Swiss Air Force plans to retire 27 F-5 fighters this year

Swiss Air Force plans to retire 27 F-5 fighters this year

By Dario Leone
Sep 23 2018
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The service will be left with 26 active F-5 fighters

The Swiss military has indicated of its desire to retire 27 Northrop F-5s from service. Four aircraft have already been donated to museums.

The rest have been grounded and buyers have been found. Switzerland will be left with 26 active F-5s. These aircraft will flank the Swiss Air Force F/A-18 Hornets until the acquisition of new fighter jets.

Noteworthy last July Switzerland kicked off a multibillion-franc competition to replace its ageing fleet of F-5 fighter jets, and older model F/A-18 fighters, inviting five European and U.S. weapons makers to submit bids by January.

The selection of the new aircraft will be based on a report prepared by a group of experts who will evaluate several fighter jets, specifically the JAS-39 Gripen, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Dassault Rafale, the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.

The purchasing of new fighter planes stalled after the Swiss people voted against the acquisition of 22 JAS-39 Gripen fighter jets in 2014.

The F/A-18 fighter jets, which perform Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) service to defend Switzerland’s airspace, will reach the end of their lifespans of 5,000 flight hours in 2025. In its new fighter jet strategy, the country will extend their flight hours to 6,000 by evaluating and reinforcing structural weaknesses as well as replacing certain parts of the jets.

The F-5 is an agile, highly maneuverable, reliable supersonic fighter, combining advanced aerodynamic design, engine performance and low operating costs. More than 2,600 were built by Northrop and under co-production and licensing agreements with Canada, the Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, Spain and Switzerland.

Since two-thirds of F-5 user countries also operate F-16s, F/A-18s, F-15s or Mirage aircraft, the F-5’s role has shifted from a prime fighter to a lead-in trainer.

Swiss Air Force plans to retire 27 F-5 fighters this year

This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-5N Tiger II VFC-13 Fighting Saints, AF13 / 761578 / 2017

Photo credit: Myself (Adrian Pingstone) via Wikipedia

Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com


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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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