F-5A

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This page is about the American jet fighter F-5A. For other versions, see F-5 (Family).
F-5A
f-5a.png
GarageImage F-5A.jpg
ArtImage F-5A.png
F-5A
AB RB SB
10.0 10.3 10.3
Show in game
MARKET

Description

The F-5A Freedom Fighter is a gift rank VI American jet fighter with a battle rating of 10.0 (AB) and 10.3 (RB/SB). It was introduced during Update "Direct Hit" as a reward for the 2021 Export Order event.

General info

Flight performance

Air brakes
Allows you to dramatically reduce the flight speed by releasing special flaps
Drogue parachute
Reduces braking distance when landing on any runway
Max speed
at 10 668 m1 444 km/h
Turn time27 s
Max altitude15 240 m
Engine2 х General Electric J85-GE-13
TypeJet
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight24 t
Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 10,668 m)
Max altitude
(metres)
Turn time
(seconds)
Rate of climb
(metres/second)
Take-off run
(metres)
AB RB AB RB AB RB
Stock 1,429 1,421 15240 27.1 28.2 112.4 99.2 850
Upgraded 1,460 1,443 26.9 27.0 159.1 133.6

Details

Features
Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear Drogue chute
X
Limits
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
1458 444 926 560 555 ~11 ~5
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 680 < 750 < 700 N/A

Engine performance

Engine Aircraft mass
Engine name Number Basic mass Wing loading (full fuel)
General Electric J85-GE-13 2 4,051 kg 365 kg/m2
Engine characteristics Mass with fuel (no weapons load) Max Takeoff
Weight
Weight (each) Type 11m fuel 20m fuel 30m fuel 37m fuel
271 kg Afterburning axial-flow turbojet 4,580 kg 4,992 kg 5,462 kg 5,814 kg 9,000 kg
Maximum engine thrust @ 0 m (RB/SB) Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)
Condition 100% WEP 11m fuel 20m fuel 30m fuel 37m fuel MTOW
Stationary 960 kgf 1,426 kgf 0.62 0.57 0.52 0.49 0.32
Optimal 1,200 kgf
(1,400 km/h)
2,459 kgf
(1,400 km/h)
1.07 0.99 0.90 0.85 0.55

Survivability and armour

Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural1 458 km/h
Gear444 km/h

The F-5A has neither armour plates nor bulletproof glass and the fuel tanks are self-sealing.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB4 800 → 7 300 Sl icon.png
RB10 930 → 16 624 Sl icon.png
SB14 000 → 21 294 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications292 000 Rp icon.png
457 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 800 Ge icon.png
Crew training260 000 Sl icon.png
Experts930 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 800 Ge icon.png
Research Aces1 080 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
110 / 330 / 600 % Sl icon.png
232 / 232 / 232 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mods jet compressor.png
Compressor
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mods booster.png
New boosters
Research:
13 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
20 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Research:
18 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
28 000 Sl icon.png
530 Ge icon.png
Mods jet engine.png
Engine
Research:
18 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
28 000 Sl icon.png
530 Ge icon.png
Mods g suit.png
G-suit
Research:
19 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
30 000 Sl icon.png
550 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
Airframe
Research:
13 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
20 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
Cover
Research:
19 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
30 000 Sl icon.png
550 Ge icon.png
Mods heli false thermal targets.png
Flares/Chaff
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mk82
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods napalm fire bomb.png
BLU-1
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
t_160_belt_pack
Research:
13 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
20 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
M117
Research:
13 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
20 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
LAU-3/A
Research:
13 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
20 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mk83
Research:
18 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
28 000 Sl icon.png
530 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon block rocket large.png
LAU-10/A
Research:
18 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
28 000 Sl icon.png
530 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
t_160_new_gun
Research:
19 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
30 000 Sl icon.png
550 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mk84
Research:
19 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
30 000 Sl icon.png
550 Ge icon.png
Mods agm missile.png
AGM-12B Bullpup
Research:
19 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
30 000 Sl icon.png
550 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Offensive armament

Main article: M39A2 (20 mm)

The F-5A is armed with:

  • A choice between two presets:
    • 2 x 20 mm M39A2 cannons, nose-mounted (280 rpg = 560 total)
    • 2 x 20 mm M39A2 cannons (280 rpg = 560 total) + 60 x countermeasures

Suspended armament

The F-5A can be outfitted with the following ordnance presets:

  • Without load
  • 2 x AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles
  • 18 x 250 lb LDGP Mk 81 bombs (4,500 lb total)
  • 5 x 500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs (2,500 lb total)
  • 5 x 750 lb M117 cone 45 bombs (3,750 lb total)
  • 3 x 1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs (3,000 lb total)
  • 1 x 2,000 lb LDGP Mk 84 bomb (2,000 lb total)
  • 8 x Zuni Mk32 Mod 0 ATAP rockets
  • 76 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
  • 4 x AGM-12B Bullpup missiles
  • 5 x BLU-1 incendiary bombs

Custom loadout options

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Hardpoints F-5E (China).png
250 lb LDGP Mk 81 bombs 6 6 6
500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs 1 1 1 1 1
750 lb M117 cone 45 bombs 1 1 1 1 1
1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs 1 1 1
2,000 lb LDGP Mk 84 bombs 1
BLU-1 incendiary bombs 1 1 1 1 1
FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets 19 19 19 19
Zuni Mk32 Mod 0 ATAP rockets 4 4
AGM-12B Bullpup missiles 1 1 1 1
AIM-9E Sidewinder missiles 1 1

Usage in battles

As the F-5A does not have any radar-guided missiles (AIM-7s or equivalent), and it's not particularly fast, it is recommended to stay low and try to avoid the first clash between teams by flying to the side. When flying into the aforementioned engagement zone, pick out single fights or distracted enemies. The AIM-9E is not a reliable weapon and is easy to dodge, so try not to take missile shots from the sides or at a heavily manoeuvring opponent. When the opportunity to dogfight arises, take it only when you're sure other enemies are either distanced or far enough away from your position to not interrupt your fight and pick you off. When in a dogfight, you are almost always superior in manoeuvrability when compared to your opponent. MiG-21s or the J35s will be better in the first turn, but they bleed a lot of speed due to their delta wing design. Avoid their guns in the first turn, and use yours to take them out. While you have only 2 guns, they have a high muzzle velocity, making them easy to aim. The only downside with the cannons is their damage potential: you need to put several rounds on a target to destroy it.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Excellent manoeuvrability
  • Great amount of Countermeasures

Cons:

  • Relatively low top speed
  • No radar-guided missiles

History

The F-5A Freedom Fighter is a light fighter designed by Northrop in the 1950s. Designed as a private export venture, the aircraft was designed in both fighter and trainer variants (N-156F and N-156T). The F-5A entered service in the 1960s and was widely exported under the US's Military Assistance Program to developing countries. The F-5A would later be developed into the more advanced F-5E, and later on, serve as the basis of the YF-17 / F/A-18.

Design and development

The first Northrop YF-5A prototype.

Design work for the F-5 began in the early 1950s under the leadership of Northrop's VP of engineering Edgar Schmued, who was well-known for his work in designing the P-51 Mustang and F-86 Sabre with North American Aviation. By 1955, the design team had selected the General Electric J85 engine as the powerplant. That year, the US Navy issued a requirement for a light jet fighter to operate off its escort carriers, and Northrop quickly adapted its prototype design for naval service; however, the Navy requirement disappeared when the escort carriers were retired, and Northrop redesigned its aircraft once again. By this time, the prototypes were designated as the N-156T and N-156F, as trainer and fighter variants, respectively.

The final design of the N-156 would emerge in March of 1956, with a conventional wing design and its two J85 engines mounted in the rear fuselage. While the USAF had little interest in a light fighter such as the N-156F, it selected the N-156T as the replacement of the T-33 Shooting Star, which would go on to enter service as the T-38 Talon. The first YT-38 would fly in July of 1959 and serve as the USAF's primary trainer, a role it continues to serve today. Meanwhile, the USAF also ordered three N-156F prototypes to fulfil its requirement for a low-cost fighter that could be exported to less developed countries under the Military Assistance Program (MAP). This role was confirmed by the Kennedy administration's selection of the N-156F as the winner of the F-X competition, for a low-cost fighter to be exported under the MAP program. The N-156F was subsequently renamed the F-5 "Freedom Fighter".

The F-5A's design centered on its two J85 engines, each producing up to 22 kn of thrust with afterburner. While initial N-156 prototypes had engines mounted mid-wing and ahead of the tail (similar to the F-4), the final design featured a pair of engines at the rear of the vehicle. The F-5 could attain a speed of Mach 1.4 at high altitude and could carry up to 6200 lbs of ordnance on five underwing hardpoints. Being optimized for ground attack, the F-5 lacked an air-to-air radar. However, it could carry two AIM-9 Sidewinders on wingtip pylons along with its nose-mounted 20 mm cannons.

Operational service

Being designed for export, a total of 624 F-5As were produced by Northrop, including 3 YF-5A prototypes. Another 200 F-5B two-seater aircraft were produced, lacking internal cannons but otherwise combat-ready. Additionally, Canadair produced 140 aircraft under license for the Royal Canadian Air Force, while CASA in Spain produced 70 aircraft. The F-5A was widely exported under the MAP program to countries including Iran, South Korea, the Philippines, Turkey, Greece, and the Republic of China, while Norway, Spain and Canada purchased/produced the aircraft directly. With the success of the F-5A, the USAF acquired 12 airframes from the MAP program for combat trials in Vietnam, under the code name "Skoshi Tiger" ("Little Tiger"); this led to the F-5's "Tiger" nickname. The Skoshi Tigers received modifications to instruments and the addition of a fueling probe, and were redesignated F-5C.

Later on, the F-5A would lead to more advanced variants. In 1970, Northrop won a competition for a new light export fighter, with a much larger focus on air-to-air combat to counter the threat from late-generation MiG-21s. This aircraft was the F-5E/F, advanced versions of the earlier F-5A/Bs now renamed "Tiger II". The F-5E was similarly widely-exported and modified versions are still in service with export customers, and several aircraft served with NAS Miramar (the so-called TOPGUN) as adversary aircraft, mimicking the MiG-21. Finally, the F-5A's airframe served as the basis of several design studies which culminated in the YF-17 "Cobra", a light fighter that lost the USAF LightWeight Fighter (LWF) competition to the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The YF-17 would later be enlarged into the F/A-18 Hornet, which is operated by the US Navy as a multirole combat aircraft.

Media

Skins

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

References

  • Sherman, R. (1999, December 27). F-5 Freedom Fighter / Tiger. FAS Military Analysis Network. Retrieved December 22, 2021, from https://man.fas.org/dod-101/sys/ac/f-5.htm
  • Yarrish, G. (2020, February 26). Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter. Flight Journal. Retrieved December 22, 2021, from https://www.flightjournal.com/northrop-f-5-freedom-fighter/


USA jet aircraft
F-4  F-4C Phantom II · F-4E Phantom II · F-4J Phantom II
F-5  F-5A · F-5C · F-5E
F-8  F8U-2 · F-8E
F-80  F-80A-5 · F-80C-10
F-84  F-84B-26 · F-84F · F-84G-21-RE
F-86  F-86A-5 · F-86F-25 · F-86F-2 · F-86F-35
F-89  F-89B · F-89D
F-104  F-104A · F-104C
F9F  F9F-2 · F9F-5 · F9F-8
FJ-4  FJ-4B · FJ-4B VMF-232
Other  P-59A · F2H-2 · F3D-1 · F3H-2 · F4D-1 · F11F-1 · F-100D · F-14A Early
A-4  A-4B · A-4E Early
A-7  A-7D · A-7E
AV-8  AV-8A · AV-8C
A-10  A-10A · A-10A Late
B-57  B-57A · B-57B
F-105  F-105D