Swiss F-5Es now F-5Ns for US Navy
Northrop Grumman employees today celebrated the delivery of their 44th modified F-5 Tiger for the U.S. Navy. In a ceremony at the company's East Coast Aircraft Manufacturing and Flight Test Center, officials from NAVAIR PMA 207 accepted the delivery of the final aircraft under the current Navy F-5 Acquisition/Re-capitalization Program.
"The transformation of these formerly Swiss-owned fighters to U.S. Navy assets was a smart, strategic, and cost-effective move," said Capt. James Wallace, PMA 207 program manager. "It speaks to the entire team's effort that all of the aircraft were delivered on cost and on schedule. The objective of this program was to achieve a cost-effective solution for providing our naval aviators with real-time, hands-on training to simulate enemy aircraft in aerial combat training exercises, which only platforms like the F-5 can deliver. Clearly, we achieved that goal."
"This conversion replaced the F-5E forward fuselage with a refurbished F-5F forward fuselage at the basic manufacturing attachment assembly point," Matthews said. "It was a monumental task completed by outstanding craftsmen and women." Since 1999, Northrop Grumman has been under contract to the U.S. Navy to perform depot level maintenance for the Navy's fleet of F-5E/F aircraft. This phased depot maintenance program provides structurally sound F-5 aircraft that will operate safely in the severe spectrum associated with the adversary role of the F-5 fleet.