Ozair
Topic Author
Posts: 4630
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Long live the F-5, RTAF F-5TH

Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:20 am

Came across this story today and thought it was worth discussing the venerable F-5. The F-5 has had many lives and, while being replaced finally in numerous Air Forces, continues to see service with the US in an aggressor role, still serves with multiple African Air Forces and will operate with Thailand until at least the 2030s.

Thailand shows off upgraded F-5TH fighters

A modernised version of the venerable Northrop F-5 has made its debut at this year’s Singapore show, with the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) displaying a pair of aircraft upgraded to the new TH standard.

The F-5TH was commissioned into Thai service in late 2019 and are operated by the service’s 211 Sqn from Ubon air base, located near the Cambodian border in the east of the country.

...

https://www.flightglobal.com/singapore- ... 65.article

The upgrades to the F-5TH are quite impressive,

Image

A new GRIFO AESA radar reportedly using GaN T/R modules and allowing use of the Derby BVR missile, a DASH helmet that can cue the HOBS IRST and Python 4, a jamming pod and upgraded glass cockpit. The twin seat version loses both 20mm cannons while the single seat retains one of them. A key upgrade is the addition of the Link-T data link that is common with the thai Gripen and Saab 340 AEW&C.

Thailand are planning to upgrade a total of fourteen aircraft and keep them in service into the 2030s although Janes says 14 while Flightglobal says ten. The overall upgrade is expected to cost approximately US$100 million, so just over 7 million each if it is 14. The work was conducted in Thailand.

Long live the F-5!!!
 
texl1649
Posts: 1125
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: Long live the F-5, RTAF F-5TH

Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:20 pm

I can’t recall but I thought there were various rumors of Northrop considering a highly evolved variant of the F-5 for the T-X competition, though of course they didn’t pursue that. The N-156, T-38 and F-5 are some of Jack’s greatest results, clearly. Glad to see some investment into their ongoing development is happening and hopefully the T-7 will similarly benefit over time (tough to match though!)

https://warontherocks.com/2019/02/blurr ... -variants/

My theory is that the somewhat low-tech T-7 was chosen over the more refined competitors (or an evolution of the T-38 which they could have spec’d out easily) because a drone variant is in the future works.
 
VSMUT
Posts: 3564
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Long live the F-5, RTAF F-5TH

Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:25 am

texl1649 wrote:
I can’t recall but I thought there were various rumors of Northrop considering a highly evolved variant of the F-5 for the T-X competition, though of course they didn’t pursue that investment


https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/1 ... -have-been

Rumour? It actually flew. Clean sheet design, but the basic layout is the same as the F-5/T-38.
 
Max Q
Posts: 7995
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Long live the F-5, RTAF F-5TH

Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:00 am

What a beautiful, classic aircraft

Anyone remember the F20 ?
That was a stunning machine
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
User avatar
alberchico
Posts: 3201
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 5:52 am

Re: Long live the F-5, RTAF F-5TH

Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:14 am

https://thaimilitaryandasianregion.word ... air-force/

this blog has more info on the fleet of Thai F-5's.
short summary of every jewish holiday: they tried to kill us ,we won , lets eat !
 
User avatar
Dutchy
Posts: 10844
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 1:25 am

Re: Long live the F-5, RTAF F-5TH

Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:36 pm

Hard to believe the F-5 prototype first flew July 1959, when it will retire, it will be 80 years(!) after the type first flew (I know they are F-5E/F but still).
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
744SPX
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:20 pm

Re: Long live the F-5, RTAF F-5TH

Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:54 pm

Strange that there was never a serious upgrade for the J-85's. I recall there was a proposal to use a version of the TFE731. I always thought the J-97 turbojet would have been perfect. Same size as the J-85 but with over 8000lbs thrust (almost 12,000 lbs). Would have had F-20 performance and probably supercruise.

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