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Contractor: Northrop Grumman.
Service: United States Navy
Date Deployed: F-5N First flight: March 2003; F-5F First Flight: September 1974.
Propulsion: (2) J85-GE-21C turbojet engines each producing 5,000 pounds (2,273 kg) of thrust.
Range: Maximum: 2,314 miles
Crew: F-5N: 1; F-5F: 2
Armament: AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles on wingtip launchers.
The F-5N is a single seat, twin-engine, tactical fighter and attack aircraft providing simulated air-to-air combat training manufactured by Northrop Grumman Corporation. The F-5F is a dual-seat version, twin-engine, tactical fighter commonly used for training and adversary combat tactics. The aircraft serves in an aggressor-training role with simulation capability of current threat aircraft in fighter combat mode.
As a tactical fighter aircraft, the F-5N accommodates a pilot only in a pressurized, heated and air conditioned cockpit and rocket-powered ejection seat while the F-5F is a two-seat combat- capable fighter. This aircraft has an upward opening canopy, which is hinged at the rear. The design places particular emphasis on maneuverability rather than high speed, notably by the incorporation of maneuvering flaps.
Full-span leading-edge flaps work in conjunction with trailing-edge flaps and are operated by a control on the pilot's throttle quadrant. The F-5 also has anti-skid brakes, Initial Navigation System (INS), ALR-87 Radar Warning Receivers (RWR), AN/APQ-159 radar and ALE-40 chaff/flare capability. This aircraft carries AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles on wingtip launchers.
The F-5 was developed by Northrop Grumman for export through the Military Assistance Program (MAP) in February 1965. This aircraft was initially offered as a candidate for a U.S. lightweight fighter, but became extremely popular as an export finding its niche in the overseas market. In December 1970, Northrop Grumman began development and production on the F-5A-21, an aircraft design that emphasized maneuverability rather than high speed and was officially reclassified as the F-5E. The F-5N/Fs are third-generation F-5 fighter aircraft designed for replacement of the F-5A/B/E production models. These aging aircraft will be replaced by low-houred F-5N/F acquired from the Swiss Air Force surplus by United States Navy (USN).
Currently, the Swiss F-5N Replacement Program replaces the present high-time Navy F-5Es with low-time F-5Ns allowing the USN/USMC to operate the F-5N aircraft to Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. The Phase Depot Maintenance (PDM) required modifications to USN configuration provides a safer, lower-flight time Adversary aircraft with increased capability for Department of Navy (DoN) pilots. These aircraft are assigned to Government facilities, namely, NAS Key West, Florida, MCAS Yuma, Arizona, and NAS Fallon, Nevada.