games based on the movie...

(1986) features a number of F-5Es and F-5Fs in latex wash-off paint as the fictional MiG-28s that battle against US Navy Grumman F-14 Tomcats.


See also


{{Portal box|United States Navy|Aviation}}
{{Aircontent
|see also=
|related=
  • Northrop T-38 Talon
  • Canadair CF-5
  • Grumman X-29
    Grumman X-29
    |-See also:-References:NotesBibliography* Thruelsen, Richard. The Grumman Story. New York: Praeger Publishers, Inc., 1976. ISBN 0-275-54260-2....

  • HESA Saeqeh
  • Northrop F-20 Tigershark
  • Northrop YF-17
  • SSBD Demonstrator
    Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration
    The NASA Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, also known as the Shaped Sonic Boom Experiment, was a two-year program that used a Northrop F-5E with a modified fuselage to demonstrate that the aircraft's shock wave, and accompanying sonic boom, can be shaped, and thereby reduced...


|similar aircraft=
  • Aeritalia G.91
    Aeritalia G.91
    The Fiat G.91 was an Italian jet fighter aircraft. It was the winner of the NATO competition in 1953 as standard equipment for Allied air forces. It entered in operational service with the Italian Air Force in 1961, with West Germany's Luftwaffe, in 1962, and later with the Portuguese Air Force....

  • Mikoyan MiG-21

|lists=

}}

External links


{{Commons|Northrop F-5}}

{{Northrop aircraft}}
{{US fighters}}
{{aviation lists}}
{{Use dmy dates|date=August 2010}}