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"northrop f5 usaf service?" Topic

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684 hits since 28 Feb 2017
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Comments or corrections?

wardog28 Feb 2017 2:38 p.m. PST

i know the usaf had f5 in service as part of aggressor squadrons
but was there any in service with regular usaf squadrons

John Treadaway Inactive Member28 Feb 2017 2:53 p.m. PST

I thought it saw service in Nam. Was that only with the south?

Personal logo taskforce58 Supporting Member of TMP28 Feb 2017 2:57 p.m. PST

Wikipedia says a squadron of USAF F-5C flew combat over S Vietnam and Laos, and the Wings Palette site has color plates of them in SEA camo.

JasonAfrika Inactive Member28 Feb 2017 3:24 p.m. PST

It was in use in Vietnam by the US but I read that this was more of a marketing ploy to show off the aircraft to foreign customers, as the USAF never had any intention of using it except for its sister the T-38 Talon of course. Well the ploy worked because the F-5 was the F-16 of its day, cheap, light weight, easy to maintain. Served in over 30 air forces and seeing a ton of combat in Africa and Asia…Iran, Morocco, Ethiopia, Nam, Yemen…Still going strong today

28mm Fanatik28 Feb 2017 3:58 p.m. PST

Yes, the F-5 was developed with export customers in mind. USAF F-5's stateside at Luke AFB were only used for foreign pilot training, and the squadron in 'Nam flew combat missions for operational evaluation purposes only.

But they do make for great Aggressors.

TGerritsen28 Feb 2017 11:09 p.m. PST

She was a sweet aircraft and in a lot of ways a western answer to the MiG21. Yes US pilots flew them briefly I Vietnam to promote them for sale worldwide. They were never meant for full regular service, though, and the US craft were given to the South Vietnamese Air Force when our squadrons stood down.

A little known fact is that the F17 prototype was an extension of the expperiences and knowledge earned from the F5 design giving the FA18 a direct lineage back to the F5.

28mm Fanatik01 Mar 2017 10:47 a.m. PST

There's also this oddity from Iran.


Mako11 Inactive Member01 Mar 2017 1:00 p.m. PST

Can use it as a stand-in for the ill-fated, F-20 Tigershark, which was designed and marketed as a cheap alternative to other "teen" jets during the height of the Cold War.

I suspect a very limited endurance, due to its very small size.

capnvic Inactive Member07 Mar 2017 1:28 p.m. PST

The F-20 was subject to politics and NATO pushing for the General Dynamics F-16. The F-5 acquitted itself very well in southeast Asia. Enough for The Philippines, Thailand, Greece, Iran, Canada, and other NATO countries to use them. The Canadian CF-5 did very well, and the Greeks had them in service for over three decades. The big advantage was in its serviceability. F-5's suffered fewer mechanical breakdowns than some of its other contemporaries. It also has to be noted that the T-38 Talon helped in the development in the F-5 and F-20.

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