NAVAIR Builds F-5F From Parts Of Others

By Lee Ann Tegtmeier

A team of NAVAIR and Northrop Grumman specialists built three F-5F Franken-Tiger Adversary aircraft from parts of old U.S. Navy and Swiss F-5s. The Naval Air Station Key West needed more F-5s for its squadron, so rebuilding older F-5s that had very little service life left was the option.

"We took the two-seat cockpit section and the tail section of the old Navy F-5Fs and bolted these on to the newer center section of the former Swiss F-5Es," said Jay Bolles, Adversary Aircraft program manager at NAVAIR. He said the project took about two years to finish.

"The Block I Avionics upgrade, the LN-260 Inertial Navigation Unit and the cockpit display unit was also included in the baseline configuration, vastly improving navigation and pilot situational awareness," said Bolles. "We will deliver 41 F-5Ns and three F-5F Franken-Tigers on time and on budget."

The rebuilding was a natural extension of NAVAIR's project that is converting 41 former Swiss Air Force F-5Es and older Navy F-5Es to the newer F-5N standard.


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