Northrop F-5E Tiger II

The F-5E was an improved variant of the F-5A "Freedom Fighter" built primarily for foreign military sales. Designed by Northrop in 1953 as a low-maintenance, low-cost fighter, led to a company-financed supersonic trainer called the N-156F Freedom Fighter.

Northrop F-5E Tiger II

Though not purchased by the US military, the government supported the sale of F-5A's to friendly nations. The first contract for the production F-5A was issued in 1962, the first overseas order coming from Norway in February 1964. 836 F-5A/B were built before production ended in 1972.

Northrop F-5A

A trainer version, the T-38 Talon, was adopted by the U.S. Air Force, NASA, Turkey and Portugal as a pilot's first introduction to supersonic flight.

Northropt-38 TalonIn 1970 Northrop won a competition for an improved Fighter to replace the F-5A. With more powerful engines, greater fuel capacity, and aerodynamic improvements, the resultant aircraft, initially known as F-5A-21, subsequently became the F-5E.

Over 1,400 of the Tigers were made including some purchased by the US Navy and Air Force for use in the Top Gun and Aggressor programs to simulate enemy aircraft and tactics. Northrop F-20 TigerShark

Various F-5 versions remain in service with many nations. The most advanced are those of Singapore re-designated F-5S/T and include new radar, updated cockpits with multi-function displays, and compatibility with the Rafael Python and AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles.

Northrop attempted to develop an advanced version of the F-5E named F-20 Tigershark, similar in performance to the F-16. In the end, some 2,700 F-5 aircraft were built for the US and 30 other nations by the time production ceased in 1987.


Data for F-5E

47.38 ft (14.45 m)
Wingspan: 28.67 ft (8.13 m)
Height: 13.25 ft (4.06 m)

9,723 lb (4,410 kg)
Max Takeoff: 24,722 lb (11,214 kg)
Max Payload: 7,000 lb (3,175 kg)

Two General Electric J85-21A afterburning turbojets with 10,000 lb (44.48 kN) of thrust

Max Level Speed at altitude:
1,085 mph (1,745 km/h), Mach 1.64
Initial Climb Rate: 34,500 ft (10,500 m)/min
Service Ceiling: 51,800 ft (15,790 m)
Range typical: 240 nm (445 km) ferry: 1,545 nm (2,865 km)

two 20-mm M39A2 cannons
Stations: five external hardpoints and two wingtip rails

Operators (all variants):
Botswana, Morocco, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey, Venezuela, Greece, US Air Force, US Navy, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ethiopia, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, Vietnam, Yemen, Sudan


Video 1: Northrop F-5E - Patrouille Suisse Tribute

Video 2: Northrop F-5E Tiger II Aggressor Squadrons

Video 3: F-5Tiger II


(This text was adapted from )(GFDL)
Donate now!

You can help Wikipedia change the world! Donate now!