The Northrop F-5 Enthusiast Page - Home
الجوية المصري / Al-Qūwāt
Republic of Egypt Air Force
Credit: Roundels of the world
Last update 22-11-2012
PROCUREMENT / EMBARGO
Pre Egyptian/Israeli peace treaty Saudi connection
Embassy in Jeddah documents show that a programm for the training of
Egyptian pilots and 9 maintenance technicians was established in Saudi
Arabia in 1975. There was no US support for this programm, only Saudi instructors were involved.
pilots started flying at Dhahran AB in January 1976. Two pilots had
soloed by January 14th, four were still trained on the two-seater. End
of training was foreseen by April 1976.
Egyptian/Israeli peace treaty
Following peace initiative between Egypt and Israel beginning of 1977,
Egypt looked at the USA to obtain new weapons, including aircrafts.
Initial interest for the Northrop F-5E was shown when Egyptian
President Anwar el Sadat visited Washington on 06-04-77 requesting
the delivery of 20-24 Northrop F-5E without success, request that was
renewed beginning of 1978, this time for 30-40 aircrafts.
The request was looked in a more favourable light beginning of 1978, when
the US Senate voted in favour of "Middle East Fighter Package", to
the delivery of McDonnel F-15s both to Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Egyptian government obtained a letter of offer covering 42 F-5E and 8
at a total cost of USD 400m, Saudi Arabia financing the deal for USD
525m. Approximately 50-60 pilots and technicians went to the USA as well as to Iran to be
trained on the new fighter.
Negotiations were expected to be ended by
July 1978 in order that delivery of first 8 aircrafts, originally foreseen for Ethiopia, could be effected within 2 months.
came both from Israel, that protested, and Egypt. Egypt was satisfied
for the delivery of combat aircrafts but felt quantity to be
and the aircraft lacking sofistication of aircrafts supplied to Israel.
8 F-5Es were available for delivery at Mc Clellan AFB on 02-11-78, while training
of 16 pilots and 40 ground crews started beginning of 1979.
Unfortunately the Tigers were
withold, as payment from Saudi Arabia was not forthcoming. Price was
claimed to be too high relatively to the cost of Saudi aircrafts,
financial situation aggraviated by a site survey in Egypt revealing
that the estimated costs of introducing
the new fighter were actually around USD 700m.
F-5E 50609/3506 at Mc Clellan AFB in October 1978
Photo: archive Northrop Enthusiast
of Egyptian/Israelian peace treaty on 26-03-79 gave the death blow to
the deal; Saudi Arabia cancelled the order placed on behalf of
Egypt and the initial 8 aircrafts were diverted to the Yemen Arab
Republic by US State Department.
As a last chance, possibility
to built the F-5E was taken into consideration, negotiations going
on for financial and technical aspects, with no results.
Interest for 60 the next generation Northrop F-5G was also shown,
Any additional information/correction.