The Northrop F-5 Enthusiast Page  -  Home

                       Forša Aerea Brasileira / Brazilian Air Force

                                              Last update 20-08-22

frame 1



     -   Santa Cruz AB - Rio de Janeiro
     -   Canoas AB       -  Porto Alegre
     -   Manaus AB
  By February 2017 all Air Bases, under order of which the Tigers originally operated, were disestablished according to the new military organisation:
  Dimenšao 2022. This Alas (Wings) are listed   below. History of the various Grupo de Aviašao/Grupo Defesa is shown below
   New Alas (Wings) were formed operatings several different units; the Tigers remained with the original units and based at they original home bases.
  They kept initially their original Squadron tail badge.

Ala  2 -  obtained the Tigers of 1░ GDA at Anapolis and was to be re-equipped with Saab J-39 Gripen NG (renamed Grupo Fox). First arrival duging the year 2021.
             Part of the Ala is the 2░/6░ Grupo de Aviašao flying Embraer E-99 (EMB-145) ECM aircrafts; ALA 2's Primeiro Grupo de Transporte de Tropa (1░GTT) received on 04-09-20 its first Embraer
             KC-390 for air refuelling duties.

Ala  3 - (activated 16-12-16) -  obtained the the Tigers of 1░/14░ GAv at Canoas together with 5░ ETA flying Bandeirante and 2░/7░ with EMB111PM  Banderulhas.

Ala  8 - (activated on 02-02-17, last)  - obtained the Tigers of the 1░/4░ GAv at Manaus.
           Is entrusted with the defence of the wide Amazonas territories together with the Hawks helicopter of the 7░/8░ GAV, the CASA-235 of 1║/9║ GAV, the C-97 BrasÝlia and Cessna 208 of
           the 7░ ETA.

Ala 12 - (activated 08-02-17), - obtained the theTigers of 1░ GAvCa at Santa Cruz, together with 1░/7░ GAV with Lockheed  P-3AM Orions for ASW, 3░ ETA with Embraer C-95M Bandeirante for liaison
and the 3░/8░ GAV with H-36/EC 725
Caracal helicopters for SAR/CSAR
      frame 1       frame 1      frame 1       frame 1       frame 1
                                Badges: All units dealing with the Northrop F-5, seen in front of serial 4883 at Pirassununga AB in September 2019, plus all Alas badges


    1░ Grupo de Aviašao de Caša         frame 1        frame 1   1░ Esquadrao       2░ Esquadrao          80 years 1░ G Av Ca - 12/2023

All aircrafts were initially assigned to a pool of the 1░ Grupo de Aviašao de Caša (1st Fighter Group) at  S Cruz AB (RJ) formerly equipped with Embraer EMB-326;the 2░ Esquadrao named "Pif-Paf" (2nd Squadron)
started first conversion, followed by the 1░
Esquadrao named "Jambock". Pilot conversion was taken care by 6 Brazilian and 1 USAF instructors on, Northrop F-5B, which had initially a low in-service rate due to lack
of   spare parts.
equipped with Embraer EMB-326;the 2░ Esquadrao named "Pif-Paf" (2nd Squadron)   started first conversion, followed by the 1░ Esquadrao named "Jambock". Pilot conversion was taken care by
6 Brazilian and 1 USAF instructors on, Northrop F-5B, which had initially a low in-service rate due to lack of spare parts.

Available in June 1975 were 5 Northrop F-5B and 1 Northrop F-5E, at the time they were based at Anapolis AB  three new aircrafts were delivered directly to the base. Six pilots completed a 15 days long conversion
before returning to S.Cruz AB where the base was upgraded by October 1975.

Aircrafts remained pooled and weared the 1░/1░GAvCa badge on the left side and the 2░/1░GAvCa badge on the right side of the tail.

During 1977 the 1░GAvCa trained in a six months log course 6 Chilean pilots on the Northrop F-5 up to operational graduation. The  goal of 4'000 flight hours on F-5 was reached in December 1991 aboard an
Northrop F-5B.

   Photo: via
                                                                                                      Second Northrop F-5B, serial 4802, at S. Cruz AB

                                                                                 Photo: Luiz Padilha
                                                                                        Northrop F-5E 4836 in front of the airship "Zeppelin" hangar at S. Cruz AB

     frame 1                       frame 1
    F-5E 4847 with low visibility 2░/1░GAvCa badge and torn sticker "100 years first flight Santos                          
    Dumont" taking off from Anapolis AB on 12-08-04 during Cruzex III    Photo: Eric Riester/                             Air-to-air refuelling of Northrop F-5E 4836

                                                                              frame 1

                                                                       Two Northrop F-5E behind a Northrop F-5B, pilot belongng belongng to the 1░/1░GAvCa    Photo: Brazilian AF

With delivery of former USAF F-5F's to the the 1░/14░GAv there was limited requirement for the first generation two-seaters. The  remaining 2 airworthy F-5B's (one was serial 4805) were struck of charge at
the end of 1995 and transferred to the Parque de Material Aeronautico (PAMA) de Sao Paulo for storage and resale.

                                                                                    Photo: Gustavo Bolson Maia
                                                                                 Two Northrop F-5E from the first lot next to a second lot one at Anapolis on 27-07-03

See our page for additional information about the Squadrons operation in our In-flight refuelling,Training,Excercises and Special colours  page.

The modernised Embraer F-5EM started to reach the 1░ GAvCa on 20-10-06, when serial 4826 was accepted in a ceremony at Santa  Cruz AB, joining the 1░/14░ GAv in the operation of this fourth generation fighter.

                                                                               frame 1      Photo:  Juliano Damasio AIRFLN
                                                                                 1░ GAvCa have no Squadron markings on tail: here F-5EM 4848, seen on 22-04-11

                                                                              frame 1       Photo:  Brazilian AF
                                                                                                         Embraer F-5EM 4806 after its crash landing without pilots at S Cruz AB 05-07-21

The 2░/1░GAvCa has converted to the upgraded Embraer F-5EM, no Squadron badges have been seen painted on its aircrafts till  present.
See page Upgrades for information of upgrading details.

                                                                                     Photo:  Antonio R Biasius
                                                                                                                    Rarely seen bomb armed Embraer/Northrop F-5FM, here serial 4807

The Squadron has three flights (blue, Green and Red) and takes care of air defence, attack and interdiction, aircraft equipment was varying between 12 and 14 Tigers.
Some Embraer AT-27Tucanos are also used by the Esquadrao for liason duties. It was the first unit that received in May 2005 Mectron Piranha third generation air-to-air missiles.

Two Embraer/Northrop F-5EM of this unit were the first operational air-to-air refuelled aircfts from an Embraer KC-390 on 09-08-22 in the Rio de Janeiro area, 3 Embraer/Northrop F-5F
was used by the unit.

  14░ Grupo de Aviašao

  1░ Esquadrao/14░ Grupo de Aviašao "Pampa"

frame 1                               
                                                                                       1 )                         2)                          3)                             4)   
                                                                         1) Coloured badge applied on SEA camouflaged aircrafts; 2) badge painted on air intake, left hand side, of
                                                                         grey low visibility Tigers; 3) badge painted on green/green camouflaged F-5EM. 4) New yellow/blue tail band

Having Completed training of pilots and ground technicians for S. Cruz AB based Esquadraos manpower was now available for the third Esquadrao. This was to be the 1░/14░ Grupo de Aviašao de Caša based at
AB (Porto Alegre), whose Lockheed TF-33A, armed version of the trainer, had been retired in 1975.

Some pilots and ground crew started conversion on their future equipment in May 1975 theory at S Cruz AB, flight experience at Anapolis AB. The go ahead for the actual conversion was only given in 1976. On
26-11-76 12 F-5Es
arrived at Canoas AB after an 1 hour 10 minutes non-stop flight from Santa Cruz AB. One F-5B (serial 4805) was also taken on charge (some sources state that all Northrop F-5B remained
at S Cruz AB).
                                                                          F-5E 4827 of the  1░/14░ GAv with origonal SEA camouflage, last two of serial on tail, blue tail band
                                                                          with 5 white stars,
May 1986                                       Photo: Archive The Northrop F-5 Enthusiast

November 1988 saw the arrival of first former USAF Northrop F-5E at Canoas AB, ferried from Nellis AFB by 1░/14░ GAv pilots, re-equipment completed by January 1990. These aircrafts had several differences
in instrumentation 
to those of the first batch and no in-flight refuelling provision. It was therefore decided to fully re-equip the unit only with the "new" aircrafts and change its role from multi- to an air-defence
, keeping their original "aggressor" camouflage till overhaul.
They entered service with the Esquadrao only after having gone through a revitalization process at Parque de Material Aeronautico de Sao Paulo (PAMA-Sao Paulo), thereafter the "old" ones were returned to Santa Cruz AB.

                         See our page
for additional information about the Squadron operation in our In-flight refuelling, Training,
Excercises and Special colours page.

On 15-07-94 the Squadron reached the mark of 100'000 flying hours
since its establishment, having used
Curtis P-40, Gloster Meteor Mk.8 and Meteor Mk.7, Lockheed TF-33, Northrop F-5E and F-5F, Embraer
AT-27 Tucano .

                                                                                           frame 1
                              "Cruzeiro do Sul" emblem painted on top                  Emblem on Embraer/Northrop F-5EM     Emblem on Embraer/Northrop F-5EM seen at Canoas ABof the tail since 08-81 on 28-05-09.
                                                                The central, small star repainted in  yellow since 15-07-94, simbolizing 100'000 hours flown by the Squadron since its formation

                                                                                                      New emblem on Embraer/Northrop F-5FM                             

The Esquadrao acted as a conversion training and Operation Conversion Unit at the end of 1966, when the last two active Northrop F-5B were struck of charge.

                  frame 1              frame 1
F-5E 4868 still in USAF aggressor colours and with CO code. Natal 24-10-95  Photo: Peter R. Foster                     Underfuselage cockpit painted on the single-seater, second series.       Photo: Brazilian AF
  On tail commemoration sticker for 100 years first flight in Brazil by Santos Dumont. The Canoas AB (CO code) on the aircraft's tails was seen in the year 2002 (when was it applied?)

                  frame 1                     
                        Northrop F-5F 4806 taking off on 25-06-06 from Florianopolis with comemoration sticker                      Camouflaged Northrop F-5E 4839 with 2002 commemoration sticker on tail in a diferent
                                                                                    Photo: Juliano Damasio AIRFLN                  tail position                                                                       Photo: Brazilian AF
The 1░/14░ GAv was chosen to introduce the by Embraer upgraded F-5EM and received officially its first aircraft, serial 4855, on 12-09-05 at Canoas AB starting a new and decisive stage of its, and of the Brazilian AF,
operational life.
It performs its duties of  interception, combat air patrol and air escort on the new aircraft. Foreseen Squadron strength is 16 aircrafts.
First upgraded Northrop Embraer/Northrop F-5FM (serial 4807) was received during 2007. It was also the first modified two-seater delivered to the Air Force

   frame 1     frame 1        Photo: Wilhan campos/Brazilian AF
  F-5EM 4875 at Santa Cruz AB on 22-04-07, note underwing pylons for Python 3 missiles.                                      Embraer F-5EM In front of Canoas AB hangar

The 1░/14░ was chosen to send 4 F-5EM to Nellis AFB to represent the Brazilian AF at Red Flag 08-03,  supported by Boeing KC.707 2404, between 21-07-08 and 02-08-08. The transfer was accomplished from
Canoas to Boa Vista via Anapolis (Brazil) to Barranquilla (Colombia) and to Merida (Mexico) as a last stage point, starting on 12-07-08 and arriving on 16-07-08.

                                                                                                                  See our Upgrades page for additional information.

The unit took part to air-defence of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in August 2016 with their aircrafts flying from S Cruz AB.

The Squadron force consisted in mid-April 2022 of some 12 single, 2 doubleseaters; 7 Embraer/Northrop F-5EM and 2 Embraer/Northrop F-5EM participated to the 77░ Dia da Aviašao de Caša░(77th Fighter Aviation)
day at S Cruz AB on 22-04-22.
Most probrably 2 aircrafts remained at Canoas AB for the 24hours/7days air defence.

Some Embraer AT-27 Tucanos are also used for liason purposes.

                Embraer F-5EM 4830 shortly before its accident on 31-05-22                                                         Embraer F-5FM 4812 with new tail insignia 1░/14░ GAv at Canoas AB

                                                                                    Phot: Sgt Bianca/Brazilian AF
                                                                             Unusual bombs armed line-up of Embraer F-5EM as the unit has mainly fighter duties

    Air-to-air refuelling of Embraer F-5FM 4810 with special colour tail  (right side) 45 years of operation                       Embraer/Northrop F-5E 4859 with "call 121.5 MHz" air policing inscription on tank and new
   One Embraer/Northrop F-5F was operational in March 2023 with this unit.
  Photo: Brazilian AF/Sgt Johnson             tail insigna on arrival at arrival at Brasilia on 07-09-23    Photo: collection Northrop F-5 enthusiast

  1░ Esquadrao/4░ Grupo de Aviašao "Pacau"    

                                                               frame 1    frame 1      frame 1   
                                                                                                                               First tail band          Second tail band
  Due to increasing tension and armament by Colombia and Venezuela and the increased activities of narcotrafic in the North of Brazil this Natal AB Esquadrao based unit, formerly part of the Centro de Treinamento
  e Recumpletamento de Tripulašoes (CATRE) with EMB-326
/AT-26 (retired on 03-12-10), with
Embraer/Northrop F-5EM, becoming an operational unit reformed on 15-12-10 It was relocated to Manaus AB.
  First six Tigers, two from 1░/14░ GAV and four from 1░GAVC, were delivered from Santa Cruz AB already on 13-12-10 while first operation in anger was the destruction of a clandestine airstrip near the Colombian
  border, operated
by drug smugglers, by 4 Embraer/Northrop F-5EM. These were provisonally based at Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira airport. It has been reported that the Manaus AB runway was too short limiting the
  take-off weight,
but was later prolongued by 500 meters.

                                                                                    Photo: Silva Lopes/Brazilian AF
                                                                             Embraer F-5EM, serial 4869 seen 03-08-11 at Pirassununga during Agata 1 operation.

  The unit had four flights, for air defence and air superiority under the control of the III Air Force, maintaining a 24 hours/7 days quick reaction force. The Squadron force consisted of only 6/8 Tigers, less than the
  normal equipment.

  Two Embraer/Northrop F-5EM, armed with Python IV were transferred to Santa Cruz AB from 04th August (shortly before Olympic Games start) till 09th August 2016 (after end of the Games).

                                                                           frame 1     Photo: Brazilian AF
                                                                                           Embraer F-5EM 4865 flies over the Olympic area during an interception excercise in July 2016.

At the beginning of Oktober 2016 the two Pyton IV missile-armed Embraer/Northrop F-5EM were again transferred (after 09.08.16, end of the Olympic Games) to Manaus AB in order to check the increased
activity by
Sukhoi Su-30 on the Venezuela/Brazilian border. This was might due to the impeachment procedure of the Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, opposed by the Venezuelan government.

On 17-12-21 the Squadron was disbanded. Original plan was to transfer the available aircrafts to other units equipped with the same aircraft, particularly to the full size ones (1░/1░ GAV and 1░/14░GAV),
Interception of narco-traffic aircrafts (its main duty) in the Northern part of Brasil is now responsability of the Embraer A-29 Super Tucano.
                   1░ Grupo de Defesa Aerea "Jaguar"                       frame 1frame 1
The Embraer/Northrop F-5EM was chosen provisonnaly to replace the GAMD Mirage 2000 flying from Anapolis AB and retired in December 2013). Pilots received their conversion training on Embraer/Northrop F-5FM
starting April 4th, 2016 at Anapolis. The course lasted one year and
  trained interception, air-combat, instrument navigation and on simulator.
Six Embraer/Northrop F-5EM and one Embraer/Northrop F-5EM realised their first cannon training against airtargets at Santa Cruz AB end of September 2016 for 12 days, maintenance being assured by the 1░ Grupo
de Aviašao de Caša; they returned to their home base in flight.
The Squadron force also consisted of only 6/8 Tigers, less than the normal strength..It will be dissolved when the new Saab F-39A will be operationally

                                                                                       Photo: Cpt Bellini/Brazilian AF
                                                                                                               Embraer F-5EM 4839 on 1░ GDA preparing to land at Anapolis AB
                                                                                                             Embraer F-5EM 4825 of the 1░ GDA used as Target Towing aircraft

The unit received its first two Saab F-39 at Anapolis on 19-11-22; official in service cerimony was on 19-12-22. Only Saab F-39A eequippedthe unit by beginning of 2023.

  2░ Esquadrao/14░ Grupo de Aviašao

  Consideration was given to establish a reconnaissance Esquadrao by the adaption of the frist 12 F-5E to RF-5E standards with six (some sources state four) noses, similar as those used on the Northrop RF-5A,
  originally bought in 1976,
  used for a short time. An USAF instructor gave reconnaissance training in March 1976, but the noses kept  in storage in order to maintain the fighter force, and the plan had no follow-up.
  The reconnaissance nose was used only once in a course in April 1976 andwere sold as scrap in 1974.

                                                               frame 1          Photo: Brazilian AF
                                                                            This is the only known photo of Brazilian F-5Es (serial 4830) with a reconnaissance nose.
   Parque de Material Aeronautico de Sao Paulo / PAMA - SP             frame 1

Based at Campo Grande AB this is a maintai
nance unit. It takes care of all major overhauls of Brazilian F-5s and prepares the airframes for upgrade to F-5EM/F by Embraer.

Northrop F-5E, unknown serial, seen at PAMA Sao Paulo on 06-10-08 in primer at PAMA, Sao Paulo                    Hectic activity at PAMA, Sao Paulo to overhaul Embraer F-5EM on 25-10-09
                                                                                                 Photo: unknown                                                                           Photo: Fernando NunŃo /Poder Aereo
One Embraer/Northrop F-5FM an d seven Northrop F-5EM were at PAMA-SP by March 2023.