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F-5N/F Adversary Aircraft

Last updated: 13 Sep 2021

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.
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 were replaced by low-hour F-5E/F aircraft acquired from the Swiss Air Force surplus by United States Navy (USN) in 2006.

The Swiss aircraft were updated as F-5N/Fs with modernized avionics and other improved systems and re-baselined by Northrup Grumman to USN configuration which provided a safer, lower-flight time Adversary aircraft with increased capability for Department of Navy (DoN) pilots. These aircraft are assigned to government facilities, namely, Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West, Florida, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, and NAS Fallon, Nevada and continue to support the adversary training mission. These aging aircraft were also supplemented with additional low-hour F-5E/F aircraft acquired from the Swiss Air Force surplus by United States Navy in 2020.
USN, USMC, and current worldwide air forces
General Characteristics
Contractor: Northrop Grumman.
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.
Length: F-5N: 47 feet 4.7 inches (14.4 meters); F-5F: 51 feet 7 inches (15.7 meters).
Height: F-5N: 13 feet 4.25 inches (4.1 meters); F-5F: 13 feet 1.75 inches (4.0 meters).
Wingspan: F-5N/F: 26 feet 8 inches (8.1 meters).
Weight: F-5N/F5F: Maximum Design Takeoff Weight is 24,722 pounds (11,214 kg). Maximum Design Zero Fuel Weight is 9,723 pounds (4,410 kg).
Airspeed: F-5N: Mach 1.64 at 36,000 feet; F-5F: Mach 1.56 at 36,000 feet; F-5N/F: Maximum Dive Pull-Out = Mach 1.68; Aircraft Placard Number = Mach 2.0 at 31,000+ feet.
Ceiling: F-5N/F-5F: 50,000+ feet.
Range: Maximum: 2,314 miles (4,286 kilometers). F-5N Ferry: 825 miles, clean; 1,155 nautical miles, with centerline fuel tank; 1,340 nautical miles, with three 275 fuel tanks; 1,545 miles, tanks dropped. F-5F Ferry: 745 nautical miles, clean; 1,075 nautical miles single tank; 1,270 nautical miles three tanks and 1,455 nautical miles three tanks dropped. (These include 20 minutes reserved for landing.).
Crew: F-5N: 1; F-5F: 2

Point of Contact
Naval Air Systems Command
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