Northrop F-5

F-5F-5 Freedom FighterF-5ENorthrop F-5E Tiger IIF-5E Tiger IINorthrop F-5 Freedom FighterF-5 Tiger IIF-5 TigerF-5sF-5A
The Northrop F-5A and F-5B Freedom Fighter and the F-5E and F-5F Tiger II are part of a supersonic light fighter family, initially designed in the late 1950s by Northrop Corporation.wikipedia
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Light fighter

lightweight fighterlightweightjet-powered light-fighter
The Northrop F-5A and F-5B Freedom Fighter and the F-5E and F-5F Tiger II are part of a supersonic light fighter family, initially designed in the late 1950s by Northrop Corporation.
Prominent early examples include the English Folland Gnat, the American F-86 Sabre, Northrop F-5, the Soviet Mikoyan MiG-15 and Mikoyan MiG-21, the French Mirage III, and the Swedish Saab Draken.

Northrop T-38 Talon

T-38 TalonT-38Northrop T-38A Talon
Though the United States Air Force (USAF) had no need for a light fighter, it did procure approximately 1,200 Northrop T-38 Talon trainer aircraft, which were directly based on the F-5A.
The U.S. Naval Test Pilot School is the principal US Navy operator (other T-38s were previously used as USN for Dissimilar air combat training until replaced by the similar Northrop F-5 Tiger II).

Northrop F-20 Tigershark

F-20 TigersharkF-20^
The Northrop F-20 Tigershark was an advanced variant to succeed the F-5E which was ultimately canceled when export customers did not emerge.
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 and flexible radar.

Northrop YF-17

YF-17F-17Northrop YF-17A
The F-5 also served as a starting point for a series of design studies which resulted in the Northrop YF-17 and the F/A-18 naval fighter aircraft.
The YF-17 was the culmination of a long line of Northrop designs, beginning with the N-102 Fang in 1956, continuing through the F-5 family.

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21

MiG-21MiG 21MiG-21s
In 1970, Northrop won the International Fighter Aircraft (IFA) competition to replace the F-5A, with better air-to-air performance against aircraft like the Soviet MiG-21.
It was a lightweight fighter, achieving Mach 2 with a relatively low-powered afterburning turbojet, and is thus comparable to the American Lockheed F-104 Starfighter and Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter and the French Dassault Mirage III.

Fiat G.91

Aeritalia G.91Fiat G91Fiat G.91PAN
Interest revived in 1961 when the United States Army tested it, (along with the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk and Fiat G.91) for reconnaissance and close-support.
Besides the G.91, these included the Northrop N-156, Dassault Mystère XXVI, Sud-Est Baroudeur, Aerfer Sagittario 2 and the Breguet Br.1001 Taon.

Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration

Northrop F-5 Shaped Sonic Boom DemonstratorNorthrop F-5E Shaped Sonic Boom DemonstrationQuiet Supersonic Platform
One NASA F-5E was given a modified fuselage shape for its employment in the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration program carried out by DARPA.
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.

Northrop Corporation

NorthropNorthrop AircraftNorthrop Aircraft Corporation
The Northrop F-5A and F-5B Freedom Fighter and the F-5E and F-5F Tiger II are part of a supersonic light fighter family, initially designed in the late 1950s by Northrop Corporation. In October 1974, the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) ordered 36 F-5E and 6 F-5B aircraft from Northrop for $72 million.
It was there that the P-61 Black Widow night fighter, the B-35 and YB-49 experimental flying wing bombers, the F-89 Scorpion interceptor, the SM-62 Snark intercontinental cruise missile, and the F-5 Freedom Fighter economical jet fighter (and its derivative, the successful T-38 Talon trainer) were developed and built.

General Electric J85

J85GE J-85GE J85
The design team wrapped a small, highly aerodynamic fighter around two compact and high-thrust General Electric J85 engines, focusing on performance and a low cost of maintenance.
The fit was a success on the Quail, but again like the Viper it was later built with normal grade materials and subsequently used to power small jet aircraft, including the Northrop T-38 Talon, Northrop F-5, Canadair CT-114 Tutor, and Cessna A-37 Dragonfly light attack aircraft.

VMFT-401

Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401
The U.S. Marines purchased used F-5s from the Air Force in 1989 to replace their F-21s, which served with VMFT-401 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. Currently, the only U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps units flying the F-5 are VFC-13 at NAS Fallon, Nevada, VFC-111 at NAS Key West, Florida, and VMFT-401 at MCAS Yuma, Arizona.
Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401 (VMFT-401) is a United States Marine Corps Reserve fighter squadron flying the F-5N Tiger II.

North American F-86 Sabre

F-86 SabreF-86North American F-86F Sabre
The design effort was led by Northrop vice president of engineering and aircraft designer Edgar Schmued, who previously at North American Aviation had been the chief designer of the successful North American P-51 Mustang and F-86 Sabre fighters.
The most notable use of the F-86 Sabres was in the Blue Diamonds aerobatic display team, which operated eight Sabres until the arrival of the newer, supersonic Northrop F-5.

AN/APQ-159

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 to replace the original AN/APQ-153.
Emerson Electric's AN/APQ-159 was an I band/J band radar designed to upgrade Emerson's simple AN/APQ-153 used in the Northrop F-5.

AN/APQ-153

AN/APQ-157
The aircraft's avionics were more sophisticated, crucially including a radar (initially the Emerson Electric AN/APQ-153) (the F-5A and B had no radar).
Emerson Electric's AN/APQ-153 was an I band radar system developed for the Northrop F-5E fighter aircraft.

VFC-111

Fighter Squadron Composite 111
Currently, the only U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps units flying the F-5 are VFC-13 at NAS Fallon, Nevada, VFC-111 at NAS Key West, Florida, and VMFT-401 at MCAS Yuma, Arizona.
Currently, it operates Northrop F-5N/F Tiger-IIs, of most of which are single-seater F-5Ns and one twin-seater F-5F, the "FrankenTiger".

Vietnam People's Air Force

Vietnamese People's Air ForceNorth Vietnamese Air ForceVietnamese Air Force
Following the Fall of Saigon in 1975, captured examples were used operationally by the Vietnam People's Air Force (VPAF), in particular against Khmer Rouge.
Former VNAF F-5Es, C-123s, C-130s, and UH-1s were used by the VPAF for many years after the end of the War.

Douglas A-4 Skyhawk

A-4 SkyhawkA-4Skyhawk
Interest revived in 1961 when the United States Army tested it, (along with the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk and Fiat G.91) for reconnaissance and close-support.
Even though the A-4 was augmented by the F-5E, F-21 (Kfir), F-16, and F/A-18 in the adversary role, the A-4 remained a viable threat surrogate until it was retired by VF-43 in 1993 and shortly thereafter by VFC-12.

CASA (aircraft manufacturer)

CASAConstrucciones Aeronáuticas SAEADS CASA
In addition, Canadair built 240 first generation F-5s under license, CASA in Spain built 70 more aircraft.
They began the manufacture of the Northrop F-5A fighter-bomber under license in 1962.

South Vietnam Air Force

Republic of Vietnam Air ForceVNAFSouth Vietnamese air force
In June 1967, the 10th FCS's surviving aircraft were supplied to the Republic of Vietnam Air Force (RVNAF), which previously had only Douglas A-1 Skyraider attack aircraft.
These pilots could join in strikes against the Viet Cong; and later they, along with the mechanics, could form the nucleus of a Vietnamese F-5 squadron that was then being considered.

Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force

Iranian Air ForceAir ForceIRIAF
After the Iranian revolution in 1979, the new Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) was partially successful at keeping Western fighters in service during the Iran–Iraq War in the 1980s and the simple F-5 had a good service readiness until late in the war.
Simultaneously, Iran began construction of two domestically produced fighters, upgraded using technology from the F-14 Tomcat and the F-5 Tiger II.

3rd Wing

3d Wing3d Tactical Fighter Wing3rd Tactical Fighter Wing
Over the next six months, they performed combat duty in Vietnam, flying more than 2,600 sorties, both from the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Bien Hoa over South Vietnam and from Da Nang Air Base where operations were flown over Laos.
It also supported the testing of the Northrop F-5A Freedom Fighter being developed for other nations under the "Skoshi Tiger" project.

Leading-edge extension

leading edge extensionleading edge extensionsleading edge root extension
Its wings were fitted with enlarged leading edge extensions, giving an increased wing area and improved maneuverability.
LERX were first used on the Northrop F-5 "Freedom fighter" which flew in 1959, and have since become commonplace on many combat aircraft.

Brazilian Air Force

Air ForceForça Aérea BrasileiraArmy Aviation
In October 1974, the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) ordered 36 F-5E and 6 F-5B aircraft from Northrop for $72 million.
The jet was operated by the FAB until the mid-1960s, when it was replaced by the F-80C and TF-33A, which were later replaced by the MB-326, Mirage III and Northrop F-5 jets.

Dissimilar air combat training

DACTaggressordissimilar air combat tactics
The F-5N/F variants are in service with the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps as adversary trainers.
The United States Navy Fighter Weapons School adopted the nimble subsonic A-4 Skyhawk to simulate subsonic Soviet fighters, while the F-5E Tiger simulated the supersonic MiG-21 fighter.

M39 cannon

M39A1 20mm autocannonT-75 cannon20mm
It retained the gun armament of two M39 cannons, one on either side of the nose of the F-5A.
It was subsequently adopted as standard armament of the F-86H fighter-bomber, F-100 Super Sabre, F-101A and F-101C Voodoo, and the F-5 Freedom Fighter.

Iran–Iraq War

Iran-Iraq warTanker WarIraq-Iran War
After the Iranian revolution in 1979, the new Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) was partially successful at keeping Western fighters in service during the Iran–Iraq War in the 1980s and the simple F-5 had a good service readiness until late in the war.
Groups of F-4 Phantom and F-5 Tiger fighter jets attacked targets throughout Iraq, such as oil facilities, dams, petrochemical plants, and oil refineries, and included Mosul Airbase, Baghdad, and the Kirkuk oil refinery.