JEROEN VOGELAAR: Aviation Photographs

Northrop F-5A Freedom Fighter

Northrop F-5

Northrop F-5E Tiger II J-3082 J-3085 Swiss Air Force

The Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter and the F-5E/F Tiger II are part of a family of light supersonic fighter aircraft, initially designed in the late 1950s by Northrop Corporation.

  • Role: Light supersonic fighter aircraft
  • National origin: United States
  • Manufacturer: Northrop
  • First flight: F-5A: 30 July 1959, F-5E: 11 August 1972
  • Produced: 1959–1987
  • Introduction: 1962
  • Status: In service
  • Number built: A/B/C: 847, E/F: 1,399
  • Developed from: Northrop T-38 Talon
  • Variants: Canadair CF-5
  • Developed into: Northrop F-20 Tigershark

Northrop NF-5A Freedom Fighter K-3020 Royal Netherlands Air Force

Military Operators

  • Austrian Air Force: On loan from Switzerland
  • Bahrain Air Force
  • Botswana Air Force
  • Brazilian Air Force
  • Royal Canadian Air Force
  • Chilean Air Force
  • Ethiopian Air Force
  • Hellenic Air Force (Greece)
  • Honduran Air Force
  • Indonesian Air Force
  • Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
  • Royal Jordanian Air Force
  • Kenya Air Force
  • Republic of Korea Air Force
  • Royal Libyan Air Force
  • Mexican Air Force
  • Royal Moroccan Air Force
  • Royal Malaysian Air Force
  • Royal Netherlands Air Force
  • Royal Norwegian Air Force
  • Philippine Air Force
  • Royal Saudi Air Force
  • Republic of Singapore Air Force
  • Spanish Air Force
  • Sudanese Air Force
  • Swiss Air Force
  • Republic of China Air Force (Taiwan)
  • Royal Thai Air Force
  • Sovjet Air Force
  • Tunisian Air Force
  • Turkish Air Force
  • United States Air Force
  • United States Marine Corps
  • United States Navy
  • Venezuelan Air Force
  • Vietnam Air Force
  • Vietnam People’s Air Force
  • Yemen Air Force

Specifications (F-5E Tiger II)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 47 ft 4¾ in (14.45 m)
  • Wingspan: 26 ft 8 in (8.13 m)
  • Height: 13 ft 4½ in (4.08 m)
  • Wing area: 186 ft² (17.28 m²)
  • Airfoil: NACA 65A004.8 root, NACA 64A004.8 tip
  • Empty weight: 9,558 lb (4,349 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 15,745 lb (7,157 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 24,722 lb (11,214 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × General Electric J85-GE-21B turbojet
    • Dry thrust: 3,500 lbf (15.5 kN) each
    • Thrust with afterburner: 5,000 lbf (22.2 kN) each
  • Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0200
  • Drag area: 3.4 ft² (0.32 m²)
  • Aspect ratio: 3.86
  • Internal fuel: 677 U.S. gal (2,563 L)
  • External fuel: 275 U.S. gal (1,040 L) per tank in up to 3 tanks

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 917 kn (Mach 1.6, 1,060 mph, 1,700 km/h) ; at altitude
  • Range: 760 nmi (870 mi, 1,405 km)
  • Ferry range: 2,010 nmi (2,310 mi, 3,700 km)
  • Service ceiling: 51,800 ft (15,800 m)
  • Rate of climb: 34,400 ft/min (175 m/s)
  • Lift-to-drag ratio: 10.0

Armament

  • Guns: 2× 20 mm (0.787 in) M39A2 Revolver cannons in the nose, 280 rounds/gun
  • Hardpoints: 7 total (only pylon stations 3, 4 and 5 are wet-plumbed): 2× wing-tip AAM launch rails, 4× under-wing & 1× under-fuselage pylon stations with a capacity of 7,000 pounds (3,200 kg) and provisions to carry combinations of:
    • Rockets: ***2× LAU-61/LAU-68 rocket pods (each with 19× /7× Hydra 70 mm rockets, respectively); or
      • 2× LAU-5003 rocket pods (each with 19× CRV7 70 mm rockets); or
      • 2× LAU-10 rocket pods (each with 4× Zuni 127 mm rockets); or
      • 2× Matra rocket pods (each with 18× SNEB 68 mm rockets)
    • Missiles: ***4× AIM-9 Sidewinders or 4× AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile
      • 2× AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missiles
      • AA-8 Aphid, AA-10 Alamo, AA-11 Archer and other Russian/Chinese AAMs (Iranian ver.)
    • Bombs: A variety of air-to-ground ordnance such as the Mark 80 series of unguided bombs (including 3 kg and 14 kg practice bombs), CBU-24/49/52/58 cluster bomb munitions, napalm bomb canisters and M129 Leaflet bomb, and laser-guided bombs of Paveway family.
    • Other: ***up to 3× 150/275 U.S. gallon Sargent Fletcher drop tanks for ferry flight or extended range/loitering time.
      • 2× GPU-5/A 30mm cannon pods (fitted only on Thai F-5s)

Avionics

  • Emerson Electric AN/APQ-153 radar on early batch of F-5E
  • Emerson Electric AN/APQ-159 radar on later production F-5E
  • AN/AVQ-27 Laser Target Designator Set (LTDS), for F-5B and F-5F only.