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Swiss Air Force

Northrop F-5F Tiger II

Three Tiger F-5F (Enlargement in new window)Enlargement in new window

Manufacturer: Northrop Corporation, Hawthonre, California, USA
Final construction: Federal aircraft construction plant Emmen (today's RUAG Aviation)
Year of Manufacture: 1976 and 1983/84
Purpose: Zone protection
Crew: 1 Pilot
Commenced service: 1976
Number of aircraft procured: 12
Number of aircraft still in operation: 4 (as per june 2015; without F-5E, single-seat fighter)

Registration: J-3201 to J-3212


The 12 F-5F Tiger II double seater aircraft were acquired in the two procurements. Their weapons and cockpits are identical to the single seater fighter-bomber type. This makes them suitable not only for conversion training and instruction, but also for combat missions (during which there is usually a systems operator aboard on the second seat). For the combat missions, the aircraft is equipped with a 20mm gun and two guided missiles.


Reductions in the double seater fleet

Since the jet pilot training system (JEPAS) was introduced with the Pilatus PC-21 in the middle of 2008, the F-5F Tiger double seaters are no longer used for military pilot candidates. The F-5E/F Tiger II combat aircraft are still flown by the three militia squadrons and the Patrouille Suisse.

To save maintenance costs major checks have been shelved for eight aircraft. Until these services are due, these F-5F will be flown to exhaustion and subsequently kept operational with reduced maintenance. Of the twelve procured F-5F Tiger II four will be retained for regular flight service and will be primarily used for SIGINT & EW exercises (signal intelligence and electronic warfare), target flights for air defence, schooling and training flights of militia pilots and photograph missions. For SIGINT & EW operations the F-5F are equipped with Saab Vista-5 pods (jammer transmitters).


Three Tiger F-5F fly in the Swiss mountains (Enlargement in new window)Enlargement in new window

Technical Data:

Max. speed:1'630 km/hr or Mach 1.56
Max. rate of climb:166 m/s
Max. flightlevel:16'000 m/M
Flight endurance:2 hours
Range:956 km
Structure:Self-supporting low wing aeroplane, spear headed trapezoidal wings, all-metal
Length:15.75 m
Height:4.01 m
Width span:8.13 m
Empty mass:5'050 kg
Permissable load:2'500 kg resp. 3'510 kg
Flight mass:11'060 kg
Engine:Model J85-GE-21A (two per plane)
Manufacturer:General Electric, USA
Type:Axial-straight turbine
Idle rpm bench:8'300 rev/min
full tonnage:16'600 rev/min
Maximum thrust without afterburnereach 1'557 daN
Maximum thrust with afterburnereach 2'224 daN
Equipment:Ejection seat, pressurized cabin, retractable gear, brake shut, speed brakes, instrument and night-flight equipped
Armaments:Cannons, guided missiles
    For questions about this page: Public Information Swiss Air Force
    Last updated: 02.06.2016
    Badge Swiss Air Force


    Additional photographs of this type of aircraft are available here

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