United States of America – Navy
Last update 19-07-2022
THIS IS A WIDELY KNOWN SUBJECT - ONLY THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENTS ARE REPORTED HERE
Credit: Roundels of the world
Intial interest for a navalised Northrop F-5 (Northrop N285-B) was shown beginning 1965
in order to operate from small Reserve carriers replacing Douglas A-4s.
It featured an arrester hook, catapult spools,
Later (in 1973) the Navy was keen to buy Northrop F-5E Tigers for Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT).
Several Squadrons belonging to the Navy have used the aircraft for DACT; though the Marines Reserve is part of the US Navy their aircrafts have Marines inscription on the fuselage. They are listed separately.
US.S. Navy Figher Weapons School (unofficiall Top Gun Flight)
Northrop F-5E were planned at the Navy Fighter Weapons School to simulate MiG-21 during FY 1974 replacing
five Douglas A-4 supplied to Israel.
Re-coding took place by the beginning of 1976 (540 to 544). Five former Vietnamse for use of the Squadron were seen at NAS Miramar, but were not yet operational.
The Naval Strike Air Warfare Center at NAS Fallon is since July 1996 responsible, among others, for the F-5 Adversary Program courses (dissimilar training).
Twice was felt a much more advanced aggressor was to be procured: the first programm was a loan of 25 IAI F-21A between 1985 and 198 followed by purchase of 22 General Dynamics F-16N single- and 4 twin-seaters TF-16N entering service early 1987 till May 1988. It served with "Top Gun", VFC-13, VF-43, VF-45, VFC-111, VFA-126 and VF-127. This unfortunate second choice led to an early retirement of the aircrafts due to wings cracks, leading to grounding in 1992 and complete retirement in 1994.
Unit strength was by 01-10-94 at NAS Leemore, the same on 01-10-95, augmented to 22 Northrop F-5 by 01-10-96 till 01-10-98. In 1999 the unit relocated to NAS Fallon (Nevada).
It was formed amalgamating the Naval Strike Warfare Cenre, Naval Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) and Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School.
of "unfriendly" countries replaced for a time (seen November 2002,
September 2005) on tail of some aircrafts to better simulate the
foreign country. Iraqi/Cuban flags were worn by Tigers belonging to the
Known serials/codes are: (Who has
better quality tails showing flags, serials/codes painted on ?)
Aircrafts wore a moltitude of non-standard colour
schemes, applied during rework at St.
Augustine (Florida) where paint was stripped down and new one
De-activation came for some of the Dissimilar Training Units with the consolidation into the Naval Air Reserve on 23-03-96.
Northrop F-5 Enthusiast collection
Sikorsky Maintenance Service Division (MSD) provides organizational,
intermediate and limited depot maintenance support as well as logistic
management and administration for Northrop F-5E and F-5F aircrafts. The
An analyze of the cost benefit to replace the Northrop F-5E with MCDonnel F/A-18A and F/A-18B or
to install a 4th generation pulse-doppler radar by 2008 was carried out
end of 2003 and with the result that it
Prior to the Swiss purchase (see below) VFC-13 had 33 Northrop F-5s.
value of USD 18'557'950 was signed 07-03-03 and included order of 32 aircrafts plus 5 options which were definitely confirmed, totalling 44 aircrafts.
Exact details are: 9 Northrop F-5E sold in 2003, 8 of which delivered by July 2004 and 1 awaiting delivery in August 2004, 23 additional were optioned and 8 still were in a sales discussions.
By May 2004 seven Tigers had left Switzerland, six aircrafts were exported in 2007 together with 10 engines for a value of 14m Swiss Francs.Modifications and limited depot-level maintenance of the "new" aircrafts was provided by Northrop Grumman Technical Sevices/Sierra Vista after a first limited maintenance by RUAG at Emmen (Switzerland) completed
by August 2003; more standardized colour schemes were then applied by Sierra Vista. Introduction of the "new" aircraft was to lower maintenance costs with overall costs reduction, . Included in the modifications were:
a new performance monitoring system, anti skidding brakes, fare/chaff ALE-40, INS RWR, gaseous oxygen system (modified from liquid oxygen system proper to the Swiss), improved ejection seats, an upper cockpit
longeron change, new fuel cells, totalling more than 600 modifications: M-39A2 were removed and replaced by ballast. New maintenance manuals were to be rewritten and translated from German to English. The former
first batch Swiss aircrafts were redesignated Northrop F-5N, receiveing their original USAF serials.
First flight of the modified Northrop F-5N took place in 2003, first delivered on 26-03-04 to VFC-13; modification was done at Northrop Grumman rework facility at Saint Augustine (Florida)
Last former Swiss aircraft arrived in November 2007. Known retirement of "old" Northrop F-5E Tigers included two during FY 2008 and three during FY 2009. The last two remaining were serials 731635 and 741547.
The Tactical Aviation Support Wing
provided 2011 a strategic reserve force for the Navy's 10 Carrier Air
Wings and adversary training, counternarcotics, homeland defence
operations with 6 Squadrons: 2 with 30
In mid 2014 Northrop Grumman Systems Co. at St Augustine obtained a
contract for USD 175 millions for depot maintenace of 44 F-5N and F-5F
belonging to the US Navy and Marines, modified 12-02-19 with an
Dissimilar training was also realised in Februar 2015 against Kfirs of the ATAC pivate company by 111 Squadron out of Key West Navail Air Station.
budgets in the late 2020s have reduced flight hours readiness due to
spare parts non-availability. A request to buy additional 22
ex-Swiss Tigers has been rejected in the 2020 Fiscal Year, were
operartors augmented the adversaries with several former military
aircraft types. In 2018 Tactical Air Support received a five years
contract to supply flying-hours with their former Jordanian Northrop
20-07-20 one of the three Northrop F-5F flew for the first time in a
new three-tone gray camouflage scheme, colours dubbed "Siberian Tiger"
in order to resemble to Sukhoi Su-27KM seen at le Bourget and MAKS
Northrop F-5E and 6 Northrop F-5F bought from
Switzerland will be reconfigured to Northrop F-5N+ and F-5F+; the first
WAS delivered at the end of 2022. Civilian Tactical Air company offers
of 3 updated/prototypes Northrop F-5N+ (of 11 to be delivered 2020-2025, total 16 single- and 3 double-seaters) arrived on 23-09-21 at NAS
Patuxent Rive for tests. Upgraded aircrafts will allow to replicate
more advanced aerial threat, increasing safety and reliability. The prototype
is used for ground and flight tests.
According to an official statement there were 31 Northop F-5N/F-5F in use in May2021. to provide low-to-mid-level replication. Disvestment is planned starting around 2026.
begiining of 2022 the project ARTEMIS to upgrade former Swiss Northrop
F-5s to Northrop F-5E+ and F-5F+ had reached milestone C decision
recently and moved to production and development.