The Northrop F-5 Enthusiast Page - Home
Chung-Hua Kong Jun
China Air Force / Taiwan
Last update 30-05-2022
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NORTHROP F-5A / NORTHROP F-5B
1963 the Republic of China (Taiwan) placed an order for 60 F-5A Freedom
fighters, though it was originally envisaged to buy 115 aircrafts;
delivery began in 1965 and was completed in 1968. These aircrafts
were foreseen to replace F-86F, widely used in the battles against
People's Republic of China Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevitch MiG-15s and
MiG-17s in air-battles over the Taiwan Straits during the year 1958.
first Northrop F-5A and F-5B equipped Squadron was officially accepted
by the AIr Force Commander on 09-12-65 at Tainan AB. The unit was at
the time still in training status with 19 F-5As and 2 F-5B.
Line-up of Northrop F-5As of all
three Squadrons attached to the 1st Wing.
Photos: RoChina AF Sidewinder armed Northrop F-5As (late colours)
in alarm shelters
Later deliveries enabled to equip the three Squadrons of the 1st Wing at
Tainan AB. An USAF Mobile Training Team supervised the introduction of
the Freedom Fighters.
Photo: RoChina AF
The first Northrop F-5A Frredom Fighter delivered, no unit painting. In front local pilots with US instructors
Under pressure from the
USA government 48 Northrop
F-5As and spare
parts were put at disposal by 10-11-72 for the transfer to the Republic
of Vietnam Air Force under Chinese program "Huiguang Exercise",
the USA "Enhance" and "Enhance Plus" programs;
originally the USA requested the transfer of all (94) F-5As received
by the Republic
of China; this was not accepted by the
Republic of China government.
compromise, it was agreed to station two Squadrons of USAF McDonnel
F-4C at Ching Chuan Kang AB to fill the
gap till the return of the F-5As, to
Northrop T-38As to keep pilots proficent and to
examine the possibility
of a Northrop F-5E co-production scheme.
Five former Chinsese AF (serials 21170, 14462, 69204, 69202 and 21160)
still in metallic colour and with USAF
markings on delivery to South Vietnam at Bien Hoa AFB. The tail of
camouflaged one can be seen farthest.
Twenty Northrop F-5A were to be returned
directly from South Vietnam,
28 additional eventually replaced by Northrop F-5Es; the first USAF
F-4C Squadron was to return to USA upon arrival of the first 20,
second F-4C Squadron and the T-38As when the remaining 28 F-5As would
be replaced. In addition, 15 new Northrop F-5B were to be directly
purchased in USA under the code name Peace Ox.
Finally it was agreed to
mainly under Foreign Military Funds,
100 Northrop F-5Es in the Republic of China.
According to official US
Program files, Taiwan
has received by 1970 72 Northrop F-5A and 11 F-5B under MAP, supplied
as follows: 1964: 7 F-5A, 2 F-5B; 1965: 10 F-5A; 1966 26 F-5A, 4 F-5B;
F-5A, 5 F-5B; 1968: 5
F-5A; 1970 2 F-5A.
The exact number of Freedom
Fighters supplied to the Republic of China
AF is not known. Twenty two Fiscal Year 1969 F-5As and 10 Fiscal Year
1974 F-5Bs are missing from the list; they might have
been paid in
full by the Republic of China,
not going through the Military Aid Program.
Northrop F-5A serials are 1201 up to 1292 (giving a total or 92
aircrafts, possibly including former Republic of Vietnam aircrafts;
Northrop F-5B 22 or 23 aircrafts serials 1101 to 1122 (possibly 1123).
A source states that only 15 Northrop F-5B were on strength in 1975.
Northrop F-5B 00782 at
AFB before delivery in July 1975
Photo: D J Fisher
This is one of 10 additional 1974
Fiscal Year F-5B bought directly by the Republic of China.
Photos: unknown Northrop F-5B 1113/01612 next to rocket launcher equipped one, still in silver colours.
Same Northrop F-5B
1113/01612 at the end of its carear used as Target Tug.
By mid 1973 47 Vietnamese F-5As
were withdrawn from use
for repairs and treatment of heavy corrosion and stored at Bien Hoa
AFB. As they were in poor conditions, beyond Vietnamese technical
tranferred to of China - Ping Tung AB (under code
Peace Basket ) for rework, together with 17 General Electric J85-13;
20 of these Freedom Fighters were to remain in Taiwan to satisfy the
first clause of
the USA/Republic of China agreement (return of 20 F-5A by July 31, 1974).
first two F-5A were delivered from Vietnam on
November 7, 1973. By the end of April 1974, the first
reconditioned F-5As were ready to
1235 69201 8th
Tactical Fighter Wing - January 1986 Photo: Peter Steinemann A rarely seen camouflaged Northrop F-5A armed with bomb and late model Sidewinder.
In the meantime the Republic of
China had requested the
of McDonnel F-4 or additional Northrop F-5E instead of the worn-out
20 Northrop F-5A, but this requested was rejected by the US government.
The second clause of the
agreement, the withdrawal of one USAF Squadron of McDonnell F-4C to
Clark AFB (Philippines), was completed by the end of July 1974.
F-5As and F-5Bs Freedom Fighters were relegated by the mid-70s to the
training role with the 828th Tactical Fighter Wing at Hualien AB,
American F-86Fs, until withdrawn
from use on 30-06-87, the
last F-5Bs remained longer in service,
till mid '90s (local serials 1112, 1113, 1116, 1121).
Retirement ceremony for the last Northrop F-5A was held on 30-06-76; ceremony for the Northrop F-5B followed on 30-06-85 by serials 1112/1116 in a mixed formation with one Northrp T-38 and one Northrop F-5E.
Some single- and two-seaters Freedom
preserved at bases and museums after withdrawal, three F-5As were
supplied in 1993 to
the Philippine AF, one in exchange of a North American F-51D for a
Northrop F-5A 1270 97098 preserved in the
latest camouflage at the AF Academy Kangshan 18-08-00
In the background F-5B
1104 69237 erronously marked as 69257
Photo: Toshi Aoki/jp.spotters.com
Phantasy camouflaged Northrop F-5A, erronous font US serial on tail, at Taoyuan on 03-06-12
NORTHROP F-5E / NORTHROP F-5F
A Memorandum of Understanding, signed
in on 09-02-73
with the government of the United States, granted fulfilment of another
clause: providing 28 Northrop F-5E, aircraft locally named
Cheng", the nickname for the late President Chang Kai Shek, as
replacement of the second batch
20 Northrop F-5A by the end of May 1975. The IAI Kfir C2 had been
taken also in consideration, up only to the technical evaluation
The Memorandum foresaw
codename "Hu An" (Peace Tiger),
in Taiwan for approximately 100 F-5E/F. The initial phase was final
and flight test at the Aero Industry
Development Center at Taichung (AIDC), followed by an increasing
amount of assembly and production of elements as soon as know-how and
General Electric J-85-GE21 engines were to
supplied directly by the USAF. A later request for licensed production
engines was turned down.
Delivery of US built airfames
was on board of Lochkeed C-5A Galaxy in 8-pack, starting in August
1975. Roll-out of the first
locally assembled aircraft
took place on 30-10-74, the last of
the initial 100 airframes being
completed in November 1977.
First AIDC Northrop F-5E assebled by AIDC
Tiger Team badge on
pilots' US FY serial only on
Shortened FY serial (6 numbers),
confirmed by photo
confirmed by photo,
on serial 5107.
01-12-74 a task force called "Sung Shan" (Tiger Team) was established at Tainan to
prepare conversion of the Wing to the new aircraft model. First unit to
receive the second generation Northrop F-5
the 443rd (1st) Tactical Fighter Wing at Tainan in December
1974 enabling the withdrawal to Kadena (Japan) of the second USAF Mc
Donnel F-4 Squadron by April 1975. By mid-April of this year AIDC had delivered
F-5Es, increasing production output to 4 per month.
Early delivered Northrop F-5E with SEA camouflage, also showing early
six numbers tail
In-flight view, initial camouflage/US tail serials Northrop F-5Es
presentation, unfortunately not readable on the photo. Photo: R of China AF
First batch, camouflaged Northrop F-5E 5112/400969 and 5133/400990 on take-off.
An early Northrop F-5E, serial
5107, in use as Target Tug
Republic of China requested in April 1976 an Letter of Offer to
co-produce an second batch of 42 additional Northrop F-5E and 18 F-5F with an option to
extend local production with an additional 20 single-
if finance permitted. This was granted; 2 more single-seaters were built, for a total of 44. First Northrop F-5F was delivered 01-11-78.
Repeated requests for Mach 2 fighters, Mc Donnel F-4s, Lockheed-Martin
F-16As, F-16/79s or Mc Donnel F-18s, were constantly refused by the US
governement. Even an attempt to buy the latest generation F-5
was blocked by President Carter's veto in October 1978. The year 1978
saw also the offer by the People's Republic of China of a reward of USD
1.8 million for an F-5A, 2.1 million for a Tiger
defecting to the
diplomatic relationship with the People's Republic of Chinas was
established by the USA on Jabuary 1st, 1979 recognising this as the
only governement for the whole of China - including Taiwan. This
recognition had dramatic consequences for the Republic of China
(Taiwan) and its Air Force.
Military aid was suspended but
outstanding orders could be fulfilled, inclusive co-production of the
Northrop F-5E/F, ordes totalling at the time 185 single- and 21
On July 1979
approval was also
given by the US Congress
for the sale of 39 single- and 6 two-seater F-5s, wired for Hughes
Maverick precision guided missiles, costing USD 108.8 millions; 29
laser target designator sets
and 48 modification kits for the aircrafts
(USD 61.8 m), 500
Mavericks and 100
single rail launchers (USD 25 m) were part of the deal on offer at the
end of 1978.
A total of
308 aircrafts were produced by AIDC under 6 Peace Tiger programs:
Peace Tiger 1 included 100 F-5E; Peace Tiger 2 44 F-5E; Peace
Tiger 3 20 F-5E, 3 F-5F; Peace Tiger 4 15 F-5E, 15 F-5F; Peace Tiger 5 30 F-5E,
18 F-5F; Peace Tiger 6 30 F-5E and 30 F-5F; the last of these
rolled out on 09-12-86. Global total was for 242 single- and 66
Photo: AIDC/Mike Lee
OPERATIONS / TRAINING
Little is known
about early use of the Northrop
F-5A. Air-superiority above the Taiwanese skies was assured by Lockheed
F-104s Starfighters in the various versions from 1960; Freedom
Fighter were in
for air-to-ground support and, as secondary duty, for
no encounters by Freedom fighters with People's Republic of China
fighters are known. Single-seaters were stationed in March 1972 at Makung
(island in front of the People's Democratic Republic of China).
participated, together with Fairchild C-119s, Lockheed T-33As, North
American F-100s and Lockheed F-104s to trials for emergency use of
highways on 19th and 20th October 1978.
Tiger armed units
had ground-attack as main duty as
well as air-interception duties. Ground-attack
performed against land and sea targets with Mk.82 500 lbs freefall
7.15 in (19cm) unguided rockets
and AIGM-65A guided missiles, 48
single-seaters incorporating a cathode-ray
tube with scan converter which allowed the pilot to view the TV picture
produced by the missile
Twenty nine of the F-5Fs have been fitted with the Northrop
manual laser target designator to provide an atonomous designation
capability for the GBU-12 laser version of the Mk.82 bomb, training done
against land and sea targets
with bombs, unguided rockets and guided missiles.
In the air-interception task all F-5
equipped Squadrons performed 4-5
combat patrols a day across the Strait of Taiwan armed with locally modified AIM-9J
Sidewinders, flying close to the
coast,in addition to escort
of transport aircrafts flying to Kinmen (Quemoy), the largest island of
a cluster under ROC control. Fighters were ready for an 3-minutes
scramble, one Squadron of the 4th TFW being based from April till
on the forward base at Makung, on the Pescadores Islands.
routine patrols over the Strait of
to a maximum of 15 miles to the Chinese mainland, encountered MiG-19s
and MiG-21s flying parallel to the coast. Up to once or twice a
aircrafts entered Republic of China airspace, retreating
when F-5s appeared. No F-5E Tiger air-combat is known.
reconnaissance Tupolev Tu-95 Bear and Ilyushin IL-62 trasports, flying
every year closer to Taiwan, escorted along the coast by Northrop F-5E of the 5th
Group in formation flight. This ended with the
wound-up of the Soviet Union.
a friend. Aircrafts from transiting US Navy fleet were
shadowed" by Republic of China aircrafts. Here an F-5E from 443th
Wing, possibly serial 537, flying
alongside an US Navy F-14 VF-31 probably in the
An Tactical Training and Development
Manoeuvering Instrumentation (TACTS/AMI) at Taitung AB, similat to the
US Top Gun, was created in 1976 to
keep pilots up to the
highest fighting level . It
was upgraded to
Tactical Aircrew Training System/Air Combat
Manoeuvering Instrumentation (TACTS/ACMI) range on July 1st, 1988. In
mid-90s, the ROC AF decided to upgrade again it, expanding the
airspace, as the People's
Republic of China introduced avanced fighters
such as the Sukhoi Su-27. Additional improvements took place in July
2002, when the installation of a Cubic Corporation system, based on the
Nellis AFB Air Combat
Training System, was completed; this supported
F-5, F-16, Mirage 2000 and IDF pilot training. The system was further
improved with new weapons simulation devices by March 2004.
range has been used by all fighter units, dissimilar training given
initially by the 46th Tactical Fighter Squadron's F-5Es and F-5F, which
gained a high ratio of scores against the latter generation fighters.
Simulated firings of AGM-65C/E Mavercks laser guided missiles from F-5Es have also taken place on the range during 2007 with full success. These missiles might be
local updates of the original AGM-65A television
Defection from the People's Republic of China
An Boeing 747 from South Korea was escorted on 24-08-83 precausionally to Taiwan by 8 Northrop F-5E; a Chinese People's Republic Navy pilot who had defectd to S. Korea with its J-7II was onboard. Another 8
were on alert at Taoyuan AFB.
On 14-11-83 2 Northrop F-5E escorted an Chinese People's Republic Navy Shenyang J-5 whose pilot defected to Taoyuan AFB.
These aircrafts (and others) were tested against Republic of China fighters
An 46th Squadron F-5F chasing an Chinese People's AF J-6
(MiG-19) while being tested by
an R of China AF pilot.
Defection to the People's Republic of China
chapter in the Republic of China F-5 history was
opened on August 8th, 1981: defection towards mainland China. Major
Huang Zhi Cheng, an
instructor pilot, defected on this
day to the People's Republic
of China with its Northrop F-5F serial
5361; the aircraft landed at an air-base near
Fouchou City (Fukien region). The defector obtained a reward of
USD 370'000 (sum immediatey returned) and was nominated
Commander of a pilot training school. The aircraft has been most
probably tested locally and remained in the People's Republic of China.
defecting pilot next to its Northrop F-5F, serial 5361
A second RoC AF F-5 Tiger defection happened on
when the pilot of Northrop F-5E serial 5120 ejected 80 km inside the
Guangdong province, the pilotless aircraft being destroyed and the
on show at the Chinese People's
Revolution Museum at
OPERATION ABROAD -Yemen
The Republic of
China AF has no
possibilities to participate to excercises abroad due to the diplomatic
isolation of the country, but another form of sevice abroad, never
officially confirmed, has been rumoured.
This was the only air combat operation of the Air Force and involved rervist, service pilots and technicians being engaged in a country
unable, for various reasons, to operate its Northrop F-5s.
Following skirmishes between North
and South Yemen in March 1979 the US governement rushed into
Northern Yemen 12 Northrop
F-5Es and Saudi Arabia 2 Northrop F-5Bs to boost its air defence..
reported that some
(sources state 12) Taiwan pilots plus ground technicians (mainly
reservists) arrived in North
Yemen as counsellors/pilots as no Yemeni was trained to fly and
Saudi Arabia paying for the operation.
Change in political
alliance brought the country to
oppose the 1993 Desert Storm war, Yemen secretly planning to let
the Taiwanese pilots bomb Saudi targets! The plan was
Taipei with the result that
the pilots were immediately called back.
Patches for the Republic of China contingent in Yemen
MODIFICATIONS / UPGRADES
Noted at Mojave airport between October
1987 and July 1988 were four F-5As that had found their
way back to the USA; their exact use and final destination is
Some sources mention they were converted
to drones by
Systems, Inc and returned to the Republic of China,
others mention they were used by a civilian test-pilots school while
there are rumours that they were transferred to the Philippine AF. The
be valid as there is no trace of their use by the civilian test-pilots school at Mojave and
they have never been reported in the Philippines.
Northrop F-5A 69188 coded
"1" at Mojave
Photo: D E Sloviak
Northrop F-5A 97117 code "4" and
01397 code "3" at Mojave in 1988
During the 1980s combat
capacity of some Northrop F-5E and Northrop F-5F was improved with the
addition of Litton ALR-46(V) radar warning receivers, Northrop AVQ-27
radar designators and Tracor ALE-401(V7)
chaff/flare dispenser; 500
Maverick TV guided air-to-surface
missiles as well as
laser-guided bombs were also bought to improve the attack capability;
aircraft aerodynamic was refined to some late
built aircrafts with
the addition of the Tigershark
aircrafts were designated F-5E module C and F-5F module F.
Sidewinder were used by the Northrop F-5A, while the Northrop
F-5E/F were mainly equipped with AIM-9P-4
To diminish the
dependance from USA a development
programm forsimilar missiles was launched in the mid 80'. The military-run Chung
Shan Institute of
Science and Technology (CSIST)
started to develop a
short range, infra-red guidance missile with similar capabilities to
the AIM-9 Sidewinder, called Tien Chen (Sky Word) TC-1 and an Beyond
Visual Range missile, called Tien Chen (Sky Word) TC-2,
both of them have not equipped the Northrop fighter, though the
first test firing of the TC-1 was made by an F-5F
in April 1986, with the
target drone successfully destroyed.
Northrop F-5F 5391 30130 with evaluation missile. Photo: Republic of China Defence Ministry.
and avionics/armament upgrades to keep the aircrafts operation
were taken into consideration in 1990 and an initial request for
information was sent to 10 companies, including Bristol Aerospace,
Grumman, Israel Aircraft industries, Singapore Aeroapace and Smiths
Industries but all decisions were postponed and later
cancelled, pending another request for Lockheed-Martin F-16s.
Just limited structural
performed in the mid-90s to keep the aircrafts operational.
Foreseen retirement in May 1998 of
RF-104Gs reconnaissance aircrafts
requirement in 1995 for a new aircraft; the Air Force decided to modify
7 low-hours (number
from the originally 10 planned)
F-5E fighters into RF-5E reconnaissance aircrafts and favoured
Singapore Aerospace for the modification, placing an order for the
value of USD 50 million mentioning that
sufficient experience. In the
face of overwhelming
however, the Air Force rescinded the deal with Singapore and permitted
local AIDC company to participate in an open
bidding, but finally
the contract to Singapore
Aerospace again. Aircrafts
started in 1996 and delivery of
first modified aircraft, locally renamed Tigergazer, took place in August 1997.
Another attempt to upgrade the Northrop
F-5E fighter failed in the mid-90s as
collaboration with Northrop was unsuccesful; Westinghouse could not release, due to US export
restrictions, the source
(similar to the one used by the the Lockheed-Martin
F-16), that would have
enabled interface with the
Sky Word TC-2 Beyond Visual Range missile. A
model of the foreseen cockpit
the 1997 Taipei Aerospace Show.
this, AIDC worked on its own
upgrade project, the Tiger 2000. In the year 2000
AIDC borrowed a
F-5E configuration C, serial 5308, as prototype from the
military. The prototype was first flown on 24-07-02,
entire program was delayed by technical problems in
wiring systems and fixing the plane's engine.
foresaw cockpit improvements
(such as HUD, MFDs,
HOTAS), avionics (such as MIL-STD-1553B, mission computer ungrade,
GPS/INS navigation system, GD-53 radar, IRWR), weapons (Tien Chen
Programm AIDC Tiger 2000 badge
F-5E 2000 prototype serialled 10015 landing at
Taichung in January 2004
Unfortunately, the Tiger
2000 project failed due to high costs for a
complete renewal of the plane's avionics and fire-control system,
lack of interest by the Air Force (which might have been interested in
expensive upgrade of the radar only) and
the purchase of next
generation fighters. The prototype was put on show at the Hsiang Yuan AIDC Park, seen first in May 2008.
People's Republic of China AF signature
in 1991 of an initial contract for
20 Su-27SK single- and 4 Su-27UBK double-seaters, marked the beginning of the end of first line use of
the Northrop F-5E. Next generation
fighters for the Republic of China AF were an absolute necessity to face these extremely powerful fighters.
Supply of the Lockheed-Martin F-16 was
at last approved by President George Bush in 1992. The contract foresaw
delivery of 120 F-16A Block 20 single- and 30
F-16B Block 20 two-seaters fighter/fighter-bombers
Additionally, a contract for 48 Dassault Mirage 2000-5Ei single- and 12
Dassault Mirage 2000-5Di double-seaters air-defence fighters/trainers
signed on 17-11-1992, deliveries starting in 1999.
The third new generation fighter
the form of the locally developed
AIDC F-CK-1A/B Ching Kuo Indigenous Fighter. Development of this
aircraft started when the US government refused to sell the
F-20 or Lockheed-Martin F-16. It was developed with help with US
companies and resembles the F-16. A total of 250 were originally to be
built, but only 102
AIDC F-CK-1A single- and 28
double-seaters were ordered following approval of the F-16
Deliveries of Lockheed-Martin F-16s started in April 1997 and the first,
formerly F-5E equipped, 21st Squadron was commissioned in October 1997, last former F-5E Squadron being
commissioned in the year 2002;
Mirage 2000-5s went to
the 499th Tactical Fighter Wing,
Lockheed F-104G aircrafts, last arriving on November 26th, 1998; AIDC F-CK-1A/B Ching Kuo Indigenous
Fighter re-equipped the
equipped 443rd (1st) Tactical
Fighter Wing at Tainan beginning from 1997, the full Wing being officially commissioned on the new
aircraft on 07-01-99.
this point, there was no need anymore
for Northrop F-5Es as fighter or fighter-bombers, though there were 166
in service in 2004 according to an official US source; they were
withdrawn from use
offered to various countries. Mexico, Chile, the Philippines are
thought to have been interested.
But, due to political issues, there was no follow-up.
Unable to dispose the aircrafts to other
countries, older ones were used as decoys, instruc tional airframes, preserved in
air bases, public parks as well as put at disposal of museums.
See serial list
for full details.
The remaining active aircrafts are used for fighter lead-in training, or are in storage, forming a war reserve.
F-5E, possibly serial 5243, as decoy at Ching Chuang Kang AB
in May 2006
Photo: collection The Northrop F-5 Enthusiast
5241 61636 preserved at Chiayi AB on 17-08-00
One Northrop F-5E and one F-5F, to
be delivered beginning 2012, have been exchanged with one Douglas B-26
belonging to the Classic Aircrcraft Museum in USA.
Newer F-5Es and, mainly, F-5Fs (altogether approximately 60) were kept
for advanced training of
before their operational conversion to the later generation General Dynamics
F-16 and GAMD
at the respective Operational Conversion Units; older airframes were put at disposal for preservation, other active ones were put in storage, forming an emergency-reserve.
remaining 6 Northrop RF-5Es
(one has been lost) were not withdrawn but supplemented
from 2004 by General Dynamics
F-16As equipped with reconnaissance pods AN/AVDS-5.
reliability of the
Tiger has diminished: seventeen single-/double-seaters have crashed
between 1988 and 2007, killing 19 officers and leaving 4 pilots
There has been a high number of Northrop F-5F losses; in 32 years of
active service as of July 2009, 40 have crashed killing 32 pilots, five
accidents were between 2005 and 2009. Only 33 remained in service.
retirement of the remaining Northrop aircrafts has been foreseen for the year
2010, the advanced training role being taken-over by the AIDC
F-CK-1A/B Ching Kuo Indigenous Fighter, in its turn replaced by
General Dynamics F-16s. This target date has not been reached as
the USA government has not approved the acquisition of the new fighter.
At present it is clamed to
operate about 60 Tigers (of which 4 of the reconnaissance version) but
government intelligence report mentions that only approximately 30 are
possibly operationally capable. By March
2015 there were (apart from
those listed in serial page) two Northrop F-5 used as decoys and one
preserved at Hualien AB. Maintenance was taken care at Taitun/Zhihang AB, major overhaul at Pingtung AB.
Indonesian AF Chief of Staff mentioned in March 2012 that they were
considering the Republic of China offer for 1 Squadron of Northrop
F-5E/Fs but finally he didn't accept it as they were quite different
ones already in use. Paraguay was another contry foreseen to
receive (free of
charge) Chinese Tiger in 1997 but the deal fell through as it was too
expensive to operate the aircrafts.
information given in May 2013 by the defence minister states that 32
aircrafts are in use, mainly for training, and they will be all retired
by 2019. The USA requested sourcing of spare parts for the Tigers was given
on 01-11-18 , deadlined 16-11-18. Withdrawal
of the type is foreseen by the year 2020.
Local press sources announced that General Electric J85 engines from retired
Northrop F-5s are to be reverse-engineered, local produced to fit them
to cruise missiles. An USA source stated that beginning 2019
20 Northrop F-5E, 31 Northrop F-5F and 5 Northrop RF-5E were in service plus 123 Northrop F-5E, 19 Northrop F-5F stored.
rolled on 25-09-19 the prototype of the Advanced Jet Trainer
AIDC T-5/AT-5 Yung-Ying (supersonic advanced jet trainer)
to be ordered in 66 examples to replace ba 2026 Northrop F-5F and AIDC AT-3 trainers;
it gives a common platform for flight/tactical
training and reduce operating costs. The trainer has interchangable
parts with Indigenous Defense Fighter being developed locally. First production AIDC T-5 flewrw on
21-10-2021. It is foreseen that 7 Wing will receive the new trainer
A former Air Foce officer stated in October, 2020 that less than 50 Northrop were available.
All Tiger flights were suspended following a collisiion of 2 Northrop F-5Es
on 22-10-21, cancelled on 14-11-21, after completing major check-ups on
the remaning Tigers and a test (on 13-11-22) flight by the
Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force with Northrop F-5F, serial 5261 at Taitung AFB.