|This page is about the jet fighter F-5E (China). For other versions, see F-5 (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The ␗AIDC F-5E(commonly referred as the F-5E老虎II式戰機) represented the few remaining F-5E in ROCAF service since 1980s as part of their plan to enhance the combat capabilities against the growing PLAAF. Before the plans to introduce the F-4 series failed as the result of a better Sino (Mainland China)- US relationship, the Nationalist government signed contracts with Northrop to assemble the F-5E/F on Taiwan Island in 1973 to replace the some of the previous F-86F/F-100 fleet under their Project Tiger Peace (虎安計劃). After 6 batches of these aircraft were assembled and the plans to upgrade them perished by early 2000s, they have been one of the cornerstone of ROCAF until 2020s when 2 fatal incidents accelerated their decommission from the remaining fighter wing of ROCAF where their performance is hopeless against the now-modernized PLAAF, as well as the inferior ejection systems that costed 4 lives in these 2 incidents; the remaining (R)F-5E are waiting for the new T-BE-5A Brave Eagle AJT to replace them by mid-2020s.
Introduced in Update "Danger Zone" alongside with its American counterpart, the F-5E series in ROCAF service were mostly assembled by the local institute/company of AIDC (aka 漢翔) as the alternative for ROCAF's perished dream of a fleet of F-4Es and strengthening their military force: this variant of F-5E has the same capabilities of the original US built-ones, with hard hitting AAMs/AGMs as well as a variety of loadouts from rocket pods up to 2,000 lb bombs, making the F-5E the saviour of the ground forces as a retaliation against both ground and aerial targets who pose a threat to the team. Although it is not as dominant in air combat as the PLAAF J-7E, the F-5E's ability to carry four AGM-65 Maverick missiles makes it a uniquely valuable aircraft in the Chinese tech tree for precision standoff CAS.
Since AIDC received different batches of F-5E/Fs through the two decades of assembling, their airframe naming can be confusing (K, Ba, C, Pseudo-C); but in this case, this is the C structure which is totally identical to its American counterpart. With a pair of GE J85-G-21A and a light yet surprisingly sturdy airframe, although the overall acceleration is nowhere comparable to jets at its tier, but the revised airframe did help F-5E making manoeuvres easier thanks to its above-average manoeuvrability. Those who are stalling or used up their energy will meet their miserable end very quickly.
While some players take it as a deliciated jet fighter against aerial targets, as a multi-role lightweight fighter, the overall payload is surprisingly high thanks to the composite materials used on its wing; bringing either lightweight bombs or devastating heavy bombs are among its options; do keep in mind that this turns F-5E into a slow bomb truck which can be shot down with relatively ease, so avoid enemies before delivering the payloads.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 11,582 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear||Drogue chute|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 680||< 750||< 700||N/A|
|Engine name||Number||Wing loading (full fuel)|
|General Electric J85-GE-21A||2||4,825 kg||395 kg/m2|
|Engine characteristics||Mass with fuel (no weapons load)|
|Weight (each)||Type||11m fuel||20m fuel||30m fuel||38m fuel|
|303 kg||Afterburning axial-flow turbojet||5,423 kg||5,861 kg||6,379 kg||6,820 kg||9,582 kg|
|Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)|
|Condition||100%||WEP||11m fuel||20m fuel||30m fuel||38m fuel||MGW|
|Stationary||1,480 kgf||2,220 kgf||0.82||0.76||0.70||0.65||0.46|
|Optimal|| 1,575 kgf
| 3,011 kgf
Survivability and armour
A common misconception of lightweight aircraft is its protection. While F-5E is known to be tough in top rank battles that sometimes it takes 2 missiles to send it back to hanger, the whole jet has no extra protection, meaning that any projectiles that shoot through the thin skin of the airframe is more than enough to take the pilot out with ease.
Modifications and economy
The F-5E (China) is armed with:
- A choice between two presets:
- 2 x 20 mm M39A3 cannons, nose-mounted (280 rpg = 560 total)
- 2 x 20 mm M39A3 cannons + 45 x countermeasures
The F-5E (China) can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
|30 mm GAU-13/A cannons (353 rpg)||1|
|500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs||1||1||1||1||1|
|500 lb Mk 82 Snakeye 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|
|AIM-9P Sidewinder missiles||1||1|
|Default weapon presets|
Usage in battles
Like its tech tree predecessor and its American counterpart, F-5E was designed to be a lightweight and inexpensive option for countries with tight budgets. This version of ROCAF's F-5E is identical to US ones with new avionics and engines to retain its combat capability against possible enemies. While this might sound good at first glance, players have to consider for a major problem- the waves of SARH/ARH capable jets at 11.0; you will either face waves of Sparrows or even worse, waves of Phoenixes from F-14A; for lightweight jets exactly like F-5E, facing such missiles alongside their carriers will be the ultimate nightmare to deal with. Players have to survive the first wave of head-on attacks at the first place in order to take revenge on enemy targets. Although only a pair of AIM-9P and M39A2 cannons are available for air-to-air missions, if used at the right moment ie. a careless or slow enemy, 2 missiles are more than enough to score some hits. If it has to join a dogfight, the high ammo count at its tier can give trigger-happy players more opportunity to shoot down enemy aircraft, even multiple targets if aimed properly. But do note that a pair J85-GE-21A still aren't something with high thrust, any severe energy loss gives players very little chance to even regain the speed, making it easier to be shot at.
If CAS is your cup of tea, F-5E has a great variety of ordnance ranging from napalm bombs, general purpose bombs, Zuni rockets, as well as 2 pairs of AGM-65B. It can be said that F-5E is the long-awaited CAS aircraft for the Chinese tech tree (note: PLAAF only had AGMs in service after the introduction of Su-30MKK Flanker-H in early 2000s) . For a less risky approach, use the Mavericks to take out MBTs or menacing SPAAGs, its explosive content and penetration is more than enough to take out any unnoticed ground targets. Since Mavericks used IR/TV tracker in this case, some players sought it as a surprise way to shoot down hovering helicopters from safe distance and altitude. While bombs and rocket pods are available as well, due to the lack of equipment, F-5E still doesn't have any form of ballistic computer. Players should enter the battlefield below 600 m and at around 700 km/h then dive upon the target at 30°, then drop the payloads and pullup for a run; while rockets requires higher altitude for the dive, so use them with extreme caution and practice the trajectory for precise hits. Napalm can also be useful in some way for the nature that it could burn plants and open-top vehicles, but its aesthetic use is much greater than its practical use, i.e. blinding TVD modules on vehicles or equipment with its extreme heat.
Pros and cons
- Retains similar, if not better flight performance to its predecessor
- Small size, making it difficult for enemies to land shots onto the F-5E
- Variety of payloads ranging from bombs up to TV guided AGMs
- Finally comes with a radar which was lacking on previous models
- Surprisingly sturdy airframe for such a lightweight aircraft
- M39 cannons has generous ammo count and damage against aerial targets; sometimes even ground targets with AP belts
- No ballistic computer of any form
- Low top speed at its rank
- The only A2A option is the pair of guns and two AIM-9Ps at most
- Small countermeasures capacity, less than the F-5A
Earlier in 1968, the Nationalist Government had proposed an agreement to Northrop to produce their latest F-5E/F Tiger II domestically in Taiwan. While the batches of earlier F-5A Freedom Fighters joined ROCAF in 1965 as the replacement for the already obsolete fleet of F-86s, those 48 F-5A series were then handed over to the RVAF in 1972 while some batches of USAF's F-4 Phantoms II were transferred from US Pacific Air Force and stationed in Taiwan; the aforementioned agreement with Northrop was signed in February 1973 where AIDC received the license for building 100 F-5E/F series under "Project Tiger Peace 虎安計劃".
The overall production program could be divided into 6 separated batches and the very first F-5E assembled in Taichung (No. 5101) was then named Chung-Ching (中正, true name [名諱] of Chiang Kai-Shek [蔣介石；Kai-Shek is the courtesy name]) as his 88th birthday present. Although the first batches of 100 F-5E were delivered successfully, but later changes in Sino-American relationship (the 1979 Communique) forced the Nationalist Government to sign further agreements for new batches of F-5Es, as their proposed purchase for 48 F-4E was ditched by President Carter. The upcoming batches of F-5 consists both the E/F variant and were produced until 1986 by the end of Tiger Peace VI, a total of 242 F-5E and 66 F-5F (308 in total excluding the first military aid ones from US). Although ROCAF had plans for an upgrade of F-5E with F-CK-1's avionics and missiles in early 2000s, this project failed to earn ROCAF order.
Since the heat of the first Strait Crisis has passed, the "Tigers" didn't have the chance to be involved into combat actions; but two of these jets defected to Mainland China throughout the 1980s and they were among the very last cross-strait defects. These jets were also involved in 50 crashes with 52 deaths; after the three consecutive crashes within half-a year from October 2020 (5261; engine flameout; pilot DOA) to March 2021 (5286 and 5287; mid-air collision), ROCAF decided to decommission their fleet of remaining F-5s in Taitung by 2025 , replacing them with the new T-BE5A Brave Eagle.
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.
|Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (漢翔航空工業股份有限公司)|
|*Licensed assembly of Northrop F-5E Tiger II|
|China jet aircraft|
|Fighters||J-2 · J-4 · Shenyang F-5 · J-6A · J-7II · J-7D · J-7E · J-8B · J-8F|
|Strike aircraft||Q-5 early · Q-5A · Q-5L · A-5C|
|American||␗F-84G-21-RE · ␗F-84G-31-RE · ␗F-86F-30 · ␗F-86F-40 · ␗F-100A · ␗F-104A · ␗F-104G · ␗F-5A · ␗F-5E · ␗F-16A MLU|
|Soviet||␗MiG-9 · ␗MiG-9 (l)|