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Northrop F-5E Tiger II

History of the F-5E Tiger II

Built off the successful F-5A platform, the more powerful F-5E included improved avionics, air-to-air fire control radar system, and enhanced weapons capabilities. The F-5E made its initial flight in 1972 and served during the Vietnam War. The F-5E was most well-known for simulating MiG-21s for training in aerial combat skills and Soviet tactics at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

Northrop F-5E Tiger II

Serial Number: 73-01640

Manufacturer: Northrop Corporation

Crew: One

Engines: Two General Electric J85-GE-21 turbojets; 5,000 pounds thrust each with afterburner

Wingspan: 26 feet 8 inches

Length: 48 feet 2 inches

Height: 13 feet 4 inches

Weight: 24,675 pounds (maximum)

Speed: 1,050 mph (Mach 1.63)

Range: 2,300 miles (with external fuel tanks)

Service Ceiling: 50,700 feet

Armament: Two M-39 20mm cannons; rockets, missiles and 5,500-pound bombs loaded externally

Cost: $756,000

The F-5E Tiger II at Hill Air Force Base

Over the years, the Ogden Air Logistics Center supported Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of undergraduate pilot trainers and visual systems; among them were F-5 trainers. The F-5E on display was originally a Northrop test/chase jet that served at bases in California and Arizona in the 1970s. Hill Aerospace Museum acquired this aircraft for display, and it was painted to closely resemble the F-5Es flown by the United States Air Force (USAF) Aggressor Squadrons at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

What is the F-5?

A light fighter developed in the mid 1950s, the Tiger is a member of a small number of aircraft developed around similar goals; a lightweight, high speed, and highly maneuverable, supersonic aircraft.

Is the F-5 still in service?

The F-5 still sees use by a number of services, including the United States (U.S.) Navy, Republic of China Air Force and the Republic of Korea Air Force.

Is the F-5 a good fighter?

The Tiger is considered a very successful aircraft for the roles it provides and for its capabilities as a lightweight fighter. It especially excels in use by the U.S. Navy as an aggressor aircraft, standing in for foreign air forces to help train American TOPGUN pilots.

Was the F-5 used in Vietnam?

Approximately 17 F-5Es were eventually deployed for combat in the sky over North Vietnam. Though nine would eventually be lost, the aircraft was deemed an overall success for its deployment.

What replaced the F-5 Tiger?

As the F-5 was ultimately not intended for widespread use within the U.S., outside of training exercises, the F-5 is still in use by the Navy and Marine Corps.

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